Purveyor of Tall Tales.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Bourne Ultimatum 3
After yesterday’s Ikea debacle I felt in need of some relaxation so G and I went to see the third installment of the Bourne films. I’m a huge fan of the films and it is one of the rare instances where I actually think the films surpass the books, by a long way at that.

I remember winning a copy of the 2nd book in the trilogy and being so disappointed at the quality of both the prose as well as the tragically dated plot. I went back to read the first book, same thing. I didn’t bother with the third: the books left me cold.

For a bibliophile like me that’s heresy.

The Bourne Ultimatum is Matt Damon‘s third outing as the troubled Jason Bourne and director Paul Greengrass‘s second time behind the helm. I have to admit I wasn’t sure where they would go with film after killing off Franke Potente’s character in The Bourne Supremacy. Potente provided a lot of the heart in the first film and her death in the second film gave good impact to the second act but left the third a little cold for me.

I needn’t have worried. Greengrass delivers a slick, taught, thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and has some of the most gorgeously crafted action sequences committed to film in recent years. As with the other films the violence is seen to have consequences, there is no glib shrugging off of fights here, no pithy one liners following killings. The message is clear: Violence is pain, killing is hard, visceral and tragic.

Matt Damon delivers a convincing performance even managing to hold his own with Albert Finney although had that scene been allowed to continue any longer I feel the difference in calibre would have become more apparent. Fortunately Greengrass shows his skill in resuming the action at just the right moment.

It is an intelligent, well crafted film that asks questions about the current climate without pulling punches on the action. Big up to a cast that really delivers: Matt Damon, Albert Finney, Julia Stiles and David Strathairn.

The real success however is Paul Greengrass. One to watch I feel.

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