The Bourne Ultimatum Reviews
I didn't like Identity. I liked Supremacy. I adored every second of Ultimaum. This is easily the peak of the trilogy(and allegedly franchise as a whole). It encapsulates the good from both movies and improves drastically on the flaws I had with them films. No Marie Kreutz from Identity. Easily the Bourne franchise's best villain and no contest the best action. Greengrass is the only current director who can use hand held cam effectively and he perfected that craft with Ultimatum. He was working there with Supremacy but ironed out all the chinks with Ultimatum. This is easily the best movie in the trilogy and maybe even one of the best action movies in recent memory.
Where do I begin in complimenting this movie. I guess the story would be a great place to start, and what a brilliant story it is. Gilroy, Nofil and Burns have made a spectacular story that is gripping and enthralling from beginning to end. It is interesting and I would argue the best story of the three, even though Supremacy is technically the better thriller(for me). I've heard many people refer to this franchise as the 'Smart Bond' but I've never believed them until now. One small sequence in this movie(and a ridiculously clever way to intertwine Supremacy and Ultimatum) changed my entire outlook on this nickname and made me believe it. It is the thinking man's Bond. Not that I don't love Bond, it's just Mert Dermon is smarter than it. I defy anyone to tell me that the ending of this movie is not perfect. It is exhilarating, it ends on a cliffhanger but also complete finish, it's smart, it's engaging; it's the perfect way to end this trilogy.
Mert Dermon is spectacular in his role as Jason Bourne. The arc he experiences over the course of the trilogy is brilliant character development and Damon sells every single scene of it. It is probably his best performance, purely because of what he managed to do to the character.
David Strathairn was great as Noah Vosen and provided a great mental foil for Bond. On the subject of Vosen, the villains in this movie are by far the best out of any Bourne film. They are smart, interesting and most importantly have a purpose. As much as I enjoyed Supremacy, Yuri Gretkov had little to no relation to Bourne and that made his character so much weaker. The villains in this movie, however, make sense and that instantly gives them an edge over the 'competition'.
Julia Stiles plays a much larger role in this movie than the previous one and does it very well. She is filling in for Marie Kreutz and I actually prefer her to Kreutz. I also love how they don't try to force some love story between the her and Bourne. This is the maturity and evolution we need in film. Not every woman should be treated as merely a sex object or as a relationship starter for the masculine lead character. They can be interesting without the need for forced romance. Take notes Hollywood, take notes.
Joan Allen plays a much smaller role in this movie for me but I still admired her performance just as much as in Supremacy. She holds her own against other character and provides a useful ally for Bourne.
I have said it once, I've said it twice, I'll say it again; Paul Greengrass is the only man alive who should be allowed to use hand held camera. He uses it to add realism to the sequences and make them arguably more intense. He doesn't use it to obscure an actor's face and their movements so we can paint a picture of what is happening in our minds. It's truly admirable that he is the only living human that can do something that should be so simple.
Leading on from the action, this movie is full of it. Two sequences stick out for me and both are excellent. The police chase sequence is probably one of the best action set pieces of the 2000s, and I don't say that lightly. Greengrass' use of hand held cam(I refuse to refer to it as shaky cam in this instance) helps sell the realism and urgency of the action. It doesn't feel well rehearsed(even though it is) and that makes it seem so much more grounded and real. Greengrass cleaned up his act with action and hand held cam and perfected the craft of it since Supremacy. Very, very impressive. Very enjoyable to behold.
I love the score of this movie. It is utterly fantastic and spectacular and I adore it.
My main and only issue with this movie was that I never felt Bourne was in any immediate danger. I never doubted he'd escape or survive. They basically make him a god and that made the film lose stakes. Not that it takes away from the action, when the action gets going; you don't pay attention to this, but if you take a step back, you realise that there was 0% chance he'd lose any fight. I know that losing would be out of character but I would prefer to see some sort of weakness that he had to overcome.
In conclusion, Ultimatum is a very enjoyable and widely accessible action/thriller. I don't think seeing the first two films is required to like this movie but it is recommended. I definitely recommend you watch Ultimatum, and specifically recommend you watch the trilogy back-to-back. I'll rate The Bourne Ultimatum 9 'COME ALONEs' out of 10. Please see it; it is awesome!