The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) is a slam-bang conclusion to one of the most unique and adult action franchises ever produced by a major studio. The third movie is a high octane action-filled spy thriller with a lot of eye candy.
The relentlessly-paced entry in the frenetic series is starting off in mid-action just weeks after The Bourne Supremacy left off. An injured Jason Bourne, a.k.a. David Webb (Matt Damon), escapes from Russia and is making his way through Europe. All he wanted was to disappear; instead, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is–legendary assassin. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was.
The chase scenes in The Bourne Ultimatum are terrific. The action in the Bourne series in general is consistently filled with clear motivation, creativity, and practical stunts. It keeps even the more implausible stunts grounded, and introduced a unique and practical form of hand-to-hand combat.
The Tangier chase in Bourne Ultimatum in particular is all about intensity and action. The jump from a balcony to a window one level down (02:30) lasts less than two seconds on screen, but it makes an impact. Even more so when we see the behind the scenes footage, with the jump from a different angle, and while it does look a smidge less impressive when you see how hard it would be to miss (and that the shattered glass was added later), what you soon realize is that the finished shot works because “we the audience” are jumping as well. Yes, it isn’t just Matt Damon’s stunt double, it’s also a camera operator flying through the air to get the kinetic Bourne effect.
The Bourne Ultimatum features a great cast with a mix of suspenseful, memorable, and realistic fights and chases. The fight scenes are realistic but not over-the-top. Every second of violence is part of the movie- nothing is just shown for the sake of showing it. The movie doesn’t try to win over any new fans as it sticks to what the franchise does best and just adds a nice bit more storyline and action sequences on top. The Bourne Ultimatum is probably the best of the series and the best blockbuster of 2007.