Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bourne in the USA

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bourne in the USA

Article excerpt

Jason Bourne has come a long way since he turned up on that Italian fishing boat in "The Bourne Identity." He's still on a quest to find out who he is really is, but in the intervening five years he's racked up quite a body count.

In "The Bourne Ultimatum," the third and final installment in the franchise that also includes "The Bourne Supremacy," Matt Damon looks no more winded than he did at the start of the series. Which is a good thing, since he spends most of the movie being chased all over London, Tangiers, Moscow, Paris, Madrid, and, finally, New York. What, no Baghdad?

Director Paul Greengrass downplays the movie's travelogue aspects by repeating the bobbly, hand-held camera style he used on "The Bourne Supremacy." It's not a style I'm fond of. Instead of imparting a present-tense immediacy, it just me makes me sea sick.

Despite the nonstop bumpy ride, Bourne stands squarely in the center of the action at all times. He's like a human gyroscope. Bourne is an incongruous image: A master killer with a presence so anonymous he can easily blend into any crowd.

In the last film, he unleashed his revenge against those responsible for the assassination of his lover. In "The Bourne Ultimatum," he is brought out of hiding by a story in a British newspaper that is rife with informed speculation about his existence. By seeking out the story's reporter in order to track down his sources, Bourne opens himself up to yet another round of kill-or-be-killed gymnastics.

This time around, the defunct top-secret, black-ops program that "created" Bourne has been revived as the equally hush-hush Blackbriar. With its seemingly limitless supply of stealth assassins, this new CIA/Department of Defense joint venture has targeted Bourne as a rogue operative. He in turn has targeted them for making him their Frankenstein monster. Understandably enough, it's often unclear just who is shooting/punching/garroting/torching whom.

Damon has played a wide variety of roles in his career, but Bourne is likely to remain his signature part for some time to come. …

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