Rarely, if ever, has the third film in a film franchise been the best of the lot, but The Bourne Ultimatum achieves just that status as each film in the Bourne series continued to top its predecessor. I went into the theater with the highest of expectations for what ends up being this summer’s final three-quel and was happy to come out of it thoroughly entertained and convinced I had just seen the best action film of 2007 so far.
Oftentimes filmmakers tend to think they need to continually top each film in a series with more outlandish stunts, effects and witty dialogue, but with Bourne Ultimatum they only set out to give audiences what they have already proven they liked.
Did you like that car chase at the end of Bourne Supremacy? Well with Ultimatum instead of cars it’s scooter vs. scooter, then scooter vs. motorcycle, then scooter vs. foot and finally foot vs. foot before it ends up hand vs. hand. If that sounds like too much you can thank Paul Greengrass and his Supremacy editor Christopher Rouse for fantastic directing and editing. Several scenes such as the one mentioned manage to build tension and relieve it all at the same time, keeping you on the edge of your seat, and never sitting back because you’ve been hit with too much. On top of that, the familiar musical score by John Powell that has resonated in all three films is once again prevalant and timely. Greengrass never once resorts to popular rock to propell the action as the choreography and score are more than enough to give audiences all they need.
The film starts off right where Supremacy rolled credits, Jason Bourne is in search of his true identity, a task that is not only going to take brains and braun, but a little bit of luck and help from the most unlikely of characters. In a time where sequels and subsequent three-quels seem to scramble for a story it was nice to see a film that actually seemed to have a storyline that didn’t have to be hastened together inorder to get the film in theaters. There are pieces of both The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy woven deep into this one and it seems like it is a story they had ever since Identity in 2002.
True care was taken with this franchise and it was left in capable hands that didn’t want to do anymore with the story than was absolutely necessary. The Bourne franchise is now one of the best in film history and certainly one you could spend an entire Saturday afternoon watching once all three are on DVD.