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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) PR-13 112min

August 5th, 2007 by Maxim · 4 Comments · 7,967 Views


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We tried to get into the theater for an 8PM show, but it was sold out so we had a dinner and went for a 10PM show, which already was forming a line outside the theater. After waiting anxiously through almost half an hour of commercials and previews, the movie began.

The plot: In this third part of his quest to recover his memories and find the people responsible for Marie’s (Franka Potente) death, Bourne (Matt Daemon) takes us again for a quick-paced thrill on locations such as Moscow, Madrid, London, D.C., New York and Tangiers. And this time he has to outrun and outsmart the best-trained assassins and agents yet.

Bourne first tries to get in touch with a British journalist, Simon Ross (Paddy Considine), who has been following his story. Simon had just received some top-secret information from one of the CIA agents. CIA discovered the information leak and one of the CIA’s top officials, Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), decided to eliminate both the journalist and Bourne, who he knows will try to get to Ross for this valuable information. An “asset” is dispatched to kill them at London’s Waterloo station.

Why kill them? After failure of the “Treadstone” project (through which Jason Bourne was trained), Noah Vosen is determined to protect its secrets and start a new project, “Blackpriar” (briefly mentioned in the first movie), a derivative of “Treadstone”. He assigns agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to hunt down Bourne and eliminate the leak, while simultaneously setting her up as a fall-guy. Landy is not happy with what she has to do, especially that civilians are being killed to protect the secrets. And Bourne brilliantly exploits that conflict of interest within CIA. Will he be able to get to the informant before assassins do? Will he get to the bottom of this? Who’s behind the secrets, the training, the killings? Bourne remembers more and more. One of the flashbacks almost gets him caught.

Matt Damon in Universal Pictures' The Bourne UltimatumThe good:
- pretty good action flick, though I liked “The Bourne Identity” better with Franka Potente in it.
- the fast-paced story (extra camera shake, rapid camera focus changes and very quick zoom-ins and outs – it’s so fast it’s almost like watching everything through somebody else’s eyes) is full of suspense.
- good acting.
- interesting authentic locations.
- well-choreographed and unexpected stunts (though some of the best stunts were in the teaser trailers, and also same of the stunts were just on the edge of being as unbelievable as in “Live Free or Die Hard”).
- the fact that two guys on mopeds can create more suspense then multi-million dollar “Transformers” or Spartans is mind-blowing.
- you don’t have to see the previous installments to enjoy this movie as everyone important died in the first two. I’d recommend to watch them though.
- can you find some parallels with current administration?
- This summer has been good for movies, especially “three-quels”!

The bad:
- if you are going to watch it in the theater, try to get a seat as far away from the screen as possible. They shake the camera all the time, which makes the movie very hard to watch. We were sitting in the middle and not only it was an effort to watch it, but quite a few times we had to guess what had happened on the screen by audible cues. They shake camera even for close-ups. It ruined most of the hand-to-hand combat scenes for me.
- all CIA’s agents-snipers, which are also called “assets”, wear standard-issue blue jeans and carry standard-issue duffel-bags
- does CIA really have “assets” in every city of the world on stand by, who, when the phone rings, take their duffel-bags and go “MUST KILL FRANK DREBLIN!”? (if you didn’t get the joke yet, I am quoting from “The Naked Gun”).
- too many close-ups of Matt Daemon
- how did Bourne manage to get the documents from the safe of top official in the high security CIA building?
- in the Moscow episode, which was probably show during filming of “The Bourne Supremacy”, Jason Bourne has a standoff with two cops and says three short sentences. Neither of us could understand a word he said. Thankfully there were subtitles. One would think that if they film on location, could have tried to practice 3 sentences for authenticity sake.

Though I wrote as many words about the bad stuff as about the good, I’d like to downplay the deficiencies because overall I liked this movie a lot, and so did Elena.

** 80th Academy Awards Update (Feb 24, 2008) **

The Bourne Ultimatum has scored several Oscars tonight in technical categories:

  1. Christopher Rouse - Best Achivement In Editing
  2. Scott Millan, David Parker, Kirk Francis – Best Achievement In Sound
  3. Karen M. Baker, Per Hallberg - Best Achievement In Sound Editing

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Rated 5/5 on Aug 5 2007
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Tags: Action · Drama · Movies · Thrillers/Suspense

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eugene // Aug 13, 2007 at 3:24 pm

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    Interesting article about product placement in this movie –

  • 2 Tom // Aug 13, 2007 at 9:55 pm

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    I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one that didn’t understand what Bourne said in Russian.

  • 3 Adam // Aug 14, 2007 at 7:56 pm

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    Agreed. I haven’t lived in Russia for a few years, but I know I would’ve been able to understand what he said if said correctly. His Russian was much better in The Bourne Supremacy.

    On two other issues raised:
    (1) He was able to get the documents from the safe because, as the Noah Vosen demonstrated, those CIA people in deep cover are deeply arrogant and cocky. The idea that Bourne was even in that office must’ve seemed impossible to the people in there. Further, Bourne *did* record Vosen’s voice-print and lifted a fingerprint. Maybe not completely realistic, but it’s a summer blockbuster.
    (2) The assets are not in every city in the world, just certain major cities that are apparently located conveniently near many other small, regional cities. The assets were not just on standby; they were brought in to the city that was the next step on Bourne’s journey. That’s why they were all in hotel rooms when they received the kill orders.

    I saw the movie for the second time today, and was able to really focus on some of the questions the blogger raised in his post, as I had some of the same. I hope this helps, as this movie, while pushing the boundaries of believability, is far less preposterous than my other summer favorite, Live Free or Die Hard.

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