The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Bourne Ultimatum</strong> (2007)

(In theaters, August 2007) This third instalment in this relatively more realistic action/espionage series is, all things considered, both more exciting and more interesting that either of the previous instalments. Sure, it’s repetitive and shameless in how it allows Bourne to be an invulnerable superhero. Sure, Paul Greengrass’s constantly moving-and-cutting technique often leeches coherency out of his action sequences. Sure, the plot has more holes than it can comfortably sustain. But there’s a real relevance to the issues discussed here for the third time: We’re asked to face the extent at which we must pursue victory, and the means necessary to do so. What happens when an indifferent system allows bad apples to gain power? For all of its cynicism and “realism”, this trilogy concludes on an odd note of optimism, as it shows that individual people can take a stand and make a difference. But that’s really icing on the cake, because the most distinctive appeal of The Bourne Ultimatum is in its three big action sequences in London, Tangier and New York. The plot is really an excuse to get from one to the other, and all three of them are very different. The London sequence is a nightmare of surveillance technology used indiscriminately; Tangier takes us to the confusing chaos of the third world; while New York is Bourne smash-em-up in America’s front yard. Even the frustration of the constantly moving camera can’t shake the competent thrills of these three sequences. It may have taken a while, but I’ve finally seen a Bourne movie I could enjoy.

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