CAPSULE: Jason Bourne is hot on the trail of the people who know why he was made a deadly assassin. There are a few cracks in the wall of his amnesia and he is starting to see the picture beyond. The last of Bourne trilogy of films should have been the most satisfying of the three with the loose ends tied up and the CIA closing in. Will it be BOURNE DEAD or BOURNE FREE? But this film is less interested in good plot than it is in having long, drawn-out action chases of which there are entirely too many. Bourne's powers of reasoning and prediction are a little too magical to make for good dramatic tension. By not having a satisfying closure on the series, the entire trilogy suffers. Rating: high 0 (-4 to +4) or 5/10
Played by Matt Damon, who no longer looks too young for the role, Jason Bourne is back. He is again trying to piece together who he is and what his background has to do with the CIA whom he now knows to be his real enemies. English reporter Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) seems to have found out what the whole carnival is about. Ross has found from other sources what was the operation that Bourne was involved with and why the killer that Bourne is was created. This is information the CIA desperately wants to suppress and which Bourne is even more desperate to get. CIA high operative Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) will kill to keep Ross's information from becoming public. Vosen wants to kill Ross and, of course, Bourne. The running assassin picks up a sidekick in Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). And sympathetic opponent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) returns from THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.
It is not very hard to write a Jason Bourne chase. Bourne just starts things rolling by doing something provocative. The CIA people run around doing all the logical things to try to catch him. But wherever one of these guys goes, there is Bourne to bash him on the head or knock him down. This is because Bourne is such a brilliant and formidable enemy he knows exactly what his enemies will be doing and even what path they will be walking. Bourne just cannot lose a fight. He is too well trained for that. With a few clues he can jump to all the right conclusions. If you tell him something in code he immediately knows the code and understands you. In the course of this film Bourne is hit by a nearby bomb explosion, in a car crash, and has a multitude of other mishaps which should at the very least put him in a hospital. You or I would be headed for the Emergency Room. James Bond would just pick himself up and dust himself off. Bourne is a little more realistic than Bond, but not much. Bourne is so well trained that he can just limp off. Five minutes later he has lost his limp and ten minutes later he is jumping between buildings. But that is just how a Bourne action chase goes. And THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM is just one extended action chase after another. Bourne only stops to flit between countries. You or I would have problems with security, but did I tell you Bourne was well trained?
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM is notable for tying up the Bourne trilogy. The missing threads are tied up in exactly the knot that everyone was expecting. Except for his amnesia, Bourne's origin is not a whole lot differerent from that of the hero of another series of action books (which shall remain nameless here).
Then there is the issue of title. THE BOURNE IDENTITY really was about the Bourne Identity. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY's title may just refer to the fact that Bourne is very good at what he does, so he does maintain a sort of supremacy. There is no ultimatum and no evidence in the film where the title comes from. Perhaps the book THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM was about an ultimatum that did not make it to the film script.
Where is this a good script? Well, when we are allowed to see Bourne's reasoning and his machinations, some of them are actually very clever. Sadly, we too rarely let into Bourne's confidence. We just see what he has done and it looks like his reasoning was probably brilliant or perhaps occult. But there is entirely too much jumping between buildings and smashing cars together and all the other cliched scenes of action films. The final Bourne film suffers from an excess of action and a shortage of plot. I rate it a highly dissatisfied high 0 on the -4 to +4 scale or 5/10.
Film Credits: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0440963/
Mark R. Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2007 Mark R. Leeper