Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Bourne Ultimatum (12A)
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The Bourne films have historically been a breath of fresh air in the action film genre, in that they are darker, grittier and less dumbed down than most. As the summer blockbuster season draws to a close, is it possible the best has been saved until last with the release of the final part of the Bourne trilogy?

Bourne misses his tube by a split second, and begins living an alternate life as blonde Gwyneth Paltrow
Bourne misses his tube by a split second, and begins living an alternate life as blonde Gwyneth Paltrow

The funny thing about the Bourne films is that they tend to lack a decent climax at the end, because all three films are essentially one long story. In fact, how they have got three films out of it astounds me, let alone three books! Then again, perhaps that is yet another thing that marks these films out from the norm – there's plenty of time for character development and to build up a consistent, well-explained storyline, instead of thinking up new, flimsier premises for Jason Bourne to overcome with each new movie.

Here, the story picks up from the end of the last film, even overlapping with parts of The Bourne Supremacy at times. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still trying to discover his past –his real identity and how he came to be a ruthless killing machine. Retracing his steps, he finds certain images and locations that begin to trigger memories of his training, leading him ever closer to the truth.

Director Paul Greengrass returns after the success of United 93 and The Bourne Supremacy, with more of the same great action sequences. He pushes things a bit far this time though, with too much shaky-cam for my liking. It is definitely hard to tell what is going on in some of the fight scenes and car chases, with the camera work and fast paced editing adding plenty of energy at the expense of actually being able to take in what you see.

I'm pleased to report that the film as a whole is very enjoyable; it's dark and gritty, and there are some wonderfully subtle pieces in it too. Characters hint back at Bourne's past and some things are repeated cleverly from the past two films. Overall, the plot ties together nicely too, building a fitting end for the trilogy. I'm not yet sure that this does take the gold medal for best summer blockbuster, but it is certainly a contender. Highly recommended.

Click here to rate this film!
Length: 115 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 17th August 2007

Top Five Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

E-mail this review to a friend
  All material ©