A fitting conclusion to the Bourne series.
The Bourne series began in 2002 with director Doug Liman's The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. Critical and commercial success demanded a continuation of the Bourne saga and director Paul Greengrass took over the series for 2004's The Bourne Supremacy. Again, success allowed a third entry into the series for 2007, The Bourne Ultimatum, which fittingly and lovingly concludes novelist Robert Ludlum's popular Bourne series on celluloid. Paul Greengrass returns to director the final chapter.
Since most reading this have already seen the prior Bourne films, I'll spare you the plot summary. For those who haven't, you'll probably want to rent Identity and Supremacy before viewing Ultimatum anyway as you'll probably find yourself a little lost otherwise. Bourne is back, still searching for his identity and still being pursued.
Damon returns as Bourne. Also returning are Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons and Joan Allen as Pamela Landy. Joining the series for the first time are David Strathairn as Noah Vosen, Albert Finney as Dr. Albert Hirsch and Paddy Considine as Simon Ross.
To be perfectly honest, I've enjoyed all three Bourne movies. I can't necessarily pick a favorite as they are all well made, well-acted and well, in general, very good action films. Bourne Ultimatum delivers on all promises, with thrilling action, political intrigue and just the right dose of surprise and comic relief.
The action is again excellent, possibly even topping the other two films in some respects. While the first film still probably contains the best car chase, Ultimatum probably has the chase with the most wrecks. It also probably has the most inventive action, including such bits as a motorcycle jumping a wall, a car going backwards off a parking garage roof and a book being used with deadly force.
Ultimatum won't change your life or go down in history as one of the greatest action movies, but it's a solid entry into the genre that should please fans of the series and books as well as movie fans in general.
Damon is great, just as he was in the first two. If anything, a maturity from the first to the third is evident and he may now be a little more believable kicking the crap out of anyone who stands in his way.
Allen and Stiles have beefed up roles from the previous movies and both deliver excellent performances. Strathairn, who is finally getting his shot at more mainstream cinema after his lauded performance in Good Night and Good Luck, is very good as Vosen, a jaded villain whose morals are constantly called into question. Finney's role is brief but important to the plot, a great casting decision to sell the magnitude of his sequence.
The Bourne Ultimatum is great summer escapist fare. It's a popcorn thriller that keeps audiences riveted from start to finish. The action starts almost from the opening frame, with a rare breath of air in its lean 111 minutes for audiences to hit the restrooms without missing a good part. Bourne is also smart, keeping audiences on their toes with constant twists and turns as opposed to the usual mindless blood and guts summer audiences have gotten so used to. Ultimatum delivers the goods in fine fashion, an easy recommend and worth checking out at your local megaplex.