On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, The Bourne Ultimatum is an escapist 8, perhaps the strongest in the espionage series. But is it really the end? Dont bet on it.
Based on the third of the spy novel series by the late Robert Ludlum, this concludes the action-adventure trilogy of The Bourne Identity (2002) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
After his cover is blown by a London newspaper reporter (Paddy Considine), rogue CIA agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) once again becomes the prime target of the top-secret government agency that trained him as an assassin. With nothing left to lose, the amnesiac Bourne relentlessly seeks those responsible for turning him into a brutal killing machine, flying to and from London, Madrid, Tangier, Paris, Moscow and, finally, to New York City. All on a fake passport, carrying no luggage, evading detection and never suffering those annoying airport flight delays. Amazing!
CIA director, Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn), and chief of the black-ops program known as Blackbriar, Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), are determined to rid themselves of this $30-million malfunctioning threat named Bourne to take him out this time – to the chagrin of CIA internal investigator Pamela Landy (Joan Allen). And Bourne has another ally: disillusioned CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), who joins him on the run.
Working from the screenplay by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi, British director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, United 93) has obviously mastered the intricate plot twists, action choreography and terrific chase sequences one through Manhattan – which characterize these They cant stop me! capers.
Cinematographer Oliver Wood creates spectacular shots, edited by Christopher Rouse to composer John Powells pulsating score. Is it formulaic? Yes – and the formula works.