We are now two days away from the fifth entry in the Bourne series: Jason Bourne. The film marks the return of Matt Damon to the title role and director of films two and three: Paul Greengrass. Most likely, this will be the last Damon Bourne film. We’re looking at the first three entries in the series in this column leading up to the film (because really why submit yourself to The Bourne Legacy?). Two weeks ago, we looked at The Bourne Identity, last week we looked at The Bourne Supremacy, and this week we look at the last film to feature Damon & Greengrass: 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum.
The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy overlap to a certain degree. It’s really interesting to watch the two films back-to-back, as the events of Ultimatum work their way in and out of what we saw in Supremacy before launching out into their own territory. Plot-wise, I don’t know of any two movies to compare them to in that regard. The best example is that the final scene in The Bourne Supremacy takes place about halfway through The Bourne Ultimatum. In Ultimatum, though, you see that scene through a completely expanded lens of surrounding circumstance. Watch the two “Get Some Rest, Pam” scenes from the two films to get a feel for how Ultimatum snakes in and around Supremacy (poor Pam, she probably never went near a window again after all this).
We’ve been playing fast and loose with the favorite scene thing (really so I can stuff more scenes in these columns) to show Bourne’s mental and physical prowess. The previous film featured such an iconic car chase (and that chase still figures into the plot of this film), so they really didn’t try to one-up the past chases aside from a brief pursuit in Tangiers on motorbikes. The best example of a chase that I think Ultimatum offers is a mental game of chess between Bourne and the remnants of the CIA black ops group trying to clean up its living loose end (Bourne) as Jason guides a reporter in and around an extremely hairy situation.
The Bourne Ultimatum does offer, perhaps, the most brutal and creative installment in “Jason Kills People With Household Objects”. In the second half of the film, Bourne and Nicky (Julia Stiles) slowly uncover his past as David Webb and the rest of his hidden past. Trying to stop him is David Straitham and several agents like Bourne, one of whom makes the mistake of making Bourne particularly angry. Desh is no pushover, but he’s just fighting like a normal person (with serious training and 0% body fat). Jason is beating him with the contents of an entire house until the fight culminates in Bourne beating him down with, wait for it, a hand towel. I’m sure Jason Bourne is going to bring the goods, but it’s going to have a really hard time topping the car chase from Supremacy and this fight scene in Ultimatum. We’ll see how it does when it opens Friday.