The Bourne Ultimatum is a pulse-pounding excursion into wild action and adventure as we follow Jason Bourne on his continuing quest to discover who he is and put a stop to his pursuers. Along to deliver the musical accompaniment is composer John Powell, who is one of many creative personnel who have been on board throughout the trilogy. It is always nice to have the same composer throughout a series as it provides a consistency in the music. Of course, on the flip side, it is sometimes nice to get a variety of styles throughout. But I digress.
The Bourne Ultimatum score is the first that I have listened to as a separate album, so I cannot say how it compares to the earlier albums. What I can say is that this album, which runs for nearly an hour, is filled with exciting music that will take you back to the thrills and chills that were supplied by the Paul Greengrass-helmed film, although it is no substitute for the film when it comes to pulse-pounding entertainment.
That sounds sort of contradictory, don't you think? As odd as it may be to read, it is a completely accurate representation of my experience. The movie truly had me on the edge of my seat as I watched Jason Bourne (the excellent Matt Damon) become entangled in outright fisticuffs, embroiled in car chases, and possibly most dramatically in a tense game of cat and mouse in the midst of crowded Waterloo station. It is hard to quantify just how exciting this film was. It is easily the most successful action/thriller to come out this year. It has a solid story, first rate acting, and excellent direction. When combined with Powell's score, the combined effect is one that has to be experienced as such.
If you remove the score from the film, the excitement level most definitely drops. It is often hard to fathom the importance of music to a film. Just think about what it would be like to watch this film without the music. Now reverse it — listen to the music without the images. While the result is not quite as extreme, the effect of the score is definitely lessened.
Many score albums can deliver a fully rounded experience sometimes tied to the memory of the film (such as John William's Star Wars) and sometimes as an album of pure music (like Clint Mansell's The Fountain). Of course, there are varying degrees between the two, and it is in this area that John Powell's work falls.