The Bourne Ultimatum


Jason Bourne is back in the years most action packed, high-octane, pulse quickening, genre defining, nerve-shredding, hyperbole-producing film of the summer…!

The critics have been falling over themselves to to hurl platitudes at the latest, and possibly final, instalment in the Matt Damon spy franchise – and the most recent of threequels to grace our screens in recent months. It’s not hard to see why they’ve been so nice to the movie, it’s certainly the best of a very bad bunch of high-profile summer releases and it treats it’s audience with respect and provides a satisfying conclusion as opposed to the usual openendedness bollocks you get these days. It’s also pretty bad in places, has a wafer-thin plot and has lost much of the freshness that makes the other two Bourne films so enjoyable.

Paddy Considine is a journalist writing a searing expose of undercover operations by the USA for the Guardian. We know he’s a good journalist because he says things like “he was telling the truth – he was scared” and circles conveniently abstract pieces of plot like ‘it all started with Jason Bourne’ in his notebook. The fact that he works for the Guardian made me laugh – I don’t quite know why but I suspect that it has something to with a newspaper that gladly publishes the work of Steve Bell and Jon Ronson being heroic conspiracy exposers…

Anyway, he meets Bourne and so begins another adventure of globe-trotting. A lot of globe-trotting in fact – so much globe-trotting that after a while you begin to wonder how seemingly the most wanted man in the world is able to travel to distant, ‘axis of evil’ countries and never once get caught up in a security system that ensnares thousands of innocent travellers everyday. I guess he’s that good a spy because we never see him once being fingerprinted when entering the US or being denied a Visa for having parents who once smoked pot.

So he moves like a ninja across the world, arriving at exactly the right time to advance his story a little and everyone he meets dies, but not before they can leave behind a fragment of burnt paper or a photograph to help him move to the next level.

It’s all a little silly. The earnestness of the film at times gives way to reveal the inherent implausibility of the story… That’s not to say though that the whole thing isn’t great fun, because it is. Paul Greengrass shoots the whole movie with such sincerity that for much of it you are swept away. The action scenes are extremely creative – both in their choreography and execution – and while the gullibility of his pursuers seems to have no end, they make very entertaining adversaries.

It’s also nice to see an action film where the bodycount isn’t glorified, deaths are regretted and the bad guy doesn’t go down in a hail of bullets. The Bourne movies deal with the moral complexities of being an invincible super-spy very well and this is possibly the most mature of the series.

Basically it’s an above average action movie that is a pretty decent end to a good trilogy of films… it’s not quite the year’s most action packed, high-octane, pulse-quickening, genre-defining, nerve-shredding, hyperbole-producing film of the summer, but it’ll do.

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14 Responses to “The Bourne Ultimatum”

  1. wally bazoom Says:

    “…the usual openendedness bollocks you get these days.”

    That’s my favourite phrase of the year. When I look back on 2007, it will be these words that sum it up.

    Quite like Jon Ronson, personally.

  2. Swineshead Says:

    I like Steve Bell and Jon Ronson… don’t think Dave was mocking them.

    *imagines a pair of bollocks with open ends*



  3. Dave Medlo Says:

    No, no I was mocking them. Jon Ronson is an irrelevant little navel gazer who I can happily never read and kind of ignore, but Steve Bell is actually so bad that I have to tear his comic strip off the back page of the G2 before doing the crossword. I hate him that much.

    This isn’t a very funny review, and for that I apologise. To make up for it I’d like to add the following sentence:

    “Matt Damon is not a man who should have a close up, especially when that close up is plastered across a 20ft high screen. Julia Stiles should also not have close ups as when you see her oval head you can’t help but notice how much she resembles Stewie from Family Guy.”

  4. fidothedog Says:

    That would be the same Guardian, that has the dire Polly Toynbee on the payroll.

  5. Mr Chipz Says:

    I haven’t seen any of the Bourne films, I’m sure I will one day. I almost saw the first one at a private screening in the basement of Planet Hollywood before it came out. I had a mate who did PR (shoving coke up her face seemed to be the limits of her job description) and she invited me to this ‘celeb only’ screening. There were lots of people there who were apparently dead famous but I have no idea who they were but Vanessa Feltz turned up and I kid you not she made straight for the buffet. She also had the look of someone who had no idea what they were there to see and just liked to turn up for a freebie. I didn’t watch the film, I elected to stay in the private bar with my friend and finish off the booze and canapes. I think that’s the most celeb thing I’ve EVER done.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Steve Bell is funny – you just don’t get it.

    Jon Ronson is incredibly talented as a journalist and pretty funny (and self-aware) as a columnist.

    You are a philistine. You enjoy ‘Bourne’ movies. I haven’t ever seen a Bourne movie as I used to live near Bourne and it’s a shithole.

    Fido – of the Guardian Pollys, Vernon is the worst. She makes me shit blood.

  7. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    “… it’s not quite the year’s most action packed, high-octane, pulse-quickening, genre-defining, nerve-shredding, hyperbole-producing film of the summer …”

    No, because that’s Transformers.

  8. Mr Chipz Says:

    Am I allowed to write a review of a film I dun watched? It won’t be that good cos I was drinking when I watched it.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    Email me Mr Chipz and I’ll set you up.

  10. wally bazoom Says:

    what exactly is ‘navel gazing’?

    Is it looking at boats?

  11. piqued Says:

    ‘contemplating ones naval’ is a phrase to describe touching up toddlers Wally

  12. wally bazoom Says:

    So when someone say they are ‘heavily contemplating’ something, they are in fact have a ruddy good fondle?

    Well I’ll be kerjiggered.

  13. Gorilla Bananas Says:

    “the bad guy doesn’t go down in a hail of bullets”

    Good. The bad guy should be ripped apart and eaten by chimpanzees. It serves him right for being bad. Not much for a gorilla to enjoy apart from that.

  14. Dave Medlo Says:

    – “Steve Bell is funny – you just don’t get it.”

    No, he’s really not… his one piece is occasionally quite savage but his strip in the G2 is just fucking awful. Awful awful awful. I get it, I just think it’s awful.

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