SPOILER ALERT even though you probably know what’s going to happen without seeing the movie.
I loved THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM even though I know I shouldn’t. The beauty of the picture is that it has a million flaws and I just didn’t care. I loved it anyway.
Usually an action hero struggles for the first three-quarters of the movie. He gets the shit beaten out of him. He fails in his quest. He’s humiliated. And in the very end he somehow miraculously draws upon some hidden reserve strength and saves the day.
Not Bourne. From the first frame of the film he is like Popeye after downing the can of spinach. Nothing or no one stands in his way. Ever.
I didn’t care.
Superhuman strength at times. Fine. Survives horrific car crashes without a scratch (Not just one but like eight). No problem. Leaps from a twenty story building on the Westside of Manhattan, lands in the East River (forget that he has to clear that little thing called the FDR Drive), and survives.
Sure. Works for me.
Director Paul Greengrass’ action sequences were so well done you actually felt you were in the middle of them. Actually it’s what I assume happens to all tourists in Tangier and Moscow and Turin so I had no trouble making the buy.
Bourne somehow has an unlimited amount of money. Doesn’t everybody? He can enter any restricted building or office without being detected. Natch. It’s only the CIA’s secret headquarters. It’s not like he’s trying to get onto the Paramount lot.
The best villains are the ones with style and dimension. Bad guy, David Strathairm sneers when he gets out of a car. He orders civilians killed. He invites Joan Allen to breakfast and doesn’t stand when she arrives. Still, I loved him. Joan Allen played the Laura Linney/Hope Davis interchangeable part of stick-up-her-ass CIA Director. That role has bored me in seventeen other movies but this time thumbs up.
Our government apparently has surveillance equipment everywhere. Fifteen cameras can follow anybody anywhere. Handguns have video cameras. (It's the new Canon Cannon) The Waterloo train station in London? More cameras than Fox used on the Superbowl. It seems we can monitor every cellphone in the world and do. Yet, we can’t find Osama bin Laden in over six years. Okay, it’s a stretch but I’m confident one day some nerd in Apopka, Florida will discover him on Google Maps.
In the first two BOURNE films Julia Stiles had maybe six lines total. This time she was on screen for a good twenty minutes and still had maybe six lines. Every time Bourne asked her a question she just answered with a reaction. Their scenes together felt like Penn & Teller. Still, I dug her.
Matt Damon is immensely charming and believable. Jack Bauer without the angst, James Bond without the ego, John McClane without the AARP card. For me he effectively carried the movie, leaping over the logic holes as deftly as he did the rooftops in Tangier. And when I’m having fun I don’t mind as much that he can speak 195 languages and know everyone's phone number.
Critics are calling THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM an adult thriller, an intelligent action movie. What it really is is THE AMAZING RACE with guns. I highly recommend it… although in five years I’m liable to watch it again and think “what a piece of shit.”