Movie: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Posted 12 August, 2007 by Li in Entertainment / 0 Comments

I always try to make a note of reading the books before seeing the movies when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations; I always like to understand where these adaptations come from. Plus, it’s fun to nitpick about what was kept and what was chucked in the movie adaptations (unless the adaptations are like LOTR and Pride & Prejudice where I really loved the adaptations enough to overlook much of the chucking and reduxing). Anyways, I understand that the Bourne movie trilogy is completely way off the mark when it comes to faithfulness to the plot of the novels. After all, the books were based in the time when the threat was really about the Cold War and the politics surrounding it. Vietnam was still a hardcore issue at the time, affecting some of the inner politics and decision-making made by pioliticians. Espionage was fueled by the Cold War. The movies merely reflect the times in which they are made–essentially, now. Anyways, watched the movie today with my family and from the three, this is easily my favourite one of the lot. As always, spoilers follow

  • I think the movie started a bit on a backtrack…as you recall, the movie ended with Landy telling Bourne his name and to come in to her office so that they could talk. In the beginning of this movie, it starts with Bourne still in Russia after having seen Nevski’s surviving daughter ends up making a detour to England to track down a reporter’s source before heading to New York. It took a moment for this all to click, but it made sense. I also like that they did do some flashbacks (primarily of Bourne and Marie to connect their story throughout the three movies), to jog the memory along…very helpful.
  • I think the plot itself tied up a lot of loose ends, bringing the Blackbriar into the forefront of the story and tying it to Treadstone. It also exposed by Blackbriar came to be and its connection to modern day events as well as how far up the entire operation goes. I think Landy brought up a good point as to how far covering up leaks and blips can go before the entire operation turns in on itself. It was interesting to see the differences between Landy’s approach and Vosen’s own approach to certain tactical situations–sometimes, you just want to smack Vosen for being too narrow-minded over going after Bourne and for not being more sensible. David Strathairn was excellent as Vosen; he and Joan Allen had some awesome exchanges on screen; I love that last scene they had together, it was one of those “Ah ha! Screwed!” scenes, lol
  • Speaking of Vosen, one of two of my favourite scenes in this movie had to be the exchange between Bourne and Vosen by cell; Vosen lies that he’s in his office and Bourne replies that if he was, then they’d be having the coversation face-to-face. And then Bourne cleans out Vosen’s safe. It was perfect. I loved it. My other favourite scene has to be when Bourne calls the Spanish police in Madrid that he heard gunshots and he said it might be Americans before he and Nicky escapes; it was hilarious because just as the CIA operatives were coming in, they get surrounded by the Spanish police. Pure chaos = typical Bourne. It was hilarious. My brother and I were stifling out laughter.
  • The action sequences. Oh. My. God. I think this is the first movie in the longest time that had be at the edge of my seat–England, Spain, Morocco, New York City…the action was virtually non-stop. It was amazing. From the way Bourne was coordinating the reporter’s movement to jumping across rooftops in Morocco…it was insane. Though yeah, I was mostly at the edge in Morocco with Desh going after Nicky and Bourne racing to catch up…the action was definitely fitting to the way the book felt.
  • Okay, that scene where Nicky & Bourne were talking in the cafe in Spain…I know it’s of huge debate over at imdb.com but I had this feeling as I was watching that it seemed that they had something going on before Bourne was either fully integrated into the Treadstone program or before Bourne went AWOL. It’s a bit confusing given the way she acted around Bourne in the first two movies, but although Nicky didn’t allude much to whatever past relationship they had, it seemed to be written all over her face. It felt like she had difficulty acting around him; and the washroom sequence? Definitely linked back to the first movie and Marie. It was nice that they left it open-ended though; as much as you really want to know, it’s left to our imaginations to figure that out.
  • Bourne finding out how he ended up in the program was interesting, it does give somewhat of a nod to the book and the way that David Webb ended up in the program. It seemed a bit anti-climactic, but given the amount of chasing that occurred right before this sequence, I guess it could be because I was still on that adrenaline rush. But the scene made perfect sense, for Bourne to go back to the beginning. And the end…it was perfect, a perfect circle, connecting the end of Ultimatum with Identity.
  • So overall, I absolutely loved this movie. The only complaint I have was the use of shaky-camera sequences instead of a steady shot. I know that it adds to the feel of the movie, and it does give it a certain amount of suspence and atmosphere but it gave me quite the headache after the movie. But the fact that the plot was so good, I’ll forgive Greengrass for it. 😉 I definitely recommend this movie if you’re looking for some intense action/suspence movie.

    Rating: ★★★★★

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