Monday, August 13, 2012

Get some rest, Pam. You look tired.

With the end of summer looming, I'll be headed back to the classroom soon enough. This week, all the teachers and support staff gather to begin gearing up for the upcoming school year. It's fitting then, that on Saturday night, I felt like I finally completed some long overdue assignment when I decided to tackle 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum.

Though I think TNT shows all three Bourne films seventeen times a day, I had never seen a minute of the third one. The only mental image I could recall was that shot of him jumping through a window as the camera follows him in. Awesome, right? Obviously, my interest in completing the original trilogy was upped by the release of The Bourne Legacy. I mean, you can go four, just four, but you can't go one, two, four. No way. Bourne wouldn't stand for it.

Even five years late to the party, I found Ultimatum to be fairly kickass. I had forgotten how much of a bad customer Matt Damon can be. I've kind of settled in to the frumpy/dreamy dad-version of Damon, featured in disease flicks and zoo purchases. But not here, friends. The only illness he has is being sick of not knowing who the Hell he is. And the only thing he's buying here, is time. To kill.

Okay, even I thought that was stupid, but let's just pretend it never happened. What has happened, is that director Paul Greengrass has done it again. This movie is so tightly-wound, so fast-paced and yet still essentially based in reality that you can't take your eyes off of it. In fact, with so many things in play, you might not want to. Sure, all the action is tense and frenetic, but even conversation is on the clock. Seriously. There are few, if any, casual moments - it's great. I was shocked at how seamlessly everything was woven together, too. Bourne, in case you've forgotten, is no joke.

You know who else doesn't play? The Yays and Boos. They've been sitting in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, cleaning their weapons and patiently waiting for your phone call. Let's ring 'em, shall we?

Just once, could this type of character honestly do everything they're told?
  • I really dug the scene with her brother. Everyone knew it was inevitable.
  • I'm a tad skeptical, but I like the idea that there are certain words we can say into a cell phone that instantly light up some government switchboard. That's frightening, but intriguing. Blackbriar. Bzzz. Whrrr. Arrested.
  • Blue-hooded sweatshirt Guy! Poor bastard. That dude was just waiting for a bus.
  • I am officially installing another flatscreen in my living room so I can demand that my wife puts things on screen one now, dammit! I also want to be a member of a grab team.
  • The whole movie is a chase, but the rooftop one was pretty excellent. Not sure how everyone keeps tabs on each other, but, whatever. I'm in.
  • Desh! You, sir, are the man. That was the best close quarters fight I've seen since Kill Bill vol. 2. And bonus points for absolutely devastating Julia Stiles with a reverse elbow to the face. Oh. My. God.
  • I was so scared that we were going to go through this whole movie and not see the esteemed Albert Finney. Seriously, I love this man (Big Fish, anyone?).
  • The final shot was very cool. Held it just long enough.
  • You have to love David Strathairn. You don't get a choice. Even if he wants to have you killed.
  • And finally, Matt F--king Damon. For PG-13, he kicks a lot of ass.
Things I will now say/shout often: This is a code ten abort!
  • Bourne kind of shrugs off an exploded car with ease. I know he's a bad hombre, but still. Maybe stay down for, like, three seconds?
  • And I don't know about you, but in my car, if I hit a curb it seems like everything's totally f--ked. But apparently NYPD squadcars are utterly indestructible. 
  • I know, I know it has to happen. But of all the cops/agents/rouge assassins in the world, the one who gets the drop on our man JB happens to be the One Guy he didn't shoot in the head when he totally had the chance? Fine. But, just once I'd like that guy to be a prick and shoot the main dude.
I think before I'd watched the final [Matt Damon] Bourne, I would have hesitated to call it a great trilogy. But then I saw something else that made me reconsider. What about you? Can we go great? Or is that overshooting it?


  1. Yes! I actually knew what movie this was by the quote at the top. I am one of those unfortunate victims that have been subjected to this movie on TNT seventeen times a day, but have actually never seen the whole thing in its entirety. In fact, I've never seen ANY of them in their entirety. Which is probably why I kind of hate them all. *sniff* For me, perhaps jumping straight to number four WOULD be a good thing....

    1. Well, four is, by far the worst one, so it might not be the greatest idea.

      How have you never just decided to say, screw it, I'm going to finally watch this?

  2. I loved this one, my favorite out of all three. The film was like a shot of pure adrenaline and that rooftop chase was really incredible.

    1. I was shocked by how good this was. Made me want to go back and watch the first two. But instead, I went and saw the fourth. More on that later...

  3. I’m putting together a new blogathon. It’s called “Winning Streak” and the idea is that you write about what you consider to be the most impressive unbroken run of great movies from a chosen film-maker. So for example mine would be Robert Altman’s run from Brewster McCloud (1970) to Nashville (1975) where in my opinion he made seven fantastic movies.
    Let me know if you fancy taking part.

  4. If anyone wants to see just one of the Bourne films, don't go for number four.... watch THIS one!! And yes, the trilogy is great!!

  5. Good review M. This flick tops off the trilogy in a great fashion because it's the most tense and exciting of the whole trilogy, and also leaves a lot of the questions we wanted to know for so long, actually answered but also leaving a couple of other ones left for us as well. We may never get to see those questions ever answered again but at least we got a ride like this to end it.