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*** Official THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM Review Thread

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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Shawn.F


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Posted August 01 2007 - 03:05 PM

Caught this last night in Boston. I thought it was great. Man, it's pacing is relentless (the scene in Waterloo Station was incredible). I loved the first one, wasn't completely crazy about the second but found the third to be perhaps my favorite of the trio. I'll have to watch the first one again on HD DVD to see if I like it more than the new film.

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Chris


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Posted August 01 2007 - 04:16 PM

This is the best of the three. This is the best pure-action (not big CGI) type film of the summer.

But this needs said: This movie is SMART. There are no weird stupid leaps of absurdities. Everything builds and it -feels- right.

So far, I kept saying this summer I watched two great movies (Ratatouie & Knocked Up) a few decent to good (Harry Potter, Transformers, etc.). This movie goes right into the "Great" camp. It's the smartest of the Bourne films. It pulls you in. The dialog is sharp. The action is INCREDIBLE and it looks sickeningly real, unlike say, Die Hard or Transformers were you know it's CGI, there is not a single action sequence that didn't look 100% real. I was completely sold.

This is a pulse pounding thrill ride. I mean that. I can't say this enough: it looks so damn real that you WILL buy in. My favorite of the Bourne series. There is a sequence in the middle I MUST see again because for the life of me, I can't figure out how they did it.

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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 01 2007 - 09:44 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Bourne Ultimatum". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread. Any plot details that could negatively affect another's viewing pleasure should have spoilers attached to those comments.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.




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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisHeflen


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Posted August 03 2007 - 04:19 AM

I dont mean to be a nay sayer, and while I do think it's a good film I don't think it's the best.
First there is nothing in this one that we haven't seen in the first two, minus the plot. That $$#% 'n shakey camera work is there along with I don't know how many "over the shoulder of some guy camera angles" that got old fast. I felt like I was sitting on a paint shaker. It was also like don't worry about completely filming the action sequences, we'll just shake the camera around and that will fill in the rest. I think 1990 and MTV are calling wanting their shakey film crew back.
Besides those two gripes it is a very good film, but IMHO not as good as the first or even second for that matter.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Jon Mahoney

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Posted August 03 2007 - 01:11 PM

As a huge fan of the 1st two movies I just got home from the final one. After having huge expectations for this movie, it completely lived up to all of it and even surpassed expectations. Realistic, great special effects and a great story made this movie probably the best I've seen this year. The ending was great as well. I'm glad they didn't sell out the franchise with cheap tricks and finished the series the way it should be done.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   DaveF


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Posted August 03 2007 - 02:09 PM

Exciting action movie. While I don't like the Paul Greengrass shakey-camera style, as with #2 he knows how to tell a taut story with some of the best action scenes on film today. It's worth seeing for the first fight and the car chase.

There's a bit of silliness with Europe seemingly a cab's ride from NY, seemingly resurrected people, and Jason Bourne making a very foolish comment which nearly gets him caught and betrays his extreme competence and survival instincts.

Regardless, it's an exciting movie and a great choice for a Friday night.

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Brett_M



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Posted August 03 2007 - 03:42 PM

My favorite film of the year by far and the best in the trilogy, imo. The fastest 2 hours I've ever spent in a theater. It tops the previous chases and fights. Great character work from all involved and a fantastic ending. The 'Waterloo Station' portion of the film had me in awe.

Tense, taut, gripping, riveting...I'm out of superlatives.

Previous replies speak to the "shaky cam." It's there but the frame is a bit more open and the cutting was better. Lessons learned from Supremacy, I'd say.

See it. See it ASAP.

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#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted August 04 2007 - 01:40 AM

Well, no doubt I'm a HUGE Bourne Series fan. Bourne Ultimatum was my most anticipated film this Summer.

One should never see a film if you're tired and I was a bit tired last night. (so there's my disclaimer Posted Image )

Overall, I was disappointed in Ultimatum. A series that set itself apart from the standard issues suddenly felt like ALOT of running/chasing down moments. Posted Image Story/drama made the first 2 films so good. (especially Identity)...but here I just found the story...well...kind of weak. There were some moments with Landy and Owen? that were the same from Supremacy. She's out of the loop etc etc...

Some of my disappointment certainly stems from huge expectations. The payoff if you will didn't grab me. I also felt the Niki connection was kind of lame. I wanted more of Bourne uncovering his life and time really finding this out instead of one chase after the other.

There were some nice moments for sure and it's a pretty good film. Just my first reaction is that it could have been much better. This one is getting great reviews and this thread is positive so I don't want to poo-poo the excitement....

I would like to see it again though and allow my sky high expectations to vanish. Maybe then I will be able to see a good film in there. Posted Image

For now....7.5/10.

for reference:
The Bourne Identity....10/10.
The Bourne Supremacy 9.5/10.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted August 04 2007 - 07:33 AM

Well, I give the film an A-/B+. It was directed by the same guy who did the second one, and is basically the style of the second half of that movie the whole way through. Well done overall, but neither of the second two films live up to the first. I am conflicted as to whether or not I liked this one better than the second. Part of me liked it more because it was not as confusing and convoluted as the second one (the plot is really extremely straightforward when you think about it, all the action and the omiscience of following the hunter and the hunted simultaneously to drive suspense is the centerpiece of the film), and part of me disliked that aspect because at a certain point we knew Bourne was headed back to the beginnings to confront the 'evil doctor' who basically tortured him as we see in flashbacks, and then there's nothing particularly mysterious left to the plot for the rest of the film except getting to see all the cool stuff that happens on his way to wherever that is. (And odd that the doctor would still be hanging around alone in an empty building that presumably was used for this training years ago and is no longer in use? But no matter, Bourne's got asskicking to do and scores to settle.)

As noted by many reviewers and some here, Greengrass is very aggressive with moving and zooming the camera, so don't sit too close to the screen or it'll drive you nuts. Some of this was unnecessary, and makes some of the chase scenes as incoherent (or moreso) than in Ultimatum, and kind of annoyed me after a while, but thankfully there were enough slower moments scattered in (I wish there were more though) that gives relief. I was also dissappointed in the car chase scenes (though the running across the rooftops was reminiscent of the newest Bond, and quite excellent) mainly because Greengrass puts the camera so close to all the cars, the entire chase seems to consist of small parts of various cars moving very quickly across the screen in various directions all edited together so we get the idea that there is a car chase going on. We really have no idea where they're driving, what they're really doing or anything like that. It makes me pine for more sober and coherent chase scenes like in the first Bourne where we can see how he actually chooses to make his escapes and where he chooses to go, which are in my opinion superior, and more in line with the heritage of classic chases like those in Bullitt or Ronin.

A couple minor things that I thought were silly was that Julia Stiles' character insinuated that they had some kind of more-than-just-formal relationship as she asks him with a sad look on her face "you really don't remember?" and looks kind of heartbroken. At another point she's staring at him through a mirror, and then he says something hastily like "we should go." He's not even going to bother to kiss her or anything? Bah. Although I guess his romantic side sort of died with Marie, so maybe that makes sense.

In any case, a very entertaining movie, well done all around though very much similar to the second film and comparable in quality (hard to decide which is better, it depends, I think most will enjoy this one more because it's less convoluted). Still, neither live up to Identity which is definitely the best of the three, and I don't understand why Liman who directed Identity wasn't at the helm of either of these?

One thing that I thought was an unecessary kind of manipulative little twist was the ending:

Bourne is confronted by an 'asset' (another assassin) that he earlier smashed up in a car wreck but didn't shoot (almost the same kind of thing as the Russian guy in Supremacy), but the asset asks him 'why didn't you take the shot.' Bourne responds something like "look at how much we give" a nice gesture to a line by Clive Owen's character in Identity, and the assasin doesn't shoot him as Bourne leaps to his escape off the building into water below. BUT then all of a sudden David Straitham(sp?) appears out of nowhere with a gun and apparently shoots Bourne, whose sillouhette is limp in the water that is intercut with plot resolution sequences about the CIA guys getting arrested and whatnot etc etc. But of course maybe Bourne wasn't hit, or maybe he was, but he swims away of course, a nice audience pleaser. That whole little coda of him maybe being shot was a silly gimmick that lasted all of a minute for no good reason. I was expecting the other assasin guy maybe to jump in after Bourne and pull him bleeding out of the water, I thought that might have been a touching end, and IMO maybe a more hopeful ending to the premise of the Bourne films in general and this one in particular about the unecessary and sort of evil nature of what these guys are doing (just assassinating people, according to the films, people of really not much evil if at all, basically). But we're left with a kind of silly quick audience gimmick. Would have been better just to let him jump off the building without the gesture to maybe having been shot and killed.

And then a giant plot hole that in retrospect seemed really stupid, was that Bourne by this point knows who he is pretty much and all his skills, and all the skills of his fellow assassins, and yet:

as he and Stiles attempt to intervene in the assasination attempt fo the CIA chief on wherever they were I don't even remember, Bourne randomly turns into an idiot and follows right behind assassin Desh on a scooter. Bourne has to assume the CIA is also after him, and even if not, the guy would notice this out-of-place buff white guy following right behind him on a scooter. And so Bourne is unable to thward Desh and almost gets himself and Julia Stiles killed. Of course after this bout of out-of-character stupidity is followed by Bourne and Stiles suddenly regaining their intelligence and eluding and then killing Desh.

Anyway, an eminently entertaining film, and one that likely will ultimately be forgotten and confused together with the second film, but a strong outing and the kind of 'realistic' action (as opposed to Michael Bay type outlandish stupidity) that adults can appreciate. I was surprised at how almost everyone in the theater I went to (a 9:50pm showing) was middle aged, not that many very young people or teens. But regardless, a film that like the second one, makes me pine for the Bourne Identity which clearly remains the best film of the series.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 04 2007 - 02:26 PM

While I enjoyed most of the film, its strength is its weakness: it's got great riveting chase sequences, and we got 3-4 of them, and one of them in the middle section just sort of sags to a finish for me. To ratchet the tension, the film plays very fast and loose with time needed to travel from place to place for the characters, but it's these spots that could have given the film some scenes to catch its breath and build a little more in terms of character development (although, given Bourne's amnesia condition of his former life, I guess that was asking a little too much).

I would have liked more details of Bourne's former life, and the resolution felt a little lightweight considering 3 films are invested in telling his story.

But most folks going into this film know what they want to see: Bourne kicking butt in close-quarter combat, causing diversions on the fly and slipping away from would-be capturers (fun cat-n-mouse spy games), and shaky-cam! At this point, I'm used to Director Greengrass's penchant for hand-held camerawork, so it's just part of the sceney for the Bourne films.

I wanted to like the film a little more than I do, but it's still a solid 2 hours of cinematic entertainment.

I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Kachi Khatri

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Posted August 04 2007 - 05:27 PM

Just got back from late night screeing, what a movie! The best action thriller of the summer. This final instalment is a tour de force, relentless pacing and in-your-face no nonsense. As a fan of this franchise, I re-watched the previous two sequals just to wet my appetitie and was I rewarded. The taste just lingers after the final credit.

I was amazed that Greengrass upped the ante in terms of the action. Yes, a bit of cam shakiness early on is there but that all can be forgiven. But it does seem to add to the paranoia and realistic flow of the movie.

The music is really good and generates suspense along the way, adding the cinematography of various locations also creates a sense of urgency. I feel the ‘look’ of this movie is made to add tension and it does that very well.

Matt Damon’s acting is brilliant just by conveying with the looks. Bourne being intelligent and confusing simultaneously pulls it off. Even the supporting cast, especially David Strathairn and Joan Allen were solid in their roles.

The conclusion is satisfying and wraps everything up. There is a human element to Borune’s character as we see in the end and the operatives like the CIA & FBI makes you wonder why the stakes are so high.

One other thing I paid attention to as with the other instalments is there is generally no foul language or cuss word that we’re used to in action movies and this is amazing in itself. This movie has to be admired for without the goofiness and cheese in dialogues and clichéd witty remarks.

The Bourne trilogy has been an outstanding cinematic achievement. This is easily my favourite trilogy.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted August 05 2007 - 11:38 AM

My least favorite of the trilogy...but not because the film was weak. It was quite strong, one of the better films of the summer. I agree there were a few inconsistencies (like Parsons can send the kill confirm from another guy's phone...they wouldn't have a special CODE only he knew for that?!?! Answer: of course they would), but considering how smart the film is, they get washed away in the current.

I loved the Desh/Bourne fight scene, though I echo the shaky cam comments...I love Greengrass, but it can be tough for viewers. But the rest of his skillful direction and the quality of the sequences made up for it. Everything else maintained tone and quality from the previous two.

I hope it's the last...it's a very strong finish Posted Image

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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 05 2007 - 02:49 PM

Not as good as the hype machine has trumpeted it to be but still a great flick. Greengrass continues with the shaky cam style but this time pulls the camera out a bit to properly frame the action. Makes a big difference.

Ulitmately, the film sags at the conclusion because Bourne's reason(s) for volunteering are not explored. What is it in his backstory that led him to the decision to forget himself? Fertile territory that is never tilled. The film ends with a resolution that has no impact because of it. Bourne knows his real name.

8 out of 10
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 05 2007 - 09:23 PM

Again, if you're going to post your review which reveals some of the plot then please use spoilers when doing so. Thank you.




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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Brent M

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Posted August 06 2007 - 11:48 AM

Just got back from seeing it and this was not only the best action flick of the summer, but the best action movie I've seen in a long time. I think it might even top Casino Royale which was my favorite non-superhero, non sci-fi action film of the last few years. I was only bothered by the "shaky cam" in the Desh chase and fight sequence, but other than that I thought it was way toned down from Supremacy which almost made me nauseous at the theater. Overall, this was the best film of the trilogy IMHO(very close to Identity and much better than Supremacy) and it get's Posted Image Posted Image from me.
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Tarkin The Ewok

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Posted August 18 2007 - 01:25 PM

Copied from the TTFYW 2007 thread:

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Matt Damon is at the top of his game, the stunts are thrilling, and the scene of Bourne directing an informant out of a Blackbriar ambush is espionage film at its best. Unfortunately, all of the positive aspects of the movie are hampered by the dreaded shaky camera, a plot that mostly just shuffles characters from Point A to Point B, and minimal character development. It's a decent film but no more than that. Only Bourne fans and MTV-style action film fans need apply.

I greatly prefer the first movie of the series.