THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM


bourne_ultimatum_ver42007

DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass

May Contain Spoilers!

Paul Greengrass seems to be really down to earth director. English and very much so, this is the man who by this point had already ensured the legendary success of The Bourne Trilogy after taking over from Doug Liman for the second film and made one of my favourite, for want of a better word, films, United 93 (2006).

The problem with the Bourne films for me is that they are a double-edged sword and bit of a contradiction. On one hand we have a very real, or seemingly so, set of spy films which have not only given Bond a run for his money since 2001, but have forced his reinvention, successfully so with Casino Royale (2006).

But the problem is that besides some of the finest action scenes that I have ever seen, with a real sense of urgency, pace and the constant improvisation from Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), there isn’t much else in terms of story. The overriding plot is our hero discovering his true self after beginning the series floating in the sea with amnesia only to discover that he is a super-assassin for a shadowy C.I.A. project. The plots are driven simply by his pursuit and his broad investigation to find the truth.

Not bad but I feel that once the action is pushed aside there’s not much left. Damon is brilliant as Bourne and the rest of the quality cast are also, and the cinematography, music by John Powell and Greengrass’ kinetic direction are all components which make Bourne something special but after a while, without the strength of a more complex narrative, there isn’t enough to completely blow me away.

Greengrass is a first-rate director and his two Bourne films are expertly made, but without a stronger narrative, I can only enjoy the action which is second to none, but action isn’t enough for me.


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