Saturday, February 2, 2008


The Entertainment Critic
Home Edition Video Review
By James Myers
The Bourne Ultimatum
DVD - Wide Screen
Release Date: 12/11/2007
Genre: Action, Thriller
UPC: 025193227423
Region Code: 1
Presentation: Wide Screen
Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
Language: Fran├žais
Time: 1:56:00
Director: Paul Greengrass
Tony Gilroy (screenplay) and
Scott Z. Burns (screenplay) and
George Nolfi (screenplay)
Tony Gilroy (screen story)
Robert Ludlum (novel)
Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Official Website:
Features: Deleted Scenes; Man on the Move: Jason Bourne; Rooftop Pursuit; Planning the Punches; Driving School; New York Chase; Feature Commentary with Director Paul Greengrass
Review: 9/10 rating

There are 2 things that make the Borne Series worth watching. One is the tremendous, moving, non-stop action and special effects. The second is Jason Bourne’s (Matt Damon) undeniable desire to learn the truth and exact revenge on his adversaries.
It is Bourne’s internal struggle, admirably portrayed by Damon that makes these films something other than trite spy movies. In Ultimatum, Damon and Bourne are at their action-paced best.

The movie begins immediately after Bourne apologizes to Neski's daughter. Wounded from the Bourne Supremacy car chase, Jason Bourne is still evading the Moscow police. Cornered by two officers while breaking into a medical clinic to treat his wounds, Bourne overpowers the officers and leaves them alive as he escapes, saying his argument is not with them.

The story continues six weeks later when Bourne goes to Paris to tell Marie's brother Martin of her death. Bourne heads on to London by train and reads an article in The Guardian where journalist Simon Ross describes Jason Bourne as a CIA officer. Bourne arranges to meet Ross in London at Waterloo station. Ross, however, is under surveillance because his use of the word "Blackbriar" in a phone call to his editor was tracked by ECHELON, alerting the CIA. After receiving a phone call from Bourne, Ross drives to Waterloo Station and is followed by the CIA, who believe him to be meeting his source there. At the station, Bourne sees CIA officers following Ross and places a prepaid mobile phone on him; through it, Bourne instructs the frightened journalist on how to dodge the station's surveillance, while knocking out the CIA agents attempting to kidnap Ross. However, CIA official Noah Vosen who heads Operation Blackbriar (a renamed Treadstone proposed by Ward Abbott at the end of The Bourne Identity), orders an assassin named Paz to kill Ross and his source. Vosen's team identifies Bourne on a security camera and recognizes him as the original Treadstone assassin, assuming he must be Ross's source. Bourne advises Ross to remain hidden, but Ross panics and reveals himself, giving Paz a clear killing shot. In the ensuing chaos, Bourne steals Ross's notes from his body; the notes reveal Ross's source as Neal Daniels, the CIA's Madrid station chief.

Deputy Director Pamela Landy is asked to help capture Bourne. With Landy's help, Vosen and his team realize that Daniels is Ross's source. They decide to send a team to Daniels's office in Madrid, but Bourne arrives first, finding only one photograph in the otherwise empty safe. Bourne attacks the CIA team when they enter the office. Just as Bourne finishes mopping up the CIA agents, Nicky Parsons enters the office. Nicky tells him that Daniels fled to Tangier and helps him to escape the CIA reinforcements by telling Vosen that Bourne had already left the office. Bourne calls the police to report the sound of gunfighting; they arrive just as the second CIA team piles out of their vehicles, guns drawn, in front of the office. When Bourne asks Nicky why she is helping him, Nicky only hints vaguely at something before Bourne's amnesia ("It was difficult for me... with you. (long pause) You really don't remember anything?"). While in Tangier, they realize the CIA has sent assassin Desh Bouksani for Daniels. Nicky uses her official clearance access to send Desh a message, telling him to meet her for a new phone. This allows Bourne to follow Desh to his target. When Vosen realizes Nicky's deceit he orders Desh to kill Nicky and Bourne after terminating Daniels. Landy is outraged at Vosen's willingness to indiscriminately kill CIA personnel and quits the operation.

Bourne shortly before confronting Desh in Tangier, Bourne follows Desh and is unable to save Daniels, who dies from Desh's planted bomb. When Desh returns for Nicky, Bourne outruns the Tangier police and fights Desh, eventually strangling him with a towel. Bourne accompanies Nicky to a bus station where she begins her own separate life on the run from the CIA. At the Tangier morgue, Bourne examines Daniels' charred papers and finds the address of the CIA substation in New York City. Bourne takes a flight to New York City, and on arrival deliberately uses a passport that alerts Landy to his presence. Bourne calls Landy while observing her and Vosen from across the street. The ending of The Bourne Supremacy is repeated: Landy tells him his real name is David Webb and that he was born on "4/15/71", a code for the address of the Treadstone facility at 415 East 71st Street. Bourne sends a text message to Landy to arrange a meeting. Vosen and his team intercept the message and follow Landy as she leaves the building. Bourne's meeting is later found to be a diversion, allowing Bourne to enter Vosen's office and steal classified Blackbriar documents.

Vosen realizes the diversion after a phone call from Bourne, who called Vosen to get a recording of Vosen's voice - the key to unlocking the safe. Bourne states he is in Vosen's office, and a desperate Vosen frantically orders CIA officers back to his office to capture Bourne. Bourne escapes and enters into a car chase with CIA officers and Paz; emerging victorious from his vehicular duel with Paz, Bourne chooses not to kill him. Just outside the facility, Bourne meets Landy and gives her the stolen documents from Vosen's office before entering the building. Inside, he meets Dr. Albert Hirsch, who ran Treadstone's psychological conditioning. With his help, Bourne remembers that as Captain David Webb he volunteered for the program. Horrified by the memory of what he did to complete his conditioning and to assume the Jason Bourne identity, he tells Hirsch, "I remember everything. I'm no longer Jason Bourne."

On his way back to the substation, Vosen realizes Landy gave Bourne an address in code when Landy told Bourne of his date of birth. Vosen races to the facility and confronts Landy as she finishes faxing away his documents Bourne stole. Meanwhile, Bourne is cornered on the facility's rooftop by Paz. Paz holds Bourne at gunpoint and demands to know why Bourne spared his life. Bourne asks if Paz knows why he was ordered to kill Bourne. "Look at us. Look at what they make you give," says Bourne, repeating the dying words of the Treadstone assassin called The Professor from The Bourne Identity. Paz lowers his weapon, but Vosen appears and fires on Bourne just as he jumps from the roof into the river below.

Some time later, Nicky sees a news report noting the exposure of Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, that CIA Director Ezra Kramer is the subject of a United States Senate hearing regarding his conduct, and that David Webb (Bourne's real name), fell into the East River. The report notes that after a three-day search, Bourne's body is yet to be found: at which Nicky smiles. As Moby's "Extreme Ways" plays, the movie (in an allusion to the opening scene of The Bourne Identity) cuts back to Bourne, floating motionless in the water; after a long moment he starts to move, and swims away into darkness.

Bourne’s internal, existential dilemma makes this extraordinary action film both interesting and thoughtful. As long as Damon continues to play the dangling secret agent, these home DVDs are worth taking home. (Trailer)

No comments: