Monday, August 20, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Every now and then I see a movie in an actual theater. This one was definitely worth watching. I remember reading Ludlum's Bourne books when I was a teenager, and I saw and liked Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy. I liked all of them, but I think this one topped them. Bourne has elements of James Bond, Jack Bauer, and maybe Jack Ryan. He's a highly-trained killer, but is searching for his identity (the one which he was born with. Get it?). He tries to put clues together and track down his trainers, while they are trying to track him down so he won't expose the secret training program in which he was trained. Along the way they send some other trained killers after him.

One of my favorites scenes was in Morocco. An "asset" (assassin) is chasing Nicky Parsons, a CIA agent who is aiding Bourne, through narrow streets, over rooftops, and ultimately through labyrinthine apartments. Bourne is tracking the killer so he can save Nicky. It's a pretty tense chase scene, but when Bourne catches up with the killer, the fun begins! They pummel each other like crazy! There's no music, and, if I recall correctly, it's all in real time (no slo-mo kung-fu stuff). Very raw, very intense. I don't have to tell you which of the fighting machines prevail!

The whole movie had a very raw, in-your-face look to it, with lots of hand-held, jerky shots, but not so much you get motion sickness. As with any movie like this, there are plenty of "no way" moments, but it's close enough to realistic that you can still cheer for Bourne. (He does seem to heal up quickly, though. . . .) The biggest quibble I have is that this cute young girl, Nikky, is supposed to be an experienced CIA field agent, but, other than her entry, when she manages to stay cool when Bourne holds a gun on her, she acts like a damsel in distress. She just didn't seem tough enough for the role.

A fun, edge-of-your-seat thriller! Three stars!

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