The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

“Someone started all this, and I’m going to find them.”

Mike’s Rating: I am not currently at liberty to divulge this rating as it might compromise our agents in the field.

Mike’s Review: There’s a lot to like, and a bit to dislike, in this latest Bourne sequel. Matt Damon has really grown into the role, and it’s cool to watch an actor with some actual depth develop an action-based hero. The ongoing story of all three movies, when viewed as a whole, is surprisingly cohesive considering how far they strayed from the source material. Also surprising is how the movie veers further into poignant territory than any action movie has business doing. The plot may have been dumbed down a little bit and some moments were just carbon-copied from the last movie, but there are also some seriously cool twists, particularly if you’ve seen the previous films. The action is only middle of the road, which is still better than the action in say… a Jane Austen novel.

However, none of this matters, because Jason Bourne is the coolest spy in the universe.

This third part in the Bourne franchise finds J.B. outsmarting everyone in the world, as he re-traces his steps and follows what’s left of his memory to get to where it all started for him: the beginning of Treadstone, the shady black ops nasties he used to work for. The end result is spooks galore as Bourne is hunted by assassins, good C.I.A. agents, bad C.I.A. agents, and the guy from Big Fish. As easy as the plot is to swallow and as good as the performances are, the real fun here is watching Bourne just being slick, driving, fighting, shooting, or just playing cell phone mind games in order to evade capture. Let’s be honest here — do we really care about finding out what “Blackbriar” is as much as we care about when Bourne is going to get to brutally pwn the hitmen out to ice him? Yeah that’s what I thought.

Not that the plot is completely barren. The ongoing antagonistic/symbiotic relationship between Bourne and Landy is nicely handled, and I like that when Nikki was brought in, the writer didn’t succumb to the temptation to make her another love interest. Joan Allen does a really great job of portraying Landy, the only honest agent in a den of vipers.

So, it’s not exactly spectacular, but it does its job. For the full effect I’d recommend watching all three movies back to back and see for yourself just how well they tie together. If you’re a fan of the Bourne movies, you’ll enjoy this, and if you’re not, you’ll still have plenty splodey stuff and car crashes and guns shooting. What more do you need?

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