Bourne again better than ever
Vail, CO, Colorado
Jason Bourne may very well be the James Bond of this decade. Only we have to admit he’s much more dangerous, unpredictable and yes, far cooler than Hollywood’s overdone spy in a tux.
By the time No. 3 rolls out, any series runs the risk of becoming monotonous and formulaic. The Bourne Ultimatum dives through a 20th-floor window (like five of them, actually,) to avoid falling into this trap. The theater erupted with murmurs of satisfaction at the conclusion of the third Bourne film, which keeps you at the edge of your seat with high-speed martial arts sequences (starring Matt Damon beating the crap out of everyone), car and motorcycle chases and assassins on the move. In this sense, Bourne Ultimatum does use the same ingredients as its predecessors, but the plot takes a new twist for this ultimate episode.
Like many of you, I remembered little about the first two films, other than that Jason Bourne (Damon) is a reluctant tool of the American government, brainwashed into being a killing machine. This turns out to be a rather pertinent tidbit of information in order to follow The Bourne Ultimatum.
Let’s take a trip back. In The Bourne Identity, an unconscious, amnesia-ridden Bourne is discovered by fishermen with bullets in his back and a bank number embedded into his flesh. He learns his name, Jason Bourne, and runs off with his girlfriend to try to figure out who he is, alluding several assassination attempts. In The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne has put the pieces together enough to know that he is a killing machine trained by the National Security Agency. He and Marie try to live peacefully until she is killed when assassins come after him.
Thus, The Bourne Ultimatum begins with Bourne informing Marie’s brother that his sister is dead. Bourne is still under cover, this time running from the very agency that created him. Those involved in Bourne’s creation are divided in this third film. Some, like Noah Vosen, simply want Bourne dead before he endangers the government’s building-trained-killer project by unveiling the inhumanity of the whole thing. Then, there’s agent Pamela Landy, who questions why Vosen begins pointing his trained assassins at everyone who may have mixed feelings about the operation. For example, Vosen sics his men after an innocent British journalist who has written a series on Bourne. Then there’s agent Nicky Parsons, who attempts to help Bourne and thus becomes a target among her own colleagues.
The Bourne Ultimatum presents an interesting case for the lengths to which the government may go to cover its tracks and to keep botched operations hidden. While the government becomes its own killer robot, Bourne begins to feel remorseful for all the lives he’s taken. “The Bourne Ultimatum” is the story of one man attempting to rebuild some integrity and a new identity as a guy who like, has a conscience. That’s not to say that Bourne loses his status as a total badass in this movie. If anything, he’s tougher than ever. Director Paul Greengrass deserves major props for keeping this series afloat.