Bourne Ultimatum
Bourne Again (and life is good)

Amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is back and he's handing out a serious ass kicking to the summer's other ‘threequels.'

By Adam Frazier

(Aug. 3) Before I start this review, I'm reminded of a line delivered by Paul Rudd's character, David, in ‘The 40-year-old Virgin.'

David is watching ‘The Bourne Supremacy," and says to his coworkers, "You know, I always thought that Matt Damon was like a Streisand, but he's rocking the shit in this one!"

Well, David was right. What David might not know (but could certainly conclude) is that Matt Damon is still ‘rocking the shit' - in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum' too!

In ‘The Bourne Ultimatum," director Paul Greengrass (‘Bourne Supremacy,' ‘United 93') manages to avoid the pitfalls that other summer films have hit head-on. It's the first ‘threequel' that doesn't feel like a prolonged, pointless continuation of a series but rather a climactic, satisfying conclusion.

You won't find hordes of pirates delivering worn out jokes, nor will you see any super heroes fancying a change in costume - you won't even find any cutesy animated ogres falling short of their prior glory.

No, all you'll find in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum' is a clever, intelligent plot that is frantically fast-paced and loads of fun. Here Greengrass lays out the blueprint for how to make the perfect action filck.

Sure, it's nothing new - car chases through rush hour traffic, beautifully choreographed martial arts, and a big helping of spy vs. spy - but it's done so superbly that everything seems fresh and full of life, like your eyes are seeing these action film clichés for the first time.

And while ‘Ultimatum' is truly a movie for guys who like movies - it's got a decent head on its shoulders too. The plot offers themes on the customary mistrust of government, but never gets preachy enough to date the film during ‘the Bush years.'

You know the formula - Bourne travels the globe in search of clues leading to his true identity. Upon arriving in a beautiful locale he receives some bit of cryptic information but ‘Oh no!' it's the local authorities hot on his trail! Bourne is forced to enter an insane stunt sequence that leaves him without a scrape but an entire police force in shambles.

It's fun to watch Damon's Bourne get into trouble and then snake his way out with style and finesse. Damon pulls off a butch, intimidating assassin with precision but still manages to leave enough of Bourne out in the open to come off as vulnerable and human.

The supporting cast is up to the challenge in this threequel as well, with Julia Stiles reprising her role as fellow spy Nicky Parsons, Joan Allen as CIA investigator Pamela Landy (who sympathizes with Bourne) and the always-terrific David Strathairn as the arrogant Noah Vosen, who tires desperately to track down Bourne.

‘The Bourne Ultimatum' is the perfect example of a summer film - it's fun, loud and mindless, but in the end leaves you satisfied and content. If you've enjoyed the previous Bourne outings, Martin Campbell's ‘Casino Royale' or if you just think Matt Damon is sexy as hell, give ‘Ultimatum' a shot.

Easily the best of the series, and though our favorite amnesiac assassin finds out his true identity in the end, he'll always be Jason Bourne to us. And who knows, maybe this isn't the last we've seen of him...
Reviewed by: adam