Tony’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s the year of the trilogy and the Bourne Ultimatum was no exception. I saw the first movie (Bourne Identity) on DVD a while back and enjoyed it, but it was only on seeing it a second time that I really decided I liked it. The second movie (Bourne Supremacy) I saw on TV and enjoyed it, although it’s obviously not as fresh as the first. I had mixed feelings about a third, I wanted it to be brilliant, I feared it would be substandard. I was worried that they would be dragging the story thin, the freshness of the first movie comes partly from the lack of identity of Jason, but he gets closer to knowing who he is, and in the second closer again. Would there be enough left to provide a background? Would it just be a rehash of the first story?
And it was ‘good’, not superb, not as good as the first one, but it was entertaining. I still love the solid confidence of the main character and how well he’s portrayed by Matt Damon. It’s that confidence which brings the character to life, the absolute solid knowledge of what to do next, given any situation, and how to deal with it. It doesn’t matter if he’s right wrong or out-smarted, but his every action is steeped in raw confidence. His movements, running and decisions all come from that rigid absolute knowledge that he has to do exactly what he’s doing. It’s intoxicating.
The story is good, we get to meet a couple of familiar characters and a bunch of new ones, we get some new locations including London, and we get to see a yet-deeper conspiracy within the CIA, confusing the entire story and situation even further than the second movie. The supporting cast is okay, some of the roles are a bit tired and some of the presentations are pretty much stock-out-of-the-bag, but it holds the story together and gives Bourne a platform on which to perform.
It turns out there is enough story left to delve into and we finally learn how Jason Bourne was created and who created him. We return to his birth, and finally learn what he was prepared to sacrifice for his country.
An excellent action movie, a good spy action movie, and a fitting if slightly-pale follow-up to the first two. A must see for the fans, a should see for people who like this kind of movie.