The Bourne Ultimatum

August 7, 2007 - Matt Damon runs fast, drives faster and leaps off tall buildings in a single bound in this mile-a-minute conclusion to the Jason Bourne trilogy. Damon is in fine fighting form as the amnesiac assassin. Julia Stiles is back to help him out, and Joan Allen and David Strathairn are hot on his tail.

This story begins with a British journalist going public with spy stories involving a super top-secret CIA program called Blackbriar. And, what happens to people who reveal super top secrets? They get shot in the middle of a crowded train station, that's what. But, not before he has contact with Bourne and sets him on the path to find his true identity.

The movie hops and skips around the world, stopping in this city or that just long enough for Bourne to pick up another clue and outrun those who would kill him. Eventually, Bourne goes to New York, where all his questions are answered thanks to some hints from a surprising ally.

Overall review: *** Pretty good for what it is, which is basically one long chase scene. No one does much sitting around in this movie. Bourne doesn't really have time to rest, and even the chief spooks who want him dead are hyper and fidgety. They can't just sit in their offices; they have to be where the action is.

My chief complaint here is what it always is with movies like this: The action looks great but it doesn't make much sense. For example, Strathairn plays a deputy director of something or other, yet he's out on the mean streets of New York quarterbacking a chase.

Another example, Julia Stiles plays a CIA agent who has a soft spot for Bourne. She helps him out and they end up in Tangier, where the CIA has a conveniently placed assassin. He's given orders to kill Bourne and Julia and the chase is on. Julia tries to get lost in a crowded marketplace, but her blonde hair makes her easy to track. I suppose she couldn't have put that CIA training to use and swiped a scarf or something.

But, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride.