Starring: Matt Damon, David Strathairn, Joan Allen
Director: Paul Greengrass
Running Time: 115 mins
The Bourne Ultimatum is an American film and the third in the Bourne series. As the CIA releases a new program of assassins, Jason Bourne returns to find out the truth of his background as a trained killer, and bring down the people who turned his life upside down.
This series has been near faultless so far, but The Bourne Ultimatum is without a doubt its highest point. Building on two thrilling previous instalments, this third movie ties up all the loose ends that have been driving Jason Bourne throughout the series, whilst providing yet another incredibly thrilling mystery with an exceptional central performance and stunning directing.
In fact, Ultimatum is the first Bourne film for me where the story isn’t the most exhilarating part. Of course, it’s still hugely impressive, and even better than the first two put together, but it’s Paul Greengrass’ directing that makes The Bourne Ultimatum the stunning thriller it is.
Somehow managing to make shaky cam work so well without it ever being distracting, Greengrass makes every single scene in this film utterly enthralling. He paces the film so well, balancing the carefully-plotted mystery with an incredibly intense and high-octane thrill-ride, making for a totally exhilarating experience.
The film is on-edge from start to finish, and features countless nail-biting moments that add greater stakes to the conclusion of the trilogy’s story arc. However, Greengrass’ crowing achievement, and the greatest moment of this entire series, lies in the exceptional foot-chase through Tangiers.
I couldn’t tell you how exactly how long it lasts, but the entire sequence feels like it goes on for twenty beautiful minutes. It’s an incredible display of chaos and frantic thrills as Greengrass shoots a high-octane and high-stakes pursuit through the city. Brilliantly directed, immensely engrossing, and truly awesome, it’s one of the greatest action scenes I’ve ever seen, and sums up exactly why The Bourne Ultimatum is such a brilliant film.
Much like Identity and Supremacy, Ultimatum’s central mystery remains ingeniously patient as it reveals its key clues leading towards the thrilling climax. However, what makes it even more impressive is the notion that the film only reveals information that relates all the way back to the beginning of the series very late on. It manages to balance its own, contained thriller plot as well as the conclusion to the overall story arc incredibly well, and that gives the film such depth and intrigue for the viewer, rewarding fans of the series with a hugely satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, as well as providing yet another enthralling thrill-ride on its own.
And finally, we can’t ignore the centrepiece of the Bourne series: Matt Damon. Whilst all the performances in this film are better than the previous two movies, Damon steps it up another notch with a mind-blowing performance. There’s not one shred of doubt in my mind that he is the perfect Jason Bourne, but the way he takes on the physical action, the quiet but intense face-to-face moments and the emotional depth that emerges in this third film was stunning, and proves his quality as a truly brilliant actor.
Overall, I was blown away by The Bourne Ultimatum. I love the previous two films, but this film’s ability to take on such a high-stakes story that ties up so much from the whole trilogy, as well as Matt Damon’s exceptional performance and Paul Greengrass’ astonishing directing, makes it an enthralling and exhilarating watch, and one of the greatest thrillers of all time, and that’s why it gets an 8.7 from me.