A Review of Paul Greengrass’ “The Bourne Ultimatum”

Bourne Again Fan, 7 August 2007

Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

“The Bourne Ultimatum” begins recklessly mid-chase and in pulse-pounding fashion explodes from there as Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, absolutely superb) tracks down the masterminds behind the CIA black-ops that turned him into the perfect killer in a final attempt to learn his true identity. A devastatingly icy David Strathairn as the “man behind the curtain” is added to the returning cast of regulars including Joan Allen (excellent) and Julia Stiles (non-existent).

Like the second entry in the series, I wished Paul Greengrass’ shaky hand-held camera would go static at least for the few minutes of downtime. However, that being said, it’s a perfect way to capture the tense, claustrophobic feel of the intimate hand-to-hand-combat scenes and works equally well in the chase scenes which are mostly on foot and across rooftops with the occasional big car pile-up. Part of the fun of the Bourne series is the constant globe-hopping and manipulation of technology and communications that seem to defy the laws of physics and current capabilities. The Bourne films seem to exist in some sort of gritty hyper-reality that is full of technological-based magic. It makes no sense that everyone seems to be just in the right place at the right time, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a blast to watch them get there.

With the absence of the emotive and involving Franka Potente, the writers attempt to create some emotional connection between Damon and Stiles, but she is so blank-faced an actress it never really leads to anything. Still, this can be forgiven, for unlike the “Identity” and the “Supremacy”, this “Ultimatum” reveals all and we finally learn the truth about Bourne’s past. It’s an entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the series, and if they have any good sense, and Damon gets his wish, this will be the perfect end to it.

The Jason Bourne films are based on Robert Ludlum’s popular series of books. 

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database:



  1. Rarely (if ever) do movies based on novels not disappoint the readers. The Bourne trilogy is certainly a rare exception, even if the plot veers completely away from Robert Ludlum’s originals. I enjoyed the movies as much as I enjoyed the books (except for the last one done by Lustbader). Fabulous review!

  2. I just received the trilogy for Christmas and my wife and I have watched all three. They are fantastic movies. I have a question that I hope can be answered in detail. The question is, why is the exact same scene that ended The Bourne Supremacy, when bourne was talking to Landy in NY, when she tells him his real name and he concludes the conversation by saying, “gets some rest Pam, you look tired” in 3/4 of the way through the Bourne Ultimatum?? There has got to be some kind of overlapping but it I can’t figure out how considering when he makes that particular call he’s in NY and Ultimatum takes place mostly in Europe buts ends up in NY when that scene takes place again. I would totally appreciate an email reply with the answer so I can finally understand.


    Shawn, sadly I don’t have an answer for that. –DHS

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