August 09, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum Delivers, Has Me Wishing for More

The problem with putting the words "End", "Apocalypse", "Final", "Last" and "Ultimatum" in titles is that the audience assumes all the loose ends in a story will be wrapped up nicely, that all questions will be answered, and hopefully, the hero will win, the villains will fall, and all will go on happily ever after. Yet, sometimes, like in the case with the Matt Damon-led Jason Bourne movies, we simply enjoy the experience, and are willing to forego believability, if only to extend the franchise in hopes of future entertainment.

Tonight, Kristine and I saw "The Bourne Ultimatum", the third in the Bourne series, centering around Bourne's continued efforts to peel back the mysteries in his past, and wreak vengeance on those who have wronged him. Intertwined between car chases, foot chases, motorcycle chases, fisticuffs and shooting, we also see political infighting and coverups at the CIA, foes turn to friends, and somehow end up cheering on a man who could easily be seen as a cold-hearted mercenary.

While there's always a danger than an actor will become cast in a mold if they repeatedly play a single character for too long and become identified with that role, I've always been impressed with the way Damon handled the role of Bourne - without a hint of humor, but instead, pure seriousness, craftiness and intellect to outwit those seeking to hunt him down. If I were to learn that in some odd twist, that the Bourne trilogy were to be extended to say, five, or seven, films, I'd welcome it. Bourne has the potential to be a franchise, but, having just left the theater, it's clear they want to put the sure money maker to bed.

Bourne Ultimatum starts off in action and does not relent throughout. Not pausing much for character development, the film starts where the second installment left off, assumes the viewer is familiar with the back story, and charges forward, as we follow Bourne's search for answers, and the world's search for Bourne. For summer enjoyment, it was a good film, with enough noise and action to be worth seeing in a theater, rather than waiting for the DVD or finagling from BitTorrent. I only wish they had left the door open a bit more.

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