#402/#119 The Bourne Ultimatum
When a British reporter starts sniffing around for information on ‘Operation Blackbrair’ and Jason Bourne, this attracts the attention of both Bourne (Matt Damon) and the American group attempting to capture him. Things quickly escalate, leading Bourne back to the USA and possibly to the information on how he became Jason Bourne in the first place.
For me this is the weakest of all the Bourne films. It’s got all of the failings of Supremacy with none of the benefits. The actors are still giving it their all but the story just isn’t there this time. It gets really convoluted and self-referential very quickly and just isn’t as fun to follow along with as either of the previous films. The problems with the shaky-cam are still ever present but it’s not as nausea inducing as its predecessor or as big of a detractor.
My main dislike of the film however, is the entire middle section in Tangier. It goes on forever and it’s really boring. It doesn’t matter how much shoehorned in back story you give to Nicky (Julia Stiles) to try and characterise her, she’s just not that interesting and watching her being chased for 20 minutes has no emotional impact. I may not like the last 30 minutes of Supremacy because of the camerawork, but I can see that it could be an exciting climax for those that can get past it. The Tangier section however, is just padding and pointlessly elongated action filler to round out the run time.
I will give the films its due however by saying that the beginning of the film and whole Waterloo section with the Guardian reporter is really interesting to watch. It’s everything you want from a Bourne film: interesting environmental interaction, fast-paced and interesting fight scenes, spy-trickery, deception and cool set pieces. If the entire film had been like this it would have been a treat to watch. The film is also good for bringing some closure to Bourne’s character. The way it ends makes it feel like maybe Bourne could now move onto a different chapter in his life and that’s the way a good conclusion should feel.
I don’t hate this film, but there’s nothing in it that wasn’t handled better in either of its predecessors and it’s not one I would ever watch independanly of the series. 2/5