The Bourne Ultimatum

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I really need to get past the fact that the Bourne movies have no relation whatsoever to the books with the exception of general character naming.  Ever since the first movie, they’ve gone on such a diverging path as to make the two almost incomparable.

That said, if you let all that go, The Bourne Ultimatum is a pretty cool movie.

I re-watched the first two this week in preparation.  In The Bourne Identity, we find that Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is a black ops assassin trained by the government during an operation called “Treadstone.”  In The Bourne Supremacy, some people in on the “Treadstone” operation try to frame Bourne for some evil doings in an attempt to use Bourne’s reputation as a cover-up.  Each of those movies ends with Bourne basically going off into the sunset to try and live his life in peace, but realizing that the government is still after him so he’ll always be on the run.

The Bourne Ultimatum is Bourne trying to find out more about his past and stumbling upon a larger operation - apparently “Treadstone” was just the beginning.

The movie was an action-fest, and none of us left the theater disappointed.  Great stunts, lots of fun, and very entertaining.  I didn’t feel like my entertainment dollar was wasted.

That said, you really couldn’t analyze it too closely because the plot starts looking like Swiss cheese with all the holes.  Normally I can let a lot of that stuff go by virtue of the fact it’s an action movie and generally implausible anyway, so a couple of details this way or that way don’t matter.  There were two details that bugged me about The Bourne Supremacy that I’m having trouble getting past.

First, by the end of the second movie we see that Bourne has kind of made peace with things and has accepted that he’ll only know just so much about his past.  He goes off to live happily ever after.  At the beginning of the third movie, he’s back in full gunslinging action, apparently on a search for… his past again?  I thought he was over that.  Eh, fine, they needed something for him to get worked up over.

Second, in the end of the first movie when Bourne confronts his old CIA handler, Conklin (Chris Cooper - a man who always plays the best corrupt government agents), about his identity, Conklin does a little disclosure monologue saying how Bourne was supposed to kill some guy, yadda yadda yadda, and that Bourne picked the place it would happen, picked the time it would happen, and picked his cover for the hit - Bourne picked the name “Jason Bourne.”  In Ultimatum, they contradict that statement by saying Bourne was given that name during training.  Huh?  I hope I’m just remembering the end of Identity wrong, but I just watched it and I swear that’s what happened.  So that stuck in my craw a bit, but I guess I can let that go, too.

Anyway, The Bourne Ultimatum was pretty cool.  I liked it better than The Bourne Supremacy, and there was a lot less of that shaky-cam crap that The Bourne Supremacy overused.  Check it out, you’ll like it.