The Bourne Ultimatum is the final film in what has been an amazing and action-packed trilogy of thrillers based on the late Robert Ludlum’s novels featuring the same characters and plot. Matt Damon has turned in some of the best work of his career in these movies. He appears at once as invincible and unstoppable as Jason Bourne, yet is also vulnerable and lost.
In the first movie, fans learned that Jason Bourne was just a pseudonym and not the character’s true name. In this movie, we finally find out what the character’s name really is. Of course, those people who have already read the books knew that.
The first two movies, to a degree, paced the action and played to the tension in scenes. The Bourne Ultimatum goes for the throat on action sequences from the very beginning, but there are still some brilliant twists and turns to the plot that will catch the audience off balance.
Julia Stiles reprises her role as Nicky Parsons, a CIA agent who believes Bourne and sympathizes with him. Joan Allen plays Pamela Landy, a CIA supervisor clever enough to catch Bourne – or to help him find out what exactly was done to him. Both of these women are strong and individual in their roles even though they aren’t allowed much screen time.
David Strathairn is absolutely marvelous as Noah Vosen, the evil CIA mastermind fans of the series have come to enjoy hating. His acting is spot on and his deviousness is purely Machiavellian.
But the thing that really drives this movie is the pedal-to-the-metal action. Once the movie rips into motion, it simply does not slow down. Although two hours in length, the movie breezes by and is gone before you’re ready, although it is intensely satisfying. Bourne’s opponents aren't the only ones capable of devious and twisted action.
Even though he’s been hunted, Jason Bourne is a relentless predator. He asks no quarter and gives none, totally merciless when dealing with those who would do harm to him. He’s the kind of hero every guy wants to be and every woman wants to fall in love with. The fight scenes, the chase scenes in cars and on motorcycles, the marathon races across rooftops and through apartment buildings are physically demanding and look great on screen. Evidently Damon did a lot of his own stunt work when he could.
The film was also shot on numerous locations, giving it a spectacular visual appeal. Scenes were shot in New York City, England, France, Germany, Morocco, Spain, and India. The story’s pacing burns through the terrain, but you can immediately tell it was shot on location. The stunt crew must have had a field day with this one. All the dazzling escapes, explosions, and chase sequences are extremely well choreographed and look great on the screen.