Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Bourne is once again brought out of hiding, this time inadvertently by London-based reporter Simon Ross who is trying to unveil Operation Blackbriar--an upgrade to Project Treadstone--in a series of newspaper columns. Bourne sets up a meeting with Ross and realizes instantly they're being scanned. Information from the reporter stirs a new set of memories, and Bourne must finally, ultimately, uncover his dark past whilst dodging The Company's best efforts in trying to eradicate him. Written by
"The Bourne Ultimatum" begins recklessly mid-chase and in pulse-pounding fashion explodes from there as Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, absolutely superb) tracks down the masterminds behind the CIA black-ops that turned him into the perfect killer in a final attempt to learn his true identity. A devastatingly icy David Strathairn as the "man behind the curtain" is added to the returning cast of regulars including Joan Allen (excellent) and Julia Stiles (non-existent).
Like the second entry in the series, I wished Paul Greengrass' shaky hand-held camera would go static at least for the few minutes of downtime. However, that being said, it's a perfect way to capture the tense, claustrophobic feel of the intimate hand-to-hand-combat scenes and works equally well in the chase scenes which are mostly on foot and across rooftops with the occasional big car pile-up. Part of the fun of the Bourne series is the constant globe-hopping and manipulation of technology and communications that seem to defy the laws of physics and current capabilities. The Bourne films seem to exist in some sort of gritty hyper-reality that is full of technological-based magic. It makes no sense that everyone seems to be just in the right place at the right time, but I'll be damned if it isn't a blast to watch them get there.
With the absence of the emotive and involving Franka Potente, the writers attempt to create some emotional connection between Damon and Stiles, but she is so blank-faced an actress it never really leads to anything. Still, this can be forgiven, for unlike the "Identity" and the "Supremacy", this "Ultimatum" reveals all and we finally learn the truth about Bourne's past. It's an entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the series, and if they have any good sense, and Damon gets his wish, this will be the perfect end to it.
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