Thursday, January 10, 2008

Me Mini Movie Reviews: The Bourne Ultimatum

Finally got to watch the Bourne Ultimatum tonight, and was surprised how good it was. I expected Matt Damon to be great as Bourne, but the plot held up pretty good and Bourne's quiet moments played well against all the action. And there was plenty of action.

In this 3rd installment, Bourne is out to end what the government started, get the truth, and avenge Marie. He becomes an unstoppable force to be reckoned with as he continually drives on in his search for the truth. He globe trots a bit too, and the different locations add to the atmosphere of it all.

What surprised me was that this one was actually watchable. I loved the Bourne Identity, but then they switched directors to Paul Greengrass and the nauseating shaky cam / quick cut editing that he used for the Bourne Supremacy made what should have been a great movie nearly seizure inducing. He still likes the close up shaky cam in Ultimatum, but he's learned something along the way and he toned it down. For the most part, you can actually tell where Bourne is this time in the shot and what he's doing. There are even zoomed out wide shots to give you perspective on the goings on. I still would have preferred the directing style of Doug Liman from the first one, but this third one is bearable and still a great ride.

The pacing is excellent too – it grabs your attention from the start and keeps it right to the end. The tension in the cat and mouse game Bourne has to play just keeps ratcheting up. The sequence at the Waterloo train station and the roof top chase particularly stand out. There's a fight sequence with an imaginative use of a book that is really great – and would have been better without the shaky cam. It's a fight in tight quarters though, so you really get a sense of urgency. There's a car chase too that would have stood up to some great ones on film, but again the quick cuts took away from the action. Overall though, the major sequences in the film were really well done and shot much better than Supremacy.

In the end, I really enjoyed it, and will watch it again. It's a step up from the terrible camera work of the second one, and stands on it's own as a great action/spy thriller. The only downside is that this trilogy of movies should have gone down as a hallmark of well thought out action / spy thrillers. Unfortunately, the camera work of the second and third brings it down, but Ultimatum is still worth the watch.

Verdict: Recommended.

Comments on "Me Mini Movie Reviews: The Bourne Ultimatum"


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (January 12, 2008 12:52 PM) : 

Yeah, I know a lot of people hate the camera work of 2 and 3, but I enjoyed it. I like the immediacy it implies. I've watched each installment in the cinema, and my complaint about the second film is the sound. It was so horrendously loud during the climactic car chase that it was actually painful. I was concerned when I purchased the DVD that it might be the same, but the volume was definitely tempered on the DVD, thank God.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (January 13, 2008 3:16 AM) : 

hey, thanks for dropping by and commenting! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it after the way the 2nd one went. It certainly had immediacy as I was glued to the screen for the duration of the movie. It's one I'll watch again.


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