Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Saw this one tonight. Gonna write a review right now. In the meantime, check out this first guy’s reaction:
I just got back from a guild screening at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles (nice theater but not enough legroom) for “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and it may be the best thing I’ve seen all summer. Director Paul Greengrass did a q & a afterward. The movie’s story is told well and classily. You’ll be glad for the few breaks in the action, if only to catch your breath before the next one. It’s action packed, but not bloated as many of the other summer action flicks are. We follow Bourne from Moscow to London to Madrid to Tangiers to…you get the idea. And in each country we’re treated to an insanely entertaining, skilled chase/fight sequence as Bourne uses his CIA spy/assassin skills to run rings around the agents and “assets” (the CIA doesn’t come out and use the word assasin or hitman apparently) sent to kill him. These are all crosscut with the machinations of some slimy CIA bigwigs in Langley and New York, played by Scott Glenn and the excellent David Strathairn, while Joan Allen continues her fine work as Bourne’s ally(?) who starts to realize something fishy’s going on in her own office. These bits are quite well done as well. We’re sort of used to bullpen/control center exposition sets, but here these help the story along crisply and handily. With modern thrillers requiring a certain amount of computer screen gazing and keyboard tapping, Greengrass makes it all part of the suspenseful atmosphere. Julia Stiles still seems way too naïve to have ever been a good CIA agent, but here she’s the centerpiece of one of the most suspensful chase sequences I’ve seen in a long time, as Bourne tries to reach her before an Algerian “asset” does. I don’t want to spoil the action sequences but suffice it to say they are still incredible. In some spots it’s clear that the filmakers were in fully functioning, insanely crowded locations, as quite a few bystanders can be seen to be openly staring at the actors, cell phone cameras on the quick-draw. In his q & a Greengrass mentioned that they knew places like Waterloo Station in London simply couldn’t be shut down for filming and he and his mostly hand-held cameras had to make the most of it, shifting locations within a location when crowds got too thick. Considering the details of each sequence it’s easy to believe him when he said they spent nearly 120 days to film the picture. A few words on Matt Damon: he just gets better and better with each film he does. He’s a pleasure to watch in every frame. The way the character fights, with brutal, cool, yet sometimes reluctant efficiency, is a far cry from the bravado and snark of “Die Hard” and “Pirates.” There’s a realism to the violence in these movies—we know no-one is superhuman, even though there’s no way mere mortals could survive the punishment Bourne takes. To a degree, things follow the laws of physics, but that doesn’t make smashing cars any less spectacular. The obstacles to Bourne’s quest to literally find himself are so overwhelming that we can’t help but be swept up in desperately wanting to know how he became the tortured killing machine that he is. Something I have to note: the movie clocks in at a whisker under 2 hours. We seem to be in a period where so many movies feel that have to pin you to the seat for 2 ½ hours or more, often for no good reason. This was a thrilling tale economically told, and God bless everyone involved for that! I haven’t read any Ludlum so I can’t say if this is a fair translation of the book, but it’s a wonderfully entertaining movie that won’t insult your intelligence while still giving you a thumping good time. Did I mention the action sequences were good? --maatkare
And then this guy, who was evidently at the same screening I was this evening:
Hello Moriarty, this is Futuramafan1987 reviewing the film The Bourne Ultimatum, which was screened at the Archlight in Hollywood. *Warning. Mild Spoilers* Jason Bourne is back on the big screen after a 3 year hiatus, and this time, he's coming home to where his career as an assassin all began. After the great Bourne Supremacy, I was anxiously waiting the next installment in the Bourne Franchise. Luckily, while going to see Sunshine at the Archlight in Hollywood, someone was giving out tickets for the third installment in the series. I quickly grabbed the ticket and called my friend, who was just as excited as I am. So, after 1 Hour and 51 Minutes, was it all worth it? Read On. The Bourne Ultimatum takes place a mere six weeks after the events of Supremacy. Jason Bourne has found out that a newspaper journalist has been running stories about him, and Bourne want to find out the source. Unfortunately, before he could get much info, the journalist is killed by a assassin named Paz. Bourne gets away, and tries to find the contact. Meanwhile, Pamela Landy(Joan Allen) has to deal with a new person dead set on having Bourne killed, and Bourne ends up getting help from the most unlikely person, Nicky Parsons(Julia Stiles). Soon, Bourne is racing against the clock, fighting more bad guys trying to kill him, all the while regaining his memory as to why he became the person he is now. I have been a fan of the Bourne films series since the first film in 2002. Apparently, Ultimatum is the last film of the franchise, and honesty, it could have ended on such a higher note. Multiple questions are answered, and the action is exciting as ever. From the first reel,to the last, the film moves at a breakneck pace, not letting go until the credits roll. Multiple surprises are in store, such as a possible history with Bourne and Nicky. Also, lookout for the connection between the ending of the second film, and the third movie. Like most sequels, the only direction the action can go is up. The fights are more brutal (especially a fight between Bourne and another assassin), and the big car chase towards the end tops the one from Supremacy. The camerawork, flaw for some people in the second film, is much better this time around. However, though it's not as shaky as it was the first time around, it still shakes around a bit during the action moments, but not enough to be distracting. The score, once again, compliments the action on screen, and definitely a soundtrack I'll be seeking out once it is released. The film works well as a final chapter, though it sort of opens up for one more, if it ends here, then it will be fine. The Bourne Ultimatum is easily not only the best of the three films, but is actually the best threquel of this year, topping the third installments of Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates. Seek it out when it comes out August 3rd. Futuramafan1987 out.