Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Bourne Ultimatum

I was very critical of the last Bourne entry after the directing chair was handed over to Paul Greengrass, but I had no idea was he had planned for Bourne 3. The movie starts off as Bourne (Matt Damon) continues to have partial flashbacks of how he when he was recruited. Bourne sets out on an attempt to reclaim his identity and runs right into the plans of the Deputy Director of the CIA played by David Strathairn. Obviously shit hits the fan as Strathairn tries to cover his ass and his project Operaton Blackbriar.

Blackbriar built on the Treadstone Project of which Bourne was a participant. Joan Allen is back Pamela Landy. Landy thinks that maybe Bourne isn't who she thought he was and tries to help him. Also back is perpetually wooden Julia Stiles (she lost some thigh weight)and their are hints to a possibly relationship between her character Nicky and Bourne. Thank God Bourne couldn't remember that - I don't need any flashbacks to sex scenes with Julia Stiles. Scott Glenn joins the cast as the head of the CIA and unfortunately doesn't get to do much.

The Bourne Ultimatum gives you about 45 minutes of setup that is nicely paced and well acted. The next hour gives you as solid as of an action film as you can get these days. Greengrass seems to have heeded my advice (impossible, but it inflates my ego) and goes all out here. The budget clearly shows for example on the sweeping motorcycle chase through Tangiers. Spectacular sound and editing show you why this film picked up three Oscars on Sunday. Greengrass still has that shaky cam, but does a much better job of pulling out and showing the bigger picture.

I was very impressed with this film overall. It isn't too often that you get a film in the sequel category that winds up as good or maybe even better than the orginal. Wisely casting David Strathairn helps too with the loss of the indispensible Chris Cooper of the first film. Greengrass goes out guns blazing here with an exciting film that neither lags or lacks. This film feels like how Crank should have been.


* Eventually I'll get through all the films I want to watch from 2007 and get the best list out there. This will no doubt be on it.

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