The Bourne Ultimatum

Rated 4.0

There’s no missing the strong points—an array of dazzling action sequences, a vivid and appealing cast (David Strathairn, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, etc.), a gritty sort of international intrigue and a sprinkling of topical political barbs. And there is that special fascination with Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) himself—a trained, near-robotic killing machine following the dictates of a not-quite-extinguished human heart and seeking answers to the puzzle of his own spectacularly conflicted identity. There is also a sense in which the series, and director Paul Greengrass, are trying to have it both ways—the confusions and uncertainties of the moment-to-moment action, combined with the Big Brother-style surveillance of omniscient narrators and super spies equipped with state-of-the-art technology. After all, Jason Bourne’s all-too-human identity quest resides right alongside his fantastic action-hero abilities. As such, The Bourne Ultimatum is less about real human issues than two sides of the same Über-fantasy battling it out.