THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

The third entry in the popular action series based on the novels by Robert Ludlum is the strongest one yet. Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, a trained assassin seeking his true identity, revenge for the death of his girlfriend, and a way out of the life that the CIA has created for him. He is surveilled by two CIA higher-ups: a cold, calculating bureaucrat (David Straithairn) and a consciencious and well-meaning veteran (Joan Allen). Coming to his aid again is analyst Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), as Bourne makes his way all over the globe, dodging bullets, chasing (and being chased), and defending himself at every turn. Paul Greengrass directed again (he previously made the second film, “The Bourne Supremacy” in 2004, as well as 2006’s 9/11 saga “United 93”) and shows a great deal of intelligence coupled with riveting style in weaving his tale; it’s a virtually non-stop action ride. I believe what elevates this part above the rest of the trilogy is the acting, particularly by Allen and Straithairn as two government agents working together for a common goal who come to a fork in the road and have to decide who and what they really are. Albert Finney is quite good as well, late in the film, as the doctor who “created” Bourne. All in all, this is a superior continuation of a series that may be the successor to the legacy of James Bond.

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