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Edge of the seat stuff
snow0r17 August 2007
Jason Bourne sits in a dusty room in with blood on his hands, trying to make sense of what he's just done. Meanwhile, a CIA chief in NYC outlines the agency's response to what's just happened on screen. An American flag stands proudly on the centre of his desk in the foreground of the shot, but as he speaks, it slips out of focus as his plan veers into morally dubious territory, as if it doesn't want to be associated with the course of action the government man decides is necessary in the interests of national security.

This shot effectively captures the mood of the film. As well as portraying Bourne's quest to find out how he became Jason Bourne, Ultimatum is also an examination of the human costs of the measures taken to protect us in the interests of stability and security.

It is also probably the best film you'll see in the cinema this year.

It's just so intense. Bourne says to Simon Ross (Considine) "This isn't some newspaper story, this is real" and in the audience you almost believe him. The camera shakes, but remains steady enough for you to see everything and feel like you're there with Bourne as he tries to elude his pursuers, and the performances are so good that these guys seem as though they are the characters they're portraying, instead of just being actors performing well-written roles. The action scenes are so brutally fast-paced and well choreographed that they seem instinctive instead of planned to the minutest movement; the stunt-work is nothing short of amazing.

The pacing is just incredible. It keeps driving forward towards its conclusion, but not so fast that it leaves you struggling to piece together the plot; the script delivers the information you need as quickly and clearly as possible before moving on to the next tense action set-piece. While they're often simple (the Waterloo sequence is essentially just a man on a phone being watched by a man on a phone) they're charged with such dramatic intensity that you can't take your eyes off them. The film is just so focused on powering forwards that you can't help being swept along by it.

With its intense action set-pieces, brilliantly paced storyline, and intelligent examination of the decisions made in the name of national security, the Bourne series is one that accurately captures the ambiguities of our age. Ultimatum is its peak.
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He just drove off the roof…The Bourne Ultimatum
jaredmobarak4 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have never been one to shy away from saying that most action films just plain do nothing for me. Most times they are blatant vehicles to blow stuff up, show off sexy models, and throw any semblance of reality or intelligence out the window. With that said, the Bourne series has been fantastic. Doug Liman ushered in a new take on action by using a more cinema verite style, showing the fights in full force and making our super spy someone we can relate to emotionally as well as humanly. This is not the sci-fi absurdity that was Bond (before they did an overhaul in the style of this series no less). There was a lot to worry for when the Bourne Supremacy came out. With director Paul Greengrass taking over, what could have been a second-hand copy of the original ended up being an improvement in style and flair. The stakes were raised and the story was enhanced because of it. Greengrass needs to be given a ton of credit for being able to keep up appearances with the latest installment, The Bourne Ultimatum. In what is an amazing conclusion to a top-notch trilogy, the action is brought to a new level and story and performance are never compromised.

Once again, Bourne is brought into the minds of the CIA by false pretenses. Someone has leaked information about the Treadstone upgrade called Blackbriar and once Bourne is located trying to converse with the newswriter who broke the story, he is assumed to be the mole. Only Pamela Landy, she who was on the case to find him in Supremacy, knows that he can't be the one. Bourne's motive has always been to stay clear of the government and live his life in peace. It has been the CIA who keeps bringing him back into the open to wreak havoc on them. What ends up transpiring is that Bourne wants to know the source as well to finally find out the truth of who he is and what made him into a killer. The film, then, becomes a chase against time and each other to find the source and see if the government can close the breach and tie off all loose ends, or if Bourne can get his revenge on those who took his life from him.

In what is probably the simplest storyline of the series, with only one chase lasting the entirety of the story, it has possibly the biggest cast of characters and turning over of loyalties to expose the corruption that has been behind the full story progression. This is not a detriment at all, however, as it allows for more fights and car chases that work in full context to the plot. Admission to this film is worth it for the apartment fight, between Bourne and the CIA's second asset, alone. The chase jumping through windows in Madrid is cool on its own, but when they finally meet up, we get a ten minute or so fight that is as invigorating to watch as any scene you'll see. Also, rather than using a massive car chase as a climatic set piece like in the first two films, we instead get around three small scale road races, just as intense, but staggered enough to never bog the action down into monotony.

After five years of waiting, we also find out the origin of our favorite operative with heart and feeling. By the end of the film we will find out what has been the cause of all the espionage and destruction that has taken place around him. No one could have done it better than Matt Damon. He has the physique and attitude to be believable in the action sequences, but also the range to pull off the moments of intelligence and cat and mouse correspondence with those against him. Joan Allen reprises her role with the same amount of dedication to her job, but also a bit more disenchantment for what is going on around her after how Brian Cox's character, from the first two films, took matters into his own hands. Needing a role in that mold, we are given a nice turn from David Strathairn. Like Cox, he is working at the top of the food chain and answers to no one when making a decision. With as much trying to cover up any connections to his bosses of the Blackbriar program as he is trying to do his duty to his country, you can never quite gauge what he will be capable of doing. Even the little guys do a wonderful job, like Paddy Considine as the reporter who starts the leak at the center of everything, Albert Finney as a man from Bourne's past and possibly key to his origin, and Edgar Ramirez as one of the CIA's operatives sent to take Bourne out. Ramirez is a nice addition to the role that has been successfully played by Clive Owen (Identity), Karl Urban, and Martin Csokas (Supremacy). He doesn't talk much, if at all, but he has the look and robotic efficiency down pat and hopefully will get more roles to show what he can do post a nice turn in Domino.

In the end, one has to applaud Paul Greengrass for continuing to exceed expectations and bring this series to a conclusion that builds on the success of its predecessors rather than destroy them. His skill at the close-up hand-held look is astonishing and has the same kinetic energy as Tony Scott, but without quite the seizure-inducing cuts. Rather than feel like over- production, his use of hand-held enhances the environment and puts you directly into the action. Let's also credit cinematographer Oliver Wood, who shot all three Bourne films. He was able to work with both directors and work his style into a nice harmony with them.
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Perhaps One of the Greatest Motion Picture Trilogies of our Time
windcriesmary3 August 2007
I don't hand out ten star ratings easily. A movie really has to impress me, and The Bourne Ultimatum has gone far beyond that. Furthermore, this trilogy has come together so nicely, that I believe it to be one of the greatest motion picture trilogies of our time. Though all three films could not be any more different from the Ludlum novels, they still stand as a powerful landmark in cinematic achievement. The Bourne Ultimatum made me want to cry that the series was complete, yet I could not even attempt to stop smiling for hours.

From the moment that the opening title appeared, I knew we were in for a ride. Paul Greengrass has done it again. Everything we love from the previous Bourne films is here once again: the action, the dialogue, and of course the shaky camera. However for me, that last one was never a problem. I think it adds to the suspense.

I will be back to see this film several times before it is released on DVD, simply because it is genius. It is a perfectly satisfying conclusion, and should stand the test of time as a fantastic movie, and altogether, an unforgettable trilogy.
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One Of The Year's Best Movies.
CrassActionHero3 August 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) Review: After a thrilling set of two, we get the final installment. Here's my take:

The Bourne Ultimatum has it all. We have Jason Bourne(Matt Damon) on the coattails of the ones who know everything. He has been running for too long. This time, it ends.

The Bourne Ultimatum has a great plot, awesome writing, fantastic direction, suspense, and some of the best action of the summer. Matt Damon delivers possibly his best performance to date. He has the conviction and swelling desire of the troubled assassin.

There are some intelligent humor here and some fine suspense. The reactions to certain events will have you either laughing(in a good way) or cheering on. (or both) I heard a lot of intelligent laughter in the theater and lots of clapping. The audience was loving it.

The Bourne Ultimatum delivers all in a nicely gift-wrapped package. All of the goods and then some. This is, in my opinion the best movie this summer.

The Last Word: Excellent conclusion. The best of the trilogy. This is how summer movie thrillers should be done. I love the Bourne trilogy.
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May be the best action movie I've ever seen
bobbo7214 August 2007
This is the first 10 out of 10 that I've given any movie. What made this movie so good for me? Constant action - there isn't any slow parts, great acting, smart writing. I also liked the filming style where the shakiness and different angles just made it feel like you are a part of the scene. Finally, I get to see an action movie that doesn't try to please all sectors of the public (i.e. there's no forced romance).

I liked the first two Bourne movies, but I loved this one.

Warning - after watching this movie, you will be full of adrenaline and you may want to calm down a bit before driving your car!
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I've never seen such an impressive action movie in my LIFE
Dingataca8 December 2007
Having not seen the previous two in the trilogy of Bourne movies, I was a little reluctant to watch The Bourne Ultimatum.

However it was a very thrilling experience and I didn't have the problem of not understanding what was happening due to not seeing the first two films. Each part of the story was easy to understand and I fell in love with The Bourne Ultimatum before it had reached the interval! I don't think I have ever watched such an exquisitely made, and gripping film, especially an action film. Since I usually shy away from action and thriller type movies, this was such great news to me. Ultimatum is one of the most enthralling films, it grabs your attention from the first second till the last minute before the credits roll.

Matt Damon was simply fantastic as his role as Jason Bourne. I've heard a lot about his great performances in the Bourne 1+2, and now, this fabulous actor has one more to add to his list. I look forward to seeing more of his movies in the future.

The stunts were handled with style - each one was done brilliantly and I was just shocked by the impressiveness of this movie. Well done.
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Bourne Again Fan
WriterDave7 August 2007
"The Bourne Ultimatum" begins recklessly mid-chase and in pulse-pounding fashion explodes from there as Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, absolutely superb) tracks down the masterminds behind the CIA black-ops that turned him into the perfect killer in a final attempt to learn his true identity. A devastatingly icy David Strathairn as the "man behind the curtain" is added to the returning cast of regulars including Joan Allen (excellent) and Julia Stiles (non-existent).

Like the second entry in the series, I wished Paul Greengrass' shaky hand-held camera would go static at least for the few minutes of downtime. However, that being said, it's a perfect way to capture the tense, claustrophobic feel of the intimate hand-to-hand-combat scenes and works equally well in the chase scenes which are mostly on foot and across rooftops with the occasional big car pile-up. Part of the fun of the Bourne series is the constant globe-hopping and manipulation of technology and communications that seem to defy the laws of physics and current capabilities. The Bourne films seem to exist in some sort of gritty hyper-reality that is full of technological-based magic. It makes no sense that everyone seems to be just in the right place at the right time, but I'll be damned if it isn't a blast to watch them get there.

With the absence of the emotive and involving Franka Potente, the writers attempt to create some emotional connection between Damon and Stiles, but she is so blank-faced an actress it never really leads to anything. Still, this can be forgiven, for unlike the "Identity" and the "Supremacy", this "Ultimatum" reveals all and we finally learn the truth about Bourne's past. It's an entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the series, and if they have any good sense, and Damon gets his wish, this will be the perfect end to it.
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007 had better watch out, Bourne's about!
simonparker199016 August 2007
When the Bourne Identity arrived five years ago I have to confess that I didn't think much of it. At the time I was eleven years old, so perhaps I was too young to really get into the storyline and understand the whole scenario. Two years ago when the Bourne Supremacy arrived I thought it was a better movie than Identity but still didn't think it was as good as I expected it to be judging by the trailers. Over the past two years I had been told numerous times that the Bourne movies were amazing, many a time I had to bite my tongue and not say what I really thought about the movies. Until two months ago I couldn't have given a damn about the Bourne Ultimatum, I really had no intentions of watching it. But then I decided to go back and re-watch the first two before I came to any abrupt decisions. So I went out and bought both the original movies. And what a surprise it was to me when I was gripped by them. Identity I found the superior of the two, but Supremacy isn't far behind. They're both slick, action packed and thrilling pieces of cinema that I have watched numerous times since I bought them. Because of this I was first in line today to see the Bourne Ultimatum. And boy did Bourne Ultimatum not disappoint!

Matt Damon was never one of my favourite actors until he appeared in the Bourne movies, I'd seen him in the Talented Mr Ripley, but I never thought much of him in general. However, it appears he was born to play Bourne (pardon the pun). Throughout this series we have seen the character change before our very eyes, in this movie we see Matt Damon at his very best, even better than he was in The Departed and I thought he was one of the best things in The Departed. You really do find yourself caring for the character and hoping that he finds out everything. Matt Damon plays the role with a quiet intensity and you always find his character extremely believable. The supporting cast of the movie were also absolutely outstanding. Joan Allen was one of my favourite things in Bourne Supremacy, here she excels herself. Her character is also very believable and she has some superbly acted moments towards the end of the movie. Julia Stiles turns up again as Nicky and finally we learn a bit about her character. Julia Stiles is a very underrated actress and I think she deserves a lot more roles, well decent roles, than she gets. David Strathairn is a newcomer to this series as Noah Vosen, he's definitely the bad guy of the movie and he really excels. He's definitely the nastiest character we've met, and some of the decisions he makes are truly nasty. Strathairn relishes the role and he too gets some superb scenes in the movie. Special mention must also go to Albert Finney who makes the most of his all too brief screen time, I will not say anything about the character, that's best left as a surprise, but trust me his scenes are some of the highlights of the movie.

The Bourne movies have always had a strict focus on the storyline more than the action sequences, this isn't to say the trilogy lacks action sequences, good god no there's loads of them dotted all throughout the movies. But running throughout the movie is a very well written and well acted storyline. This storyline concludes in the best way imaginable in this movie. As I watched Supremacy the night before I saw Ultimatum it was nice because I could notice certain little parts. That very final scene in Supremacy, in New York, a lot more important that I ever imagined at the time. Won't spoil it for people but I recommend checking up on Supremacy before you see Ultimatum. Unfortunately though for a lot of people they will go to see Ultimatum purely because of the action sequences. This is the part where I should condemn such people and say they should see it for the storyline, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that my favourite parts of the Bourne series as a whole are the car chases. The mini car chase in Identity is one of my favourite car chases of all time. Well the action in Ultimatum has to be the best of the Bourne series. In fact the movie kicks off with an action sequence in Moscow. So in the duration of the movie we get numerous punch ups, all very violent and shockingly brutal. A bike chase that is absolutely amazing, many foot chases which are even more amazing, a thrilling car chase that is unforgettable, and oh so much more! But the highlight for me has to be the scene in Waterloo station, won't ruin it but for some reason had me gripped.

So any flaws for the movie? In my eyes no, but if you are not a fan of the Bourne series or have not seen the previous two then I wouldn't recommend Ultimatum for you. The movie doesn't try to win over any new fans as it sticks to what the franchise does best and just adds a nice bit more storyline and action sequences on top. The Bourne Ultimatum is undoubtedly the best of the series and the best blockbuster of 2007. As a James Bond fanatic it is a great honour for me to say that Ultimatum is a lot better than a majority of the Bond movies, and trust me it takes a lot for me to say that. While Bourne as a whole might not be a better franchise than the Bond series, it is definitely nearly its equal.
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Ultimatum is Easily the Best Bourne
jmbartle6 August 2007
Paul Greengrass definitely saved the best Bourne for last! I've heard a lot of people complain about they way he filmed this movie, and some have even compared the camera style to the Blair Witch Project. All I have to say to that is...are you kidding me? Come on it was not that bad at all. I think it helps the action scenes to feel more realistic, which I would prefer over highly stylized stunt choreography. As for the rest of the movie I really didn't even notice it.

You can tell that Damon has really gotten comfortable with the role of Jason Bourne. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, but in this case its a really good thing. He really becomes Jason Bourne in this installment. Damon also has a great supporting cast in Joan Allen, Ezra Kramer, and Julia Stiles. David Strathairn was a great addition to the cast, as he added more depth to the secret CIA organization.

Even though the movie is filled with great car chases and nonstop action, they managed to stick a fair amount of character development in their with all of that going on. This film stands far above the other two Bourne movies, and is definitely one of the best movies of the 2007 summer season!
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tiagoalves692611 February 2008
Having not seen the previous two in the trilogy of Bourne movies, I was a little reluctant to watch The Bourne Ultimatum.

However it was a very thrilling experience and I didn't have the problem of not understanding what was happening due to not seeing the first two films. Each part of the story was easy to understand and I fell in love with The Bourne Ultimatum before it had reached the interval! I don't think I have ever watched such an exquisitely made, and gripping film, especially an action film. Since I usually shy away from action and thriller type movies, this was such great news to me. Ultimatum is one of the most enthralling films, it grabs your attention from the first second till the last minute before the credits roll.

Matt Damon was simply fantastic as his role as Jason Bourne. I've heard a lot about his great performances in the Bourne 1+2, and now, this fabulous actor has one more to add to his list. I look forward to seeing more of his movies in the future.

The stunts were handled with style - each one was done brilliantly and I was just shocked by the impressiveness of this movie. Well done. Was the above comment useful to you?
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Jason Bourne remembers everything!!
andre-walcott3 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I will begin by saying I am very pleased with this climax of the Bourne trilogy. Please, oh please don't ruin it by doing a sequel years from now or a prequel. Just leave it alone. Right..moving on.As talented and versatile as Matt Damon seems as though he was just meant to play Jason Bourne.

If you are a fan of the first two Bourne movies, you will not be disappointed by the third installment. It sticks to what works and adds a little more. I was very pleased to see how well all the information we obtain in 'Identity' and 'Supremacy' all mesh in 'Ultimatum' to finally paint the full picture of Jason Bourne's troubled past. The action sequences are fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The fights between Bourne and the assassins are always fun to watch. I have always been a fan of movies surrounding CIA agents and how the CIA gather their Intel and this movie is right up that street, making it even more exciting for me.

If you choose to watch The Bourne Ultimatum without watching the previous 2 will still thoroughly enjoy the movie but I would still recommend you watch them first. This would allow you to fully understand the character Jason Bourne and become attached and be a part of his world. This allows you to appreciate and enjoy the movie even more. I'm not sure which is the better of the first 2 but I personally think 'Ultimatum' might, just MIGHT, have the edge when comparing the trilogy.
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Fantastic Conclusion
lucasaq-13 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The final installment in the action thriller franchise is just that probably the hardest hitting of the three films. It goes further to play the anti-Bond theme. Bourne doesn't like what he is doing and wants to know about his blurry past. Everything about this film hits it on the nail from the cinematography to choreography/stunt work to the script to acting.

The film starts out in a flurry as Bourne is running from the Moscow police. The story seems to pick up right where the first film left off. Or does it? The time is a little muddled here, but we get the fact that Bourne is remembering things. A sudden flashback while trying to clean himself up nearly gets him caught, but he makes it and doesn't kill anyone. They aren't his target. From there we get more of the intrigue of his past with a new player, Noah Vosen, who seems to know everything about Bourne and will protect it at all costs. Pamela Landy is back as well as Nicky Parsons who seems to have a past with Bourne as well.

The cinematography is in your face following tight on practically everything. The car chase is even more intense if that seems possible than the ones from the first two. And the veteran cast chasing Bourne is superb with a nice part by Albert Finney. It also has slight political overtones in relationship to rendition and other government policies, but that is minor and integrated very well within the plot. All in all this is the best of the trilogy conclusions this year, if not the best action trilogy ever.
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Would "High Octane" be a Cliché here?
joestank153 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Bourne Ultimatum - Jason Bourne (Matt Damon in his best role ever), the newest spy kid on the block, brings his quest for his identity to a close as he also seeks to end the CIA's latest program "Blackbriar" to make super assassins like himself.

I was so psyched for this one that I watched it's predecessors yesterday and today. Identity was as brilliant as I recall and Supremacy remains the weak (but still enjoyable) link in the chain for the weakest plot and, aside from a car chase which this film's chase easily tops, slight lacking in action and suspense.

Hoo boy, does Ultimatum have suspense! Even when you know Bourne will escape the authorities (and boy do these films spotlight the police as inept), it's still brilliant watching him do it. It's mind-boggling to think that two guys with handguns and mopeds can create 10x more suspense than anything those $150 million giant robots did in Transformers.

Chalk it up to Paul Greengrass, who has this idiosyncratic style of shooting stedicam a la documentary, even though he's filming characters that are far from ordinary, in places like CIA headquarters where no one within 10 miles would be allowed with a camcorder. He seemed to listen to my various complaints with Supremacy, as the action in Ultimatum is nothing less than awe-inspiring, with various implements used as weapons being a candlestick, a hardcover book (I'll never look at those the same way again) and an electric fan (Don't ask). The music also helped generate much suspense, and there was hardly ever a moment to not nail-bite over.

The acting is good, and the evolution of Julia Stiles' character "Nicky" put her situation into a new highly sympathetic light. Damon plays his signature role with reserve but competency (which sounds minor but that it genuinely looks like Matt Damon could evade the CIA and Interpol is something), but noticeable moments of poignancy as he still struggles to find his humanity. This longing of his for a real life could get boring, and almost did in Supremacy, but just works better in Ultimatum (better script).

I am reminded of a scene in "Goldeneye" (the only good Pierce Brosnan Bond film) in which Sean Bean's character asks James if the martinis ever silence the screams of all the men he's killed. Bourne regrets all the people he killed, and he considers (or at least made me consider) the meaning of action without purpose, life without meaning, and how the government has transformed men into resources. Albeit, resources that know Krav Maga and can make weapons out of anything.

Sidenote: it's always bothered me that, despite being a superspy and hunted by the CIA, Interpol, and the police nearly ANYWHERE he goes, that Bourne never thought to make even the smallest attempts to disguise his features or forge some new passports. Sunglasses maybe?

If you have a pulse and love action movies, than Bourne Ultimatum is for you. Hell, it's probably the best action film to come out this year. Of course, you'd be a fool to see it without watching the others first. It kind of drags a touch near the end, but I almost feel tempted to overlook that. This is the first "3" movie this summer to at least match, if not exceed, the original and that is saying something.

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Amazing Ending To A Great Trilogy
sackjigler2 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Im going to keep this fairly brief as to not spoil anything for you. This movie is awesome. From beginning to end, it is filled with genuine thrills. The fight scenes are fantastic, the chase scenes are enthralling, and it moves at such a pace that it really only felt slow toward the end when things are explained, but that is only because everything that preceded it. Damon shines and really has proved a very solid actor, daring you not to believe him in this role. He is this role. A welcome addition to the series in David Straithrain (hope i spelled that close to right) as a seedy CIA agent out to kill Bourne. This is non stop and will truly leave you on the edge of your seat for most of the way. Some things toward the end are just a smidgeon preposterous, thus negating a 10 rating. The ending is left open for sequels and I sure hope that they consider doing more of these, for none have been bad. Excellent film all in all and a fantastic ending to an amazing trilogy.

P.S. The shaky cam did not hurt any of the action, but I still think we could do without it. The good news is, you only really notice it when people are talking and not so much the action.
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Ultimate 'Bourne'
janos45127 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First and foremost, speaking as no fan of the genre, "The Bourne Ultimatum" is a breathtaking, virtuoso, superb action movie.

Secondly, it is a silly malarky of cartoonish super-hero stuff.

Thirdly, the film carries a complex, important point, about crime-fighters turning into criminals themselves. No reference is made to Abu Ghraib or the Executive Branch's outrageous domestic assaults on constitutional rights, none is necessary.

So, the latest in the "Bourne" series, in the hands of Paul Greengrass (of the 2004 "Bourne Supremacy" and last year's "United 93"), is a significant achievement, perhaps held back but not actually diminished by the unavoidable excesses of the genre.

"Breathtaking" above is meant both as a complimentary adjective and a description of the physical sensation: for more than an hour from the first frame, the viewer seemingly holds his breath, pushed back against the chair by the force of relentless, globe-trotting, utterly suspenseful action. There is no letup, no variation in the rhythm and pull of the film, and yet it never becomes monotonous and tiresome the way some kindred music videos do after just a couple of minutes.

Oliver Wood's in-your-face cinematography is making the best of Tony Gilroy's screenplay from Robert Ludlum's 1990 novel (which doesn't stack up well against the "Bourne Identity," written a decade earlier).

Matt Damon is once again the inevitable, irreplaceable Bourne, the deadliest of fantasy CIA agents, this time taking on the entire agency in search of his identity, his past, and the mysterious agency program that has turned him into a killing machine. Nothing like his quietly heroic Edward R. Murrow, the always-marvelous David Strathairn is the nasty top agency official, pitched against Bourne in trying to hide some illegal "take-no-prisoners" policies and brutal procedures.

Joan Allen plays what appears to be the Good Cop against Strathairn's Bad One. And, there is Julia Stiles as the agent once again coming to Bourne's aid; a combination of Greengrass' direction and Stiles acting results in a surprising impact by a mostly silent character, her lack of communication and blank expression more intriguing than miles of dialogue.

So good is "The Bourne Ultimatum" that it gets away with the old one-man-against-the-world bit, this time stretched to ridiculous excesses, as Bourne defies constraints of geography, time, gravity... and physics in general. (Can you fly backwards with a car from the top of a building? Why not - it looks great.)

All this "real-world" magic - leaping from country to country in seconds, to arrive at some unknown location exactly as, when, and how needed - outdoes special-effect and superhero cartoon improbabilities. And yet, only a clueless pedant would allow "facts" interfere with the entertainment-based ecstasy of the Bourne fantasy.
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fwomp13 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Not being much of a Matt Damon fan, I rarely look forward to any of his films. There are exceptions, of course, most notably his surprisingly great performance in THE GOOD SHEPHERD. But even within The Good Shepherd, Damon's emotional range isn't challenged, which is why the part was perfect for him considering who he was portraying.

Part of that issue spills over into this series where we see a super-spy with little-to-no emotions that might help audiences "feel" anything for Jason Bourne. But THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM and its predecessors aren't about character, they're about action, and director Greengrass knows action very well. If you think these stories have ANYTHING to do with character, you are seriously deluded. We never understand the motivations behind any of the prime or secondary characters. This is glaringly obvious when Jason and a CIA "asset" sent out to eliminate him battle and, eventually, come to some sort of understanding.

But, like I said, these stories aren't character pieces but adrenaline pumping action sequences designed as a thrill ride. And on that level expectations are well-met.

Running from city to city, this is basically one long chase scene where the CIA learns that Bourne has resurfaced and several key officers within "The Agency" don't want him to discover a covert operation that hearkens back to Bourne's uber-secret beginnings.

David Strathairn (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK) and Scott Glenn (FREEDOM WRITERS) star as two powerful but ultimately despicable Agency higher-ups who's attempts to snare Jason Bourne are continually foiled by Bourne and someone within their own department.

Female leads Joan Allen (THE ICE STORM) and Julia Stiles (THE OMEN, 2006) pull in okay performances; Allen as the sympathetic CIA agent who wants to know why her superiors are so enamored with killing off Jason Bourne, and Stiles as the former love interest who reemerges to initially help Jason but only puts herself in danger and must be saved by Bourne. Although that was a bit confusing (i.e., their relationship history), the rooftop chase through Tangier is flat-out amazing.

This is one of those film series' where you need to be in the mood for such things. If you want thoughtful, look elsewhere. But if you want heart-pounding action, you're in for a treat.
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The emperor's new clothes.
irivlin11 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
How sheep-like the movie going public so often proves to be. As soon as a few critics say something new is good (ie - "Shake-Cam"), everyone jumps on the bandwagon, as if they are devoid of independent thought. This was not a good movie, it was a dreadful movie. 1) Plot? - What plot? Bourne was chased from here to there, from beginning to end. That's the plot. Don't look for anything deeper than this. 2) Cinematography? - Do me a favor! Any 7 year old armed with an old and battered 8mm movie camera would do a far better job (I am not exaggerating here). This film is a tour-de-force of astonishingly amateurish camera-work. The ridiculous shaking of EVERY (I really do mean every) scene will cause dizziness and nausea. 3) Believable? - Oh yes definitely. This is a masterpiece of credibility. I loved scenes about Bourne being chased by (local) police through the winding market streets of Tangier. - I've BEEN to Tangier. Even the guides can't navigate their way through those streets but Bourne shook off 100 police with speed and finesse. Greengrass must be laughing his head off at the gullibility of his film disciples. 4) Editing? - I don't know what the editor was on when he did this film but I want some! - Every scene is between 0.5 and 2 seconds. I felt nauseous at the end of the film from the strobe effect of the "scenes" flashing by. 5) Directing? - Hmmm. This is an interesting aspect. The film appears to have actually NOT had any directing. More a case of Greengrass throwing a copy of the script (all two pages) at the cameramen and told to "shoot a few scenes whilst drunk". - "Don't worry boys, we'll tie the scenes together in the editing room". The editor should be tarred, feathered and put in the stocks for allowing this monstrosity to hit the silver screen 6) Not one but TWO senior CIA operatives giving the tender feminine treatment to the mistreated and misunderstood Jason Bourne. - Putting their lives on the line for someone they couldn't even be sure wasn't a traitor. Talk about stupid nincompoops. (Whilst the evil male CIA members plot to terminate any operative who so much as drops a paper-clip on the floor). (well, all men are evil, aren't they? - Except for SNAGS of course). Yes, this really is a modern and politically correct film that shows the females to be the heroes of the day and the oppressive males as the real threat to humanity. 7) When the you-know-what finally hits the fan, good triumphs over evil (just like it always does, eh?) and the would-be assassin gets the drop on Jason Bourne - he suddenly undergoes a guilt trip and refrains from pulling the trigger (Yeah - right...) - at that very moment, the evil deputy director just happens to turn up - gun in hand and he does pull the trigger. - How did this 60 year old man run so fast and not even be out of breath? Wonders will never cease 8) Don't worry, there's a senate hearing and the baddies get pulled up before the courts. Well, we can't have nasty, politically incorrect, CIA operatives going round shooting people, can we? How lovely to see a true to life P.C. film of the Noughties. -------------The Bourne Ultimatum is utter rubbish.
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A trilogy that stays true to the story
Chrysanthepop4 October 2007
In order to fully appreciate 'The Bourne Ultimatum', one must have to have seen 'The Bourne Identity' and 'The Bourne Supremacy'. Like it's prequel's, it is slick, action packed, suspenseful and has an engaging screenplay. I particularly loved the chase scenes shot in Tangier. Director Greengrass just keeps the right pace without making it boring or too fast to follow. A fine ending to a trilogy, I preferred it over the overrated 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King' and the abysmal 'X-Men: The Last Stand'. 'The Bourne Ultimatum' has done justice to the first two films. Cinematography deserves special mention, whether it's the shaky camera or the zoom-lens, it certainly adds to the 'fun' of the ride supported by brilliant background score. The dialogues and characters are very well written. This is especially a plus because character development seems to be lacking in action films of today. Damon again looks the part and his acting is fantastic as he completely owns the role. Supporting cast that boasts of talented names like Joan Allen, Paddy Considine, Albert Finney and David Straitharn all stand out. A brilliant conclusion, it makes the whole trilogy stand out. Filmmakers (especially that guy who made 'X-Men: The Last stand') should learn how to make a trilogy interesting and intelligent. 'The Bourne Ultimatum' is an intelligent, slick, well-paced action film that respects the trilogy.
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Bourne Again
jdesando28 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"That the spy will fabricate his information is a mere commonplace. But in the sphere of political and revolutionary action, relying partly on violence, the professional spy has every facility to fabricate the very facts themselves, and will spread the double evil of emulation in one direction, and of panic, hasty legislation, unreflecting hate, on the other. However, this is an imperfect world . . . ."

Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

Here's my ultimatum: Find a better spy thriller this year or agree with me (not a natural instinct for discerning readers) that Bourne Ultimatum is one cracker-jack adventure, not exceeded by even the estimable Live Free or Die Hard. Paul Greengrass solidifies his rep as a director who can helm intelligent action and keep the audience enthralled for hours.

Jason Bourne for three years has been tracking himself because amnesia was a part of his training as a super sleuth for the CIA and he wants to know who the hell he is. On his path to self knowledge lie countless bodies, dispatched with an admirable efficiency, albeit fantastic at times. But the genius of this film is to make me a believer in that supremacy, so good is Damon at projecting smarts and physical superiority.

Part of the fun is tracking the world with him from Turin to Tangiers to Waterloo Station, a favorite spot of mine where the Thames and the Eye converge on the passages of every traveler in London. Bourne navigates despite the CIA's best attempts to stop him; he guides a reporter through the station with cell phones, a tour de force sequence of technology aiding intelligence. It's athletic, scary, and exhilarating, as if Bourne were guiding us through the labyrinth of the very movie itself.

Bourne Ultimatum touches lightly on the current challenges of government-sanctioned rendition and torture. When Damon asks an antagonist/operative to look at what they have become, assassins who don't know why they assassinate, and when assistant director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) discloses that his unit may murder at will, Congress's subpoenas can be seen waiting for Cheney and his covert crew. The film manages to strike a pose even while neocons and struggling Dems enjoy the ride.

You can bet the resolution is another compressed denouement with a heavy dose of the incredible. So be it. It's summer, and I had just sat through J Lo's boring El Cantante. I needed to travel light, and Jason was just the right companion.

Yes, he finds out his real name, but he'll always be Bourne to us.
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Don't buy the Emperor's new clothes.
BJBatimdb23 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Users who have rated this movie so highly simply can't have seen enough good films to compare it with. Have they all been brainwashed?? I have rarely felt so disappointed by a film and some of that must be attributable to the ridiculous hype surrounding this movie.

From the first, BU is just a chase film. We pick it up at the end of one chase and go straight into another. And another. And another. And another. Do you see a pattern emerging? There is virtually no time 'wasted' on plot, character development, or boring old reality.

If you haven't see the other two Bourne films, you're pretty lost. If you have - you only WISH you were lost - somewhere a long way from a cinema.

Paul Greengrass's dispassionate style worked exceptionally well on United 93 which was a sentiment overload desperate to happen, but on Bourne and his interminable woes it just has the effect of removing the audience from involvement with the character. He runs. He jumps. He punches. He gets blown up. He clears tall buildings. Yada yada yada. Above all - he SURVIVES. He survives like a plastic Action Man survives, which only makes the ridiculous stunts he pulls all the more slack and lacking in any kind of tension. So he drives off a building? So what? He'll survive. Yawn.

There's a girl thrown into the mix because Bourne's love interest died in a previous incarnation, but she's just decor. I've seen more character depth and snappy dialogue in episodes of Captain Scarlet.

Bourne's own journey of literal self-discovery is dull and formless and tells us nothing we didn't know from the first movie. He was turned into a killing machine. Big deal. He finds out his true identity. So what? It doesn't have any emotional resonance when it comes.

The 'twist' ending is telegraphed and weak. Oh, dear, the more I think about this film the more I hate it! I've already reduced my score to 4 during the writing of this comment! I'd better end now before the slide continues.

I love a good action flick and I love a good thriller. The Bourne Ultimatum is neither. It's a loud, tedious series of flashy edits, ridiculous sound effects and cartoon violence.

The idea that it 'shows the way' to the Bond franchise is utter crap. Casino Royale blows it out of the water.
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The blurred induced headache
sparkler10661 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Bourne Ultimatum is the worse of the franchise. It is a shame that Ludlum's last Bourne novel has been transformed to a motion picture that has as much clarity as a bug being squished on a cars windshield. The plot is perhaps the thinnest of any of the Bourne movies, and the audience is at best bored with the whole experience. But the most annoying, madding, is the cinematography by Wood, is like a film being filmed by the Road Runner on Crack, jumpy, blurry, and headache inducing. The film may have been worth viewing, if the audience could see what was going on. But with the shaky cam of this debacle being bad enough, but even the action scenes were filmed way to close in for anyone to follow what was going on in this picture. See this if you must, but bring your aspirin.
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Urgent pace and action makes it rise above the so-so plotting to be an efficient and exciting action movie (SPOILERS)
bob the moo4 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Simon Ross, a reporter with UK newspaper The Guardian writes a couple of articles on the mystery of Treadstone and Jason Bourne – he has not definite answers but the detail suggests that he has a source deep within the programme. CIA Deputy Director Vosen wants to silence this source as it could compromise his black ops units around the world. Meanwhile Jason Bourne, last seen in Russia, also wants to discover Simon Ross's source. The race is on – Bourne trying to learn more of his past, the CIA trying to close the door forever.

At the time of writing IMDb users have placed this film as #54 in the list of best all-time films and the sheer volume of praise for it is overwhelming. Now, on one hand, this film doesn't really deserve all this but I can understand why it has been the recipient of all of it because it has been a roundly terrible summer for blockbusters, trilogies especially. Thus when one that is enjoyable and effective came along it was no surprise that it stood out from the crowd. For this is what Bourne Ultimatum is. It is not brilliant nor "one of the greatest films ever made" but it is effective and thrilling to the point where I was happy to ignore the weaknesses.

And I disagree with others who suggest there are no weaknesses here because I maintain that the film (and the trilogy) is built on a very obvious narrative that offers few surprises but does offer plenty of opportunity for action. It is this action where the film excels and it is credit to Greengrass and his cinematographer for producing a film that feels urgent from the very start and most of the way through. I appreciate that some will dislike the constantly moving camera just as they did in Supremacy but for me it is the making of the film as it draws the audience so close into the action that the specific motivations for it become secondary. This means we can have an intense action scene in Turin where the majority of it does not relate to the bigger picture in regards the narrative. However I did find that the narrative could have done with a focus here and there as it doesn't explore the characters as much as I was hoping and the "conclusion" of the film is weak. The globe-trotting aspect of the film is a bonus as well and you can see why many compare Bourne to Bond. However this isn't just a cosmetic title on the screen – the film really uses the locations to good effect and is all the better for it.

The action is beautifully done though. The intensity and excitement of the action drives us forward; it does not need a pumping soundtrack or loads of obvious CGI, the camera does some of the work and the viewers do the rest. Witness the car chase in New York – nothing we have not seen before in terms of location but delivered with a documentary style that makes it feel all the more exciting. Another high is the fist fight between Bourne and Desh – almost silent and hard to follow but it is the proximity of the action that does the job.

Within this style the cast mostly pitch their performances to be clipped and urgent. Damon does sterling work as the invincible action man even if the material leaves him a little exposed. There is only so many times that I can see him climbing out of impossible wrecks without losing touch with him as a character. It is disappointing that we did not get to see Damon have to work his acting muscles more though – the "revelation" that Bourne volunteered for all he had done is badly handled and just brushed over – nowhere near the impact that it should have had that our "hero" is a baddie himself, and not because of the programme. Stiles is so-so but fills the role. Strathairn, Glenn and Allen are all good in their various CIA roles – nothing surprising but they do it effectively. Considine and Finney are both good presences. It isn't really an actors' film but everyone does the basics well enough.

Overall then this is a very effective and enjoyable action movie that benefits from an urgency and intimacy that comes from Greengrass' direction and total delivery. Far from the model of perfection that some have claimed but easily one of the best films of the summer (although for 2007 that is not necessarily a great recommendation).
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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
crazyabaccus25 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand people. Why is it that this movie is getting an 8.3!!!!!!???? I had high hopes for this movie, but once i was about a half hour into it I just wanted to leave the theater. In the vast majority of the reviews on this site people are saying that this is one of the best action movies they've seen (or of the summer, year, etc.) They say it's an excellent conclusion. WTF!!!!!!!!!?????? What has been concluded (besides the fact that Bourne can ride motorcycles, shoot, and fight better than anyone else he comes across)? What do you learn about Bourne's character in this movie?????????Absolutely f****** nothing!!!!!!! Okay, there's a lot of action, but what's so great about the action in this movie?? I don't like the cinematography and film editing. The shaky camera effect and fast changing shots were used TOO much and they get old fast (I didn't mind them in Supremacy because it was still easy to follow and was not used in excess) and made me quite dizzy. I was quickly wishing I had saved my $$$ for something else.

This movie has no plot. All this movie is is a 115 minute chase seen. Bourne, who you learn absolutely nothing about in the entire 115 minutes of the movie, is a perfectionist at everything he attempts. There is absolutely no character development in this movie, you know nothing about anyone, and there is a wide array of new characters that are introduced in this installment. Some people said that this movie has incredible writing and suspense. ???????????!!!!!!!! What writing???? What suspense??? There's no suspense. Bourne is so perfect at doing everything he does, I don't think he has anything to worry about. If this is the best movie of the year 2007 I may just quit watching movies entirely!!!!

Many people have also said that Matt Damon's performance in this movie is one of the best (if not the best) of his career. What performance?? How many lines did he have in this movie??? I have some respect for Damon because he has been in movies that I liked and has played different kinds of characters, but a good actor is someone that you can barely recognize from one movie to the next, someone who chooses different types of roles. Not someone who plays the same roles over and over again (which Damon doesn't do, but an example of someone who does is Vin Diesel).

Anyways, this movie was a BIG disappointment to me. I do not recommend this movie but I do recommend the first two (Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy) and I most definitely recommend reading the three books (which are much different then the movies).
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Great movie, but needed a different director I'd say.
stinkslikesexinhere4 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I watched both Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy on DVD before seeing this in the theater. I'd been waiting for this since before they started filming. I wasn't disappointed.

Minor spoilers below-

Overall it was good, but it also lacked the continuity of the first two. Identity and Supremacy both flowed gracefully between adrenaline rush action to introspective drama. This movie felt choppy at times. The plot-building down-times were slightly too drawn out. That caused the following action to feel too frenetic.

Camera: Speaking of frenetic, the trademark Greengrass shaky cam was present and very annoying to me. I know its has been talked/whined about to nausea on the message board, but it doesn't mean it's not relevant. All the martial arts training the actors went through was totally wasted. The ridiculous camera cuts and wiggling camera ruined most of the fighting in the movie. It is a cheap, student director trick to make the film feel unsettled. I'd expect those techniques to be used in some horror flick made for high school kids, but not in this classy, adult, action series. Too much extreme close-up also. Do some framing. Get some interesting shots. Constant close-up feels like lazy directing to me.

Story: The story was VERY confusing at first. They thrust new names and faces upon you from the get go. Gave me the feeling that you get when you come into a movie late and know you've missed some crucial information. Felt rushed or compressed for time reasons. After you catch up however the story is quite good. It's enjoyable following leads along with Bourne. HOWEVER, I did NOT care for the whole last scene of Supremacy (Landy/Bourne on the phone) being in the middle of Ultimatum thing. It basically makes the movie a half-prequel. I thought that was awkward.

Cast/Characters: The star of the movie is the action. Obviously there are only two originals left. Bourne and Nicky Parsons. Them teaming up was kind of odd to me. I think they just wanted to give Bourne someone to protect to and confide in. Unless I completely missed something, they never even tell you why they teamed up. The other assassins in the movie were pretty quiet. This felt like Gilroy/Greengrass/whoever wanting to not leave open ends. Understandable but disappointing. Seriously, Damon with Clive Owen in Identity and Marton Csokas in Supremacy.. Those scenes were phenomenal. These assassins are as uninteresting as Castel (the first fella Bourne fights in Identity). The cast in general has degraded as the the series went on. Clive Owen was practically an afterthought. That's a measure of strength for that first cast. The second, they basically trade Chris Cooper for Joan Allen.... Not exactly equal. This one trades Brian Cox and Franka Potente for 3 actors to be named later. Nothing against David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, or Albert Finney, but they're not the first names that come to mind for this kind of series. Aside from a couple pauses that seemed to long, the acting was right on.

As a whole, it was successful. Felt like they wanted to get the series over with though. If they would have trimmed or rearranged the slower parts, eliminated Scott Glenn's part entirely, zoomed out, and taken the camera away from the seizure victim, it would have been perfect.


I don't see why they leave Bourne alive at the end. It was my understanding this was the conclusion. They clearly made reference to the very beginning of the series with his silhouette floating motionless. I thought that was going to be it. A full circle type of ending. I did like Nicky reacting to the news report though.


Bourne's last line at the end "Look at this.. Look at what they make you give." quoting the first assassin he killed, I loved that. The final scene was great. (Except that it was Vosen {Strathairn} that shot at Bourne. Why would he do that? Just out for vengeance? If he was angry enough to murder, why not shoot Pamela Landy after she faxes his top secret file? That didn't make sense.)
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The best of the series...
hjpog20 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Bourne series is definitely the coolest movie ever series I can say. Matt Damon is very quality player. And I can say that the case stuck on Bourne's character. Sample data we Sylvester Stallone - Rocky, Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter and Harrison Ford - Indiana Jones like. So there is a character that define them are good players. Matt Damon certainly played a lot of character in a wonderful way. But I think Matt Damon's Jason Bourne come to mind is mentioned. Although the movie you feel sad inside that action on it. Matt Damon's Bourne character and it gives you in a great way. Bourne character to the injustice and shows the loneliness of the characters is very nice. Cool the quality of each other every film, but this film deserves to be told that the end was the best of them slipped.
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