“The Bourne Ultimatum” is the third installment in the Bourne film series with Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass returning as director. The film picks up from where “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) left off and further delves into Bourne’s quest to uncover the truth about his past and the secretive government program, Treadstone.
The film begins with Bourne evading capture in Moscow and subsequently recovering from his injuries. He is haunted by fragmented memories of his past and remains determined to uncover the truth about his identity. While Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) has decided to help Bourne, the CIA, led by Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), is still determined to neutralize him.
The role of Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) is expanded in this film, as she decides to help Bourne uncover the truth about his past. The duo uncovers more about Blackbriar, a more aggressive and lethal program than Treadstone. But by helping Bourne, Parsons also becomes a target, leading to the type of epic chase seen we’ve come to expect from this franchise.
Director Paul Greengrass doesn’t depart at all from the tried-and-true Bourne formula. The CIA is run by bad guys, and Bourne is the badass that they can’t seem to kill. But the story doesn’t seem forced. Bourne learns much more about his past in this film, and it wraps up with a clever and logical ending, making it a worthy installment in the franchise.
Also, Greengrass gives us all the action we crave in this type of film. The shaky-cam chase scenes offer up a fun ride, with the final car-chase scene capping the fun. Greengrass’s style may be over-the-top, but it’s much better than all the CGI nonsense we’ve seen in other action films. Fans loved it, as it became the highest-grossing Bourne film.
The rivalries withing the CIA and the interplay between the Joan Allen and David Strathairn characters works well in this installment and helps drive the natural evolution of the storyline from the first two films. Scott Glenn also delivers a solid performance as CIA Director Ezra Kramer in a limited role.
Overall, the film was a huge success as the third installment in the Bourne franchise. Watch the first two and then enjoy the ride with this one as well.