by: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon,
Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Julia Stiles, Scott
Glenn, Albert Finney
Released by: Universal
Short: The Bourne Ultimatum is
pure popcorn: muscular, nonstop and easily
the best action film of the summer.
vs. Spy vs. Spy
Things I learned while watching The Bourne Ultimatum:
If a guy’s really, really tough and drives
like a New York cabbie, he can run away on foot after
multiple, split-second car crashes.
2. There are scheming backstabbers in the CIA.
Whatever you think of London’s video surveillance
system, the way it works is pretty darn cool.
4. The best hit men have great stubble. The best of
the best are also Moroccan.
5. Jason Bourne cannot be stopped.
The Bourne Ultimatum is
pure popcorn in the best possible sense: magnificent car
crashes, heart-stopping fight scenes, ingenious plot twists,
the alluring locales of Europe, North Africa and New York
City, and a throbbing soundtrack. It’s director Paul Greengrass’ second Bourne movie
and the third in the series based on Robert Ludlum novels.
Here, Greengrass shows off the talent that earned him so
much acclaim for United 93.
In this installment, Jason Bourne (Matt
Damon) is plagued by streaky flashbacks of being tortured,
including simulated drowning. Meanwhile, in real life
he’s being chased by assassins working for same
CIA that trained him, controlled by Noah Vosen (David
Strathairn), all part of a secret operation code-named
Blackbriar. The pursuit goes into hyper-drive when Pam
Landy (Joan Allen) appears on the scene as a no-nonsense
Wood’s cinematography rivets with steely
grays, jump cuts and hand-held close-ups, and Christopher
Rouse’s editing is so taut that you may miss a
plot point if you avert your eyes, even for a second.
The action scenes—particularly the chase in London’s
Waterloo station and hand-to-hand combat with a Moroccan
hit man—deserve to be studied by film students
of the series will be intrigued by the intricacies of the
plot and the story of how Bourne became Bourne, and unlike
so many other action films these days, the movie’s
effects actually enhance the story. But even on effects
alone, this is one thrilling ride.