Favorite

Bourne again 

click to enlarge BOURNE IS BACK: Matt Damon returns as rogue agent Jason Bourne.
  • BOURNE IS BACK: Matt Damon returns as rogue agent Jason Bourne.

I must admit that from the first few frames of “The Bourne Identity,” I've been a Jason Bourne fan. Even before James Bond's gritty reboot in “Casino Royale,” I thought that Bourne was what Bond wanted to be. No quips, no witty one-liners, no pneumatic blondes in swimwear. Just a guy who looks like a pissed off real estate agent breaking the law in picturesque international locales — jumping off buildings, shooting the baddies, driving real fast and basically jujitsuing the living crap out of everyone in sight.

In that regard and others, the latest installment of the adventures of our favorite amnesiac hitman, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” doesn't disappoint. Faster, smarter and more intense than the other films in the series (which pretty much rewrote the book on fast, smart and intense when it comes to action thrillers), “Ultimatum” is both the perfect bookend to the Bourne trilogy and a stylish new benchmark for the genre.

Picking up where “Supremacy” left off, rogue super-agent Jason Bourne (Damon) is still trying to figure out his past and regain his memory, which — since the end of “Supremacy,” we soon find – has started returning to him in crippling flashbacks, usually at the most inconvenient time. Meanwhile, Blackbriar — the above top-secret CIA program that sought to create Bourne and a whole stable of emotionless human killing machines — has a new boss, the thoroughly slimy Noah Vosen (David Strathairn). After Vosen learns that a British reporter is looking into the Blackbriar project (how Vosen learns about the reporter's interest is enough to make any Bush-era lover of liberty shudder — especially given how likely it could be), he hastily concludes that Bourne is probably the source of the reporter's information. With that, and against the advice of Bourne's old boss Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), Vosen again turns the might of America's black ops wing toward the elimination of Jason Bourne — which is a tremendously bad idea, given that in the last two flicks, Bourne has killed more people than Hurricane Katrina. Trying to both evade the death squads and figure out what Vosen knows abut Blackbriar and the mysterious Dr. Hirsch (Albert Finney) who ran it, Bourne soon makes his way to New York City, where he matches wits with the CIA hitmen, government surveillance gurus, and, finally, Vosen himself.

Even though I've always found Matt Damon to be a little flat as an actor, in the case of Bourne, Damon's flatness and everyman looks work with the character instead of against it. Damon turns in about as nuanced a performance as you can expect from a movie with this many car chases. Also good is Julia Stiles as Bourne's CIA contact turned accomplice. The real star of the “Ultimatum,” however — as in the case of the previous Bourne films — is adrenaline, and there is plenty to be found here. Director Paul Greengrass employs a fluid, always moving eye behind the camera, often shooting through handheld cameras to give the claustrophobic feeling of being watched. It works perfectly with the machine-gun pace of the film, and with Bourne's improvisational style when cornered. On foot and behind the wheel, with fists, feet, towels, books and broken chair legs, Bourne manages to always get the better of the bad guys, usually in a spray of blood and broken glass. The result is a movie where the thrills simply do not stop, from beginning to end. Check this one out.

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • The 91st Arkansas General Assembly: It's going to be a beast

    Some legislation to look for, and how to speak your mind.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • The incredible adventures of Nate Powell

    The Little Rock native is the first cartoonist to win the National Book Award. His graphic novel 'March,' the memoir of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, may well be the mother text for a new era of nonviolent resistance.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Best and worst 2016

    Honestly, it's hard to imagine a bigger dumpster fire of a year, short of the one in which a giant asteroid careens out of the dark like a drunken prom king in his mom's Hyundai and smashes the Earth to smithereens.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Not much to 'Love'

    In Judd Apatow's new Netflix original series.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Latest in Movie Reviews

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Changes needed

    • Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…

    • on January 15, 2017
  • Re: Road to recovery

    • Thanks for sharing this article. Asphalt is the most common material used for paving. Asphalt…

    • on January 13, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation