When the third film in a franchise is released, it usually has a lot riding on its shoulders, unless the previous two films were bad in any way. That would leave room for the third film to improve upon them, but that was not the case after the release of The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. Having to live up to two great films, along came The Bourne Ultimatum, which very quickly became the fan favourite of the three, and the most well-regarded film by the critics. Matt Damon returns as the title character and continues this franchise with vigour and pure entertainment. While it is a very rare feat for the third film in a franchise to be the best, this trilogy seemed to have no end in sight. Lets reflect on the best of Bourne.
Part 3: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
A Sloppy Year
2007 quickly became the year of trilogies, as films like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek the Third were all huge disappointments, all being released in the same summer. This made things look very, very bad for the third instalment of the Bourne franchise, but clearly everyone kept a positive attitude and flocked to this film in droves. Being the biggest box office return of the entire franchise thus far, it was clear which film was the best regarded of the trilogy. Amongst the weak, Bourne was easily the champion of the live-action blockbusters that summer. The Bourne films have a tendency to pick the years where the weakest blockbusters are released, and that was definitely the case with the next films to come as well. So why is this film the best of the franchise?
The Action And The Story
Being the most personal of the three, Jason Bourne remains being hunted by a new organization as his answers begin to single out one location in which he will be able to finally uncover his entire past. Filled with some very clever writing and storytelling in general, The Bourne Ultimatum is simply the most thought-provoking and most action-packed of the trilogy. With chases in subways and on rooftops, to car chases, this film never lets up. When it does, it is worthwhile, as the most interesting portions of his life are hidden surprises throughout the film. This film is everything you enjoyed about Bourne in the past, tenfold.
The Supporting Members
While it was nice to see Julia Stiles popping up in the previous films, she played more as a guppy than a serviceable character in my my opinion. Here, her character serves as help for Jason Bourne on his missions, but eventually gets far too wrapped up in the goings on in his life, that things quickly spiral out of control for her. I enjoyed every second of their chemistry together in this film, which is one thing that the previous two lacked. She helped move the story along at a nice pace and eventually would help him accomplish certain things. Everything about this aspect was perfect.
The Answers and My Final Thoughts
When all is revealed in the final act of the film, audience felt a sense of ease, knowing who was the real bad guy and if Bourne had been right or wrong about himself all along. The final few moments of this film bring everything full circle, which begs the question, "why did they continue?" Overall, The Bourne Ultimatum is not only the best in the franchise, but also serves an an incredible mystery/action/thriller all on its own. Sure, you would get more out of the film by seeing its predecessors, but on its own, this film works very well. I love the Bourne franchise, but this is the only film in the franchise that I am able to call one of my favourite films in general. With exciting action set pieces, a riveting storyline, and plot twists to make anyone get goosebumps, The Bourne Ultimatum is not one to miss, even nine years later. Spy/thriller perfection.
Review: KJ Proulx