The Bourne Ultimatum (Possible Spoilers)

I saw the film opening day and it was a great popcorn film - nice action and good wrap-up to the trilogy of films - with a hint that another film could easily be made if the producers decide to turn this into a Bond-like franchise.

Yes, there were some plot holes but nothing wildly serious, and yes, Bourne (Matt Damon) seems to be able to survive anything with only a minor paper cut as the result.

There were also a few inconsistencies:

Sometimes NYC streets were clean, sometimes there was snow everywhere. Also, for the final scene, Bourne enters a building in broad daylight, and about ten minutes later, exits the building and it is apparently midnight.

Other than those minor quibbles, I really liked the film a lot. If you are a fan of the film series (or the original books) you won’t be disappointed.

I really liked 1, but it was painful to sit through 2 because of the “MORE CAMERA SHAKE! MORE CAMERA SHAKE, DAMN IT! IT’S MORE ACTIONY!” style of direction. Which was #3 closer to?

One of my primary movie pet peeves is the “the camera is shaking so much and there are so many quick cuts that you can never tell what is happening” thing. (I’m looking at you, Batman Begins.)

There were few moments of that in the movie, but not too many.
I also liked it quite a bit, more than either of the first two, I thought. A few questions:

(1) Are we supposed to know what the relationship between Bourne and Julia Stiles’s character is/was?
(2) So Bourne has the name of a banking firm in Tangier. He goes there. He looks at the outside of the building. Next thing, he’s rifling Daniels’ office. How did he find it?
(3) When the CIA guys are watching the hit on Daniels (with the bomb and the motorbikes), they had a tracer on Daniels. But until shortly before then, they had no idea where he was, and had just located him in Tangier. How did they have a tracker on him?

The plot hole that bothered me the most

When Bourne left Daniels office with the Julia Stiles character they had to know that she was with him either willingly or unwillingly, so why did they not cut off her access to CIA information and why didn’t they track her passport?

spoiler It’s implied that there was a romantic attachment, no details given. I can’t imagine how they got together, they hardly ever speak even when they’re alone together.
(2) Come on he’s Jason Fucking Bourne! Seriously though, maybe he had Daniel’s name or initials to go by (like the agency did).
(3) I thought they said that they have some sort of electronic tracer on his passport. That said, he knows that the agency is after him and must know that they can trace him, doesn’t he have another clean passport? Bourne and Nicky can apparently cross any border and not get spotted.[/spoiler]

I liked the camera work, for the most part. The quick cuts during the fight scene made things pretty hard to follow, but a lot of directors would take that same scene and put it in the dark. One of the (few) bad reviews on rottentomatoes had the best pull quote: “Will someone get this man a steadycam?”

I liked the second movie, but I thought that pitting Bourne against villains [del]a bunch of guys[/del] who were merely greedy seems, I don’t know, beneath him. The fact that the villains here were megalomaniacal (“Ever tried going mad without power? It’s boring. No one listens to you.”) makes them more worthy of Bourne’s attention.

Saw it tonight. Have to agree with hating the shaky camera work. I even had to look away during some of the chases and fights.

I liked the use of water as a metaphor for rebirth. I don’t remember a darn thing about the other two movies in spite of having seen them once-upon-a-time so I don’t know if that is a thread through all three or just this one.

Some of the things he pulled seemed a bit too MacGyverish. Scotch tape and a fan anyone?

Overall a great film though. I didn’t really want it to end.

I liked this movie a lot. I also liked the use of water, especially in the photography at the end that created a bookend with the beginning of the first movie. I also liked the moment where Nicky Parsons was cutting and darkening her hair, and Bourne caught a glimpse through the partly-open door, as an echo of Marie in the first movie, but the director didn’t feel the need to hit the repetition too hard; he trusts the audience to read the parallels. In general, the movie trusts its audience to be smart enough to keep up. I really appreciate that.

Re some of the plot holes, I agree that the story breezes past a lot of details, but provides just enough information that you can wank up an explanation if you want. For example, re tracking Daniels, perhaps they can pin him down if they know what city he’s in, but they have to have a general location first. Maybe his cell phone pings the cell towers, but it would take too long to search against every cell tower in the world; once they have a city they can locate him a lot more quickly. Given the essentially Godlike powers of the NSA control room (“I want a floor plan of this random hotel in this third world country in ten seconds!”), I didn’t have a problem just accepting those details as given.

Re the Julia Stiles character, why the confusion? She’s been a supporting player through the franchise, and she and Bourne have established a personal (though not romantic) relationship. Stiles respects Bourne’s abilities, and has seen him operating long enough to know he isn’t really a threat to national security, as her bosses keep insisting.

Speaking of her boss: Was David Strathairn great in this or what? Talk about an effective villain. He’s one of my favorite actors already; I love how this series keeps attracting top-notch talent (Paddy Considine is another example) and giving them really meaty stuff to bite into. There were a couple of scenes between Strathairn and Joan Allen that were as exciting as any of the fisticuffs.

Not to pick on Cervaise , but rather to pick up a general point.

I didn’t think they were lovers during the time covered by the movies. I had the impression they were lovers when Bourne was becoming Bourne, or else slightly after that. Certainly, based on the first movie, whatever relationship they had was likely over before that particular aborted mission.

Or am I reading far too much (or little, as the case may be) into it?

I figure there was something she did to or with them–probably sexual in nature–that was part of the conversion process.

Nikki was the plot hole that bothered me most. Long before they got on that ferry to Tangier, someone would have shown up at the office, expecting to find her or have her check in. When she wasn’t there and dead bodies were, wouldn’t they have flagged her various passports so they’d know that she was in Tangier, and presumably with Bourne, when she got there?

When she and Bourne were leaving the office, they were spotted by the back-up team just before the Madrid police (called in by Bourne) arrived and arrested them (the back-up team). So no one needed to go up to the office to know that she was with Bourne. By the way, it’s an important point that goes to Bourne’s character: he didn’t kill those two guys in the office (Nicky specifically tells Vosen that they’re unconscious); Bourne never kills anyone except when it’s necessary to subdue them.

There is an unspoken implication that Bourne has passports that the Agency has no knowledge of – he only uses a “hot” one when he wants to be spotted. I assume that he can get or manufacture these clean passports on short notice, so he produces one for Nicky.

I can only assume that they both knew that they would be giving themselves up when she logged into the system and contacted Desh, but assumed that they would be able to rescue Daniels and spirit him away before Desh came after them.

My issues are:

(1) Why was Daniels so unaware of how traceable he was, especially since, as an active station chief, he knew the technological capabilities of those tracing him. I thought they said that they could trace his passport electronically (I could be wrong – they weren’t able to trace it to the Turin meeting). If it was his cellphone they were tracing, he could just turn it off, as he had earlier – or, knowing that it was traceable, get rid of it.

(2) (More of a minor point) Assuming that the Agency has the capability to pick out the word “Blackbriar” in a single random mobile-phone conversation (I’m not sure that I want to know if they can really do that), how is it that they can then play back a full recording of that conversation, but even as they are setting up the on-site surveillance outside the Guardian’s offices one of the team tells Vosen that they don’t have a tap on his mobile yet. Maybe they were watching him closely already because of the articles he’d previously written, but no one said that explicitly…

If I remember correctly, Daniels is CIA, while those we see tracking him are NSA. It stretches credibility, but does not break it entirely, to assume that NSA would be reluctant to let anybody outside their organization, including CIA, know the extent of their surveillance capacity.

I don’t think this is true (though I’m only working from memory). In the news report on the scandal shown at the end, Kramer (Scott Glenn) is identified as the CIA director, and Vosen is identified as deputy director. The reporter never mentions the NSA. Again, I could be wrong. I expect that the technological capabilities on display here might not be known by most people within the agency; Daniels, though, is a station chief who is not only one of the original members of the Treadstone team, he also is in possession of original copies of documents concerning Blackbriar. He must have had pretty high-level knowledge.

True enough.

It sounds like a great popcorn movie, action-adventure, and I am sure Matt will be superb as always. I’ll definitely watch it.

But, I just gotta say, from having read the original and it’s follow-up, I still to this day can NOT get my head around the way the way the movie just goes off into never-neverland from the books. Oh, well.

He’s MARRIED, and they get back together, and I think in the second novel, he and his WIFE, fer crap’s sake. start off at university when she winds up kidnapped! WTF??? Where is Hong Kong??? I can not get my feet under this, never mind trying to do so for the third installement

As a fan of the books, I have to agree with you. I read them as a teenager (late 70s?) and Ludlum became one of my favorite authors (along with Forsyth).

Anyway, I didn’t mine that the changed the setting from the book to the movie, but the thing that really ticked me off was that they killed off his ‘girlfriend’! Otherwise, I’ve really enjoyed the movies. Have fun with them, and let them stand up on their own and just ignore the fact that the only thing the movies share with the book is the name ‘Bourne’.

Totally agreed; I liked her! The method itself seemed sorta cheesy too.

I had to watch this movie in the second row. I thought I was going to have a seizure by the end.

It was still a good movie though. I was amused at how all the top secret files said TOP SECRET in red letters. :dubious:

It was also nice that they didn’t end with him and Nikki getting together - I was half-afraid that’s how it would end.

I liked it quite a bit.

The first 25 minutes or so – in London – was one of the best action sequences I’ve ever seen.

Tangiers went on a little long, and he never really grounded the action. . .it seemed impossible in that motley array of houses that Bourne would come back across the path of Stiles and the Moroccan. They both just ran for 5 minutes and then, “Boom. There she is.”

I thought the movie was hinting that Bourne and Stiles had something going on before/during his training, but whatever wiped his mind wiped her from it. I suspect the next Bourne movie will pick up on this.

Yes, there will be a next one. Studio doesn’t walk away from something that is going to do this much biz. I went on Saturday, and didn’t even get in line because it was so long. Went back on Sunday, and it was packed. It’ll go big in Europe, too.

I enjoyed it. The sequence in Tangiers was good because Bourne had such a formidable opponent in Desh (the “asset”). Although we never hear Desh say a word, he fakes out Bourne and succeeds in blowing up Daniels, then is evenly matched in hand-to-hand in a really punishing fight to the death.

I wonder how Brits feel about the suggestion that the CIA office in London can instantly shut down every CCTV camera in Waterloo station while they murder a UK citizen.

That was my favorite part. I never bought the “girlfriend” in the books and I certainly didn’t buy it in the movies. Jason Bourne isn’t terribly believable, but he is way more believable solo.