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Review: The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum
5 10

Our ever-so efficient killing machine, Jason Bourne, is back and this time around, he’s bringing the fight to “them”, the guys who’ve been trying to terminate his little existence for the past two movies. Plus, to make things even more interesting, Bourne is starting to remember his checkered past and wants to know from where he came. Car chases, hand-to-hand combat, cool surveillance technology, pretty much everything “spy related” you would expect from a Bourne film...ensues.

I really enjoyed the first two parts of this series as they always got me pumped and were intelligent spy/action orientated flicks. The trailers for ULTIMATUM also got me excited, but I think it was more based on the strength of the earlier films. So it was only natural to think that this installment would be far more superior to the first two...right? Well, as much as I wanted to like this film, and I really wanted just didn’t work for me on a few levels which I’ll talk about later. The good news is: the story was good, the characters were great, and even the cool silent assassins that get their asses kicked, were good. I particularly like the NSA’s surveillance techniques…very impressive stuff. I wouldn’t want to be on their shit-list! Ultimately, the movie as a whole would have been a great flick to end the franchise if it weren’t for the visual style used as it totally ruined the whole experience.

Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, our killer agent who’s remembering his past, and he does it again! With his boxer-like stance, his calculating glares and his most efficient ways of killing people; he makes the character most enjoyable to watch. In fact, I think Damon has cemented this character and has created an "Icon" for Hollywood’s dynasty of memorable characters for generations to come. Nice going.

The rest of the characters were interesting too. Joan Allen reprises her role as Pamela Landy and even though she was good, it seemed like her character wasn’t as strong as in the last film. She almost seemed wimpy and a pushover this time around. Julia Stiles also returns to her role as Nicky Parsons. She’s cute, but this time around she was really quiet. I was expecting a little more from her. Again, cute, but that's about it.

We even get some newcomers this time around with David Strathairn and…Albert Finney??? Neither of them did much for me though. They weren’t bad and there was nothing wrong with their acting -- in fact, they’re both fine actors -- but there wasn't anything really memorable about either of them. If you’re going to have supporting roles like this, especially for the kind of characters these guys were playing, put someone cool in there…please.

Now, the bad news. I have no idea where director Paul Greengrass learned to hold a camera (I know it’s the D.O.P., but the director is responsible for everything) and I'm not even sure if he's ever heard of a tripod, but the camera simply would not stop frickin' moving!!! Even when they were just having a casual conversation, the camera is moving. When the action would start, the camera would just move ridiculously faster where you couldn't even see or appreciate any of it. What the hell?!?

You have to STOP USING THE SHAKY CAM ALREADY!!! IT’S A BULLSHIT FORM OF STYLIZATION THAT ONLY WORKED A FEW TIMES IN THE PAST!!! I’m all for style, but the whole movie was like this and it was a major let down. And another thing, since when do you start to buckle to your knees and fall down when you remember your past? It was just a bunch of little things like that or the NSA guys that are tailing people holding hand-held cameras with their arms stretched out for all to see….really covert, guys!

I know this was harsh and the film is probably going to make a ton of cash anyway, but I was just really disappointed in the movie myself. It wasn’t the story or the characters though; it was its stylization that killed it for me. It was just way too shaky. Take some Gravol before seeing this and no more “shaky cam”, please! Enough already!

300 (10/10) Blades of Glory (8/10) Black Snake Moan (8/10) Catch and Release (5/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Factory Girl (7/10) Grindhouse (9/10) Premonition (3/10) Reign Over Me (8/10) Shooter (6/10) The Astronaut Farmer (8/10) Norbit (6/10) The Departed (9/10) The Lookout (7/10) TMNT (8/10) Wild Hogs (5/10) Zodiac (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert





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