Few flicks are as engaging and smartly concocted as the Bourne movies and in the latest installment of this successful franchise which has earned more than $500 million at the global box office, all the cooks are back to whip up another delightful concoction as it leaps from one location to another in a jarring race across the globe.
In 2002’s “The Bourne Identity”, Bourne tried to discover who he was and in 2004’s “The Bourne Supremacy” he exacted revenge for what was done to him and now he’s coming home in “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Many of the major hands who created the first film have returned. British director Paul Greengrass who has since helmed “United 93” is back as director, Julia Stiles returns as the conflicted agent Nicky Parsons who is now stationed in Madrid and Joan Allen is also back as Pamela Landy, the CIA internal investigator who developed sympathy for Bourne in the second film. New players include David Strathairn and Paddy Considine as British report Simon Ross, the man who sets the film’s story in motion when he receives leaks from a CIA bureau chief about agent Bourne and the CIA’s clandestine activities and the name Blackbriar. Once Bourne reads his name in the pages of Ross’s paper he attempts to get to Ross before anyone else can and this kick starts another exhilarating and suspenseful rollercoaster adventure which never stops.
Since discovered floating in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy several years ago with two bullets in his back, Jason Bourne has been on a desperate quest to learn and discover who taught him how to kill. A jet setter with an agenda, his mission rakes up several air miles taking him from Moscow to Madrid, Paris to London and Tangier and back to New York City, the U.S. base for Blackbriar where it all began whilst trying to outsmart and outmaneuver federal agents and local police. The suspense is spectacular, the action choreography, chase sequences and intricate plot twists enthralling. Greengrass retains his signature style of lighting quick edits using split-second leaps and flashes. No CGI is ever needed nor desired. With spy satellites, surveillance cameras, listening devices and database searches this movie is a fast-paced and skillful action flick. Train stations and hotels make several appearances through this movie but it’s Waterloo Station in London that receives a starring role as Bourne desperately attempts to direct the panic stricken journalist to safety. In one spectacular sequence shot in the working-class city of Tangier, Morocco, Bourne dives 15 feet from a rooftop four stories above a narrow street in a chase across a shopping square before finally engaging in a breathtaking fight with a CIA assassin. Damon who shot the first movie 7 years ago claims he definitely felt his age whilst performing some of the required stunts. “When I did the first movie I was 29 and the last movie I was 36 so I definitely felt my age plus the guy I was fighting was 23 years old and was really in good shape,” says Damon.
This is a breathtaking espionage thriller with a likeable hero and a story structure that rewards fans who have followed the series. It skillfully delivers a series of fights, is riddled with twists and surprises and is an ultimate thrill ride in which every curve and corner is coolly calculated.