The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) -

The Conspirators

Jason Bourne: Matt Damon
Nicky Parsons: Julia Stiles
Noah Vosen: David Strathairn
Ezra Kramer: Scott Glenn
Dr. Hirsch: Albert Finney
Pamela Landy: Joan Allen

The Mastermind

Directed By: Paul Greengrass
Written By: Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and
George Nolfi. Based on the novels by Robert Ludlum

Running Time: 111 Minutes.
Rated PG-13 (for violence and intense sequences of action).

See the movie trailer


"You really don't remember – do you?"
- Said by several characters to Jason Bourne.

If I had a nickel for every time somebody said that to Jason Bourne, I might have made enough to cover the cost of admission. Rating: 3 UFOs

By Matt De Reno Staff Writer

The Bourne Ultimatum is one full-size, lengthy action film framed and crammed into the context of a good old-fashioned U.S. Government cover-up involving a secret program to assassinate anybody and everybody and even, get this, "American citizens."

That's it – you better run because here comes Jason Bourne!

If he catches you, he won't kill you, but the corrupt government hit men who are after him might. I won't call his hordes of pursuers inept, because they fight tough as hell. Jason Bourne (Damon) is just tougher.

The chase (er, the plot) pits Jason Bourne against all the rogue elements of the CIA that want to kill him.

Not to get off the subject, but right now in today's political correctness era, rogue elements within the U.S. Government have taken first place prize in the category of "Bad Guys That Can Make Us All Happy."

After all, no matter whom you are or where you come from and what ethnicity matters to you, no one is offended by rogue elements of the CIA are they?

Think about it.

You can't have Middle Eastern terrorists in the movies any more. If so, we will surely be told it is propaganda. You can't really use the Ex-soviet madman anymore, because that has been done to death. Even in gladiator films you have to be careful.

The Iranians said the movie "300," where the Spartans kicked some major tail on the Persians, was nothing but a Western propaganda film (If it was, it was a good one and I am glad they made it. In fact, it would be nice if they made a sequel).

So what villains can the whole world hate right now? Without a doubt, it's got to be the CIA.

The CIA is universally despised at worst; polarizing at best. Heck, even President Bush hates the CIA. Everybody and their grandmother can blame something on the CIA, right?

But, low and behold, you can't discount the patriots that love this nation either. So, a rogue element inside the CIA gives everybody something on which to funnel their anger on, quite cleverly if you ask me. You see, you get to put the blame where you like.

If you don't like the CIA and think America is the Big Satan, you have your bad guy. If you like the CIA and don't think we are the Big Satan, then you can pin it on the rogue elements inside the CIA. No matter what, you can't lose with the CIA as a bad guy!

Where does Jason Bourne put the CIA?

He puts it squarely on the creators of a secretive CIA program called "Black Briar," which gives the CIA license to shoot anybody without asking any questions, for whatever reasons. It is this program which stirs up vague recollections of how he became exactly who he was today – a coldly efficient assassin. Scary? Indeed. Real? It doesn't really matter.

The chase is what is the most fun.

The Bourne Ultimatum is the third in the series, as you probably know by now. How does this rank up there with the others? I think they are all of pretty high quality, but Ultimatum seems to be a little more polished then the rest; it packs a bit more "umph" than the others.

In nearly every area where it counts, Ultimatum is done exceedingly well, to the point that you don't even mind that the plot at its greatest level is incredibly simple: Jason Bourne wants to find who made him the way he is. The CIA wants to kill him rather than bring him in. We have 111 minutes to find out how it will transpire.

Now, mind you. From this premise you do have some very interesting subplots: Pamela Landy (Allen) was in a tight spot. She suspected that Bourne wanted to come in from the cold, but alas, CIA boss Noah Vosen (Strathairn) wanted him dead, since Bourne would probably bring the "Black Briar" program and all its dirt to the light.

Eventually Bourne does just that, but I won't give away the details. Just know it involves a lot of good chase scenes and some intense hand-to-hand combat. If you like that sort of thing (and who doesn't?) then this is the film for you. If you want something a little more cerebral you might not come away so impressed.

Where I think the whole Bourne series gets it right is that it is a James Bond updated for modern times. It is cold. It is fast. It is more violent and hard hitting. It packs a punch for a day and age where a strong punch is needed. After all, we don't have imaginary villains like Dr. Evil trying to control the world, we have real terrorists to deal with and they are cold and violent. Our heroes need to be the same but better: Bourne is better.

Nearly everyone is well cast in this film. Matt Damon has made the 'Jason Bourne' character a supreme part of his ultimate identity. There, I squeezed in the root words of all three of these Robert Ludlum books turned films with just that last sentence. Did I do it on purpose to convey a secret code? Or, was it just nothing?

If you want to know, you will have to catch me!

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