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The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 spy film directed by Paul Greengrass and loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name. The film is a sequel to The Bourne Supremacy and the third film of the Bourne Series. Matt Damon reprises his role as Ludlum's signature character, former CIA assassin from their Special Activities Division and psychogenic amnesiac Jason Bourne. The film continues the saga of Jason Bourne as he escapes from authorities in Moscow, Russiamarker, and follows the character as he travels to Parismarker, Londonmarker, Madridmarker, Tangiermarker, and New York Citymarker to uncover his real identity, while the CIA continues to send assassins after him.The film co-starred Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez, Albert Finney, and Joan Allen. The script was by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns, George Nolfi, and an uncredited Tom Stoppard. The producers were Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall, Paul L. Sandberg, and Doug Liman, who directed the first Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity.

The Bourne Ultimatum was produced by Universal Pictures and was released on August 3, 2007 in North America, where it grossed $69.3 million in ticket sales in its first weekend of release, making it the highest August opening in the U.S. Although all three films have been commercially successful and critically acclaimed, The Bourne Ultimatum is the only film in the trilogy to have been nominated for an Academy Award, winning all three of its nominations for Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Sound Editing at the 80th Academy Awards. It has however, been criticised for its over use of the free motion method of filming or "Shaky Cam" method which some viewers have described as nauseating.

Plot

The movie takes place before the final scene of The Bourne Supremacy. Jason Bourne, wounded by a gunshot from the Russian assassin Kirill, is still evading the Moscow police. Bourne breaks into a medical clinic to treat his wounds, where he is confronted by two policemen. Bourne overpowers one and leaves the other unharmed, telling them his fight is not with them.

Six weeks later, Simon Ross, a security correspondent for The Guardian, meets with someone in Turinmarker, to discuss Treadstone. Bourne contacts Ross to meet with him after having read Ross' article in The Guardian that went into detail about Bourne, Treadstone, and "Operation Blackbriar." The CIA is also aware of Ross and are tracking him, a fact which Bourne soon realizes. Bourne meets with Ross at London Waterloo stationmarker in London, who explains to Bourne that his source says Blackbriar and everything had all started with Bourne. Before Bourne can ask further, Bourne notices CIA agents moving in.

Bourne then directs Ross through the crowded platform via a cell phone to keep him from being seen by the CCTV cameras. CIA officer Noah Vosen orders Paz, an assassin, to go after Ross. Bourne manages to take out some agents attempting to capture Ross, where he his seen by the cameras. Thinking that Bourne is the source, Vosen orders Paz to kill both Bourne and Ross, and in a moment of panic, Ross runs into view of Paz's sniper rifle and is shot dead. In the ensuing chaos, Bourne slips in unnoticed and takes Ross' notes and discovers that his source for the article was Neal Daniels, the Madrid CIA station chief.

The CIA also discovers that Ross' source was Daniels and sends a team out to raid his office. Bourne arrives first and finds nothing, as Daniels has already left. He subdues the CIA team as they storm the office. Unexpectedly, Nicky Parsons arrives, who chooses to help Bourne by giving the all-clear to Vosen and Deputy Director Pamela Landy, giving both her and Bourne time to escape. Parsons tells Bourne that Daniels is in Tangiermarker and the two of them take the ferry to the Moroccan port. On arrival, Parsons logs in and finds the CIA has assigned Desh Bouksani to assassinate Daniels. Aware of Nicky's deceit, Noah orders Desh to kill Parsons after Daniels. Landy is outraged at this decision. Bourne attempts to stop Desh, but Desh successfully detonates a bomb that kills Daniels. As Desh attempts to kill Parsons, Bourne attacks and strangles him after a long and brutal fight. Bourne has Parsons dye and cut her hair (much as he did with Marie) and puts her on a bus to escape.

At the Tangier morgue, Bourne examines Daniels' charred papers and finds the address of the CIA substation in New York City. Bourne takes a flight to New York City and calls Deputy Director Pamela Landy from a building across the street, in a repetition of the ending from The Bourne Supremacy. She explains his real name is David Webb, and was born on 4/15/71.

The birthdate is actually a code for the Treadstone building, located at 415 E. 71st St. Bourne texts Landy to meet her at a certain place, knowing the CIA is monitoring the communication. As the CIA teams and Vosen converge on Landy's position, Bourne breaks into Vosen's office and steals classified Blackbriar documents. In his attempt to escape and reach the Treadstone facility, Bourne engages in a car chase around New York City with CIA agents, ending with Paz crashing his vehicle. Bourne leaves him alive as he heads to the building.

Landy and Bourne meet at the Treadstone R&D facility, where Bourne hands her the Blackbriar files and heads inside to find his past. Landy begins faxing the documents to an unknown receiver, who is caught by Vosen just as the last page was sent. Landy simply leaves, telling Vosen he'll need a good lawyer. Meanwhile, Bourne meets Dr. Albert Hirsch, who ran Treadstone's psychological conditioning program. Bourne was their first experimental conditioning subject.

With Hirsch's help, Bourne remembers that he volunteered for the program and killed a man in the same room. Horrified by what he had to endure to become an assassin, Bourne tells him "I remember everything. I'm no longer Jason Bourne." CIA agents then break in and start shooting. Bourne escapes to the roof, where he confronted by Paz, who demands to know why he spared his life. Bourne tells him "Look at us. Look at what they make you give," repeating the dying words of the Professor from The Bourne Identity. Paz lowers his gun as Bourne rushes for the building edge, but Vosen appears and fires on Bourne just as he leaps into the East Rivermarker below.

Images of Bourne's unmoving body floating in the river are interspersed with images of Nicky watching television news sometime later, noting the exposure of Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, the newsflash that Ezra Kramer is the subject of a United States Senate hearing regarding his conduct, and that David Webb, alias Jason Bourne, was shot and fell into the East River but his body has not been recovered, even after a three-day search, at which point Nicky smiles realizing that Bourne is still alive. In the final moments of the film, Bourne's limp, drifting body springs to life and he is shown swimming away in the East River.

Cast

  • Matt Damon as Jason Bourne: an amnesiac paramilitary assassin from their Special Activities Division formerly based in Paris. The protagonist.
  • Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons: formerly Bourne's Treadstone contact in Paris, she was assigned to Madrid after attempts to capture Bourne in Berlinmarker and Russia failed. She is the only character besides Bourne to appear in all three films.
  • David Strathairn as Noah Vosen: CIA Deputy Director, head of Operation Blackbriar, a renamed and upgraded Operation Treadstone.
  • Joan Allen as Pamela Landy: a CIA Deputy Director, Landy is working with Vosen to track and capture Bourne.
  • Paddy Considine as Simon Ross: a Britishmarker journalist of the newspaper The Guardian who has been uncovering the secrets behind the origin of Operation Treadstone, and Bourne's past.
  • Albert Finney as Dr. Albert Hirsch: the CIA specialist who supervised Bourne's behavior modification training prior to Operation Treadstone.
  • Scott Glenn as Ezra Kramer: Director of the CIA.
  • Colin Stinton as Neal Daniels: CIA Station Chief in Madrid.
  • Joey Ansah as Desh: a Blackbriar assassin out of Casablancamarker, originally sent to Tangier to take out Neal Daniels.
  • Edgar Ramirez as Paz: a Blackbriar assassin out of Naplesmarker, originally sent to London to take out Simon Ross.
  • Tom Gallop as Tom Cronin: Pamela Landy's assistant.
  • Corey Johnson as Ray Wills: Vosen's deputy at Operation Blackbriar.
  • Franka Potente as Marie Helena Kreutz.
  • Daniel Brühl as Martin Kreutz: Marie's half brother.
  • Sam Dang as Raymond Sykes: Field agent attached to Vosen.
  • Scott Adkins as Agent Kiley (Credited as Scott Atkin)


Production

The Bourne Ultimatum was filmed at the Pinewood Studiosmarker in London and in multiple locations around the world, including Tangier, London, Paris, Madrid (as itself and double for Turin), Berlin (as double for Moscow), New York City, and other locations in the U.S.

References to previous films

Within the series

In the audio commentary for the current DVD release of The Bourne Ultimatum, director Paul Greengrass confirmed the following scenes were deliberate allusions to scenes from the previous installments of the Bourne film franchise. They include:
  • The opening chase sequence of The Bourne Ultimatum is a continuation of the Russian police attempts to capture Bourne in Moscow near the end of The Bourne Supremacy and takes place before Bourne's apology to Neski's daughter in the previous film.
  • The scene where Bourne tells Martin of his girlfriend Marie's death is very similar to the ending of The Bourne Supremacy, when Bourne apologizes to the Neski's daughter for killing her parents.
  • The scene where Bourne crashes through a window to attack Desh is similar to the scene where Castel attacked Bourne in The Bourne Identity.
  • After Bourne tells Nicky she will have to run, Nicky dyes and cuts her hair, similar to the scene in The Bourne Identity with Marie dyeing and cutting her hair.
  • During the car chase with Paz, Bourne's car is destroyed in a similar fashion to Kirill's in the climax of The Bourne Supremacy. The sequence also includes similar staging, such as Bourne walking up to Paz with gun in hand but deciding not to shoot.
  • In the rooftop climax, Bourne tells Paz, "Look at us. Look at what they make you give," reiterating the dying words of The Professor (Clive Owen) in The Bourne Identity.
  • The scene at the end of The Bourne Supremacy in which Bourne tells Landy she looks tired is in The Bourne Ultimatum when he arrives in New York.
  • The ending of The Bourne Ultimatum, with Bourne floating motionless in the East River, echoes the opening scene of The Bourne Identity, which utilizes a similar image. The music in both scenes is also repeated.
  • "Operation Blackbriar" in The Bourne Ultimatum is referenced at the very end of The Bourne Identity by Alexander Conklin's superior, Ward Abbott.


Outside of the series

  • The scene featuring Bourne desperately trying to catch a glimpse of Paz in the London Underground after Ross is gunned down is, according to Greengrass, a "wink" to the New York City Subway chase in one of his favorite films, The French Connection.
  • The explosion scene set in Tangiers echo the famous "cafe" explosion scene from the film The Battle of Algiers.
  • The rooftop chase scene in Tangier bears a strong resemblance to a scene in the 1987 Bond film The Living Daylights in which James Bond is also involved in a chase across the rooftops of Tangier.


Music

As with the previous films in the trilogy, the score was composed by John Powell. A new version of Moby's "Extreme Ways", entitled "Extreme Ways (Bourne's Ultimatum)", was recorded for the film's end credits.

Release

  • Benefit premiere — A premiere of The Bourne Ultimatum was held in downtown Oklahoma City on July 31, 2007, at Harkins Bricktownmarker Theaters to benefit The Children's Center, located in suburban Bethanymarker. The film was shown simultaneously on three screens. Matt Damon was at the event to greet guests.
  • UK premiere — The film premiered at Leicester Squaremarker in London on August 15, 2007, with Matt Damon, Julia Stiles and Joan Allen attending. The film was released the next day.
  • Australian premiere — The film premiered in Sydneymarker on August 8, 2007, at the State Theatre, with Matt Damon attending.




The Bourne Ultimatum was released nationwide on August 30, 2007.
  • Home Video Release — The film was released on both DVD and HD DVD Combo Format on December 11, 2007 in North America. The DVD was released in both Fullscreen and 2.35:1 Widescreen aspect ratios. The HD DVD and DVD special features includes several deleted scenes, featurettes, audio commentary, and exclusively on the HD DVD version, HDi Interactive Format features such as Picture-in-Picture Video Commentary.

    In addition to the stand alone DVD release, there is a limited edition 'The Jason Bourne Collection' gift set, featuring all three films on DVD and a bonus disc with a myriad of bonus features such as deleted scenes and featurettes. The gift set features Swiss Bank safe deposit box packaging including foreign currency and a Jason Bourne passport.

    The film and special features on the HD DVD version are presented in 2:35:1 Widescreen high definition 1080p and offer Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio options.


Reception

The Bourne Ultimatum earned $69.3 million during its opening weekend at the box office, a record for a single opening in August and $441.2 million worldwide as of December 14, 2007. As of August 2009, the film garners a 93% "Certified Fresh" rating (208 positive out of 223 reviews total) at Rotten Tomatoes, higher than either predecessor. The film had a rating of 85/100 on Metacritic, again higher than the first two films. At the end of its theatrical release, the film grossed at total of $227,471,070 in the U.S., making it the highest grossing film in the series.

Like its predecessor, The Bourne Supremacy, the film was criticized for its "shaky camera" work, as Richard Corliss of Time magazine, in an otherwise positive review, wondered "why, in the chat scenes, the camera is afflicted with Parkinson's? The film frame trembles, obscures the speaker with the listener's shoulder, annoys viewers and distracts them from the content of the scene."

In the British press, the inclusion of a fictional journalist from the real British paper The Guardian and scenes set in the United Kingdommarker (particularly Waterloo railway station) were commented upon. In particular, that newspaper's reviewer noted that "dodging bullets from a CIA sniper... is the sort of thing which happens to us Guardian journalists all the time."

Top ten lists

The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.

Academy Awards

The film won Academy Awards in all three (second highest number of awards at the ceremony behind No Country for Old Men) of its nominations at the 80th Academy Awards:

Other awards

  • ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Film of the Year, 2008


Sequel

In May 2007, prior to the release of Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon claimed that he would not be interested in returning for a fourth Bourne film, stating (of his participation in the Bourne franchise): "We have ridden that horse as far as we can." Damon even said in an interview on The Daily Show that director Paul Greengrass joked that a fourth film could be titled "The Bourne Redundancy." Nonetheless, the financial and critical success of Bourne Ultimatum has led to speculation in several magazines and Internet forums that another Bourne film might be produced. On February 22, 2008, Variety reported that a fourth film was indeed in the works, with both Damon and Greengrass on board.

This was confirmed on June 25, 2008, by producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley in an interview with IESB.net. Marshall said "Hopefully they will be shooting [in the summer of 2010] for a release in 2011 and our favorite anti-hero is apparently headed to South America." On October 16, 2008, it was announced that George Nolfi would write the script, with Frank Marshall producing, and Jeffrey Weiner and Henry Morrison executive producing. Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, and Paul Greengrass are also attached to the film. On August 21, 2009, it was announced that Universal had hired Josh Zetumer to help write the script.

References

  1. Tom Stoppard is verbally acknowledged as a co-writer on The Bourne Ultimatum DVD audio commentary by Paul Greengrass (DVD time - 00:45:24).
  2. http://www.idahostatesman.com/266/gallery/120814-a120827-t2.html
  3. http://www.comicmix.com/news/2008/10/17/a-third-sequel-is-bourne/
  4. http://thefilmstage.com/2009/08/21/bourne-four-gets-another-writer/


External links




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