The Bourne Ultimatum
"I'm not Jason Bourne anymore."
Jason Bourne is a fascination type of action hero. He has little to no personality, he never has any fun, he's never not running, he's always aware of threats. He has no firm character at all because he has no idea who he is. But instead of this being boring, it actually really works. There's no heroic posing, there's no wry wise-cracks as he thwarts the baddies, there's just succinct fights and chases as a means to the end of evading the constant pursuers, and a nagging (and streaky-strobey) conscience that tells him killing is wrong. So what happens, at least for me, is that I just graft whatever I want in terms of character onto Matt Damon's meaty face. The less he's like his own thing, the more he's like me. Except, just the kind of me that can kill a dude eighty ways. I identify with him the way I do with Spider-Man, minus the wit, like if Spider-Man were played by Mason Gamble. So when it came to the ultimatum (which turns out not to be an ultimatum, which is another odd counter-intuitive anti-climax that somehow succeeds) I found myself really wrapped up in Bourne's decision. Essentially (and I need to spoil to make my point) Bourne chose to be Bourne, he decided he wanted to be something he ended up hating, and I was desperate for him to be able to reverse that decision. It was suddenly me in that room with Albert Finney, that fish-mouthed reminder of how you can fuck up your life with one false move, and I was so tense. And, as they should, the movies thankfully reminded me that no change is permanent where the will is involved, you can always make your situation better. And if that's an illusion (I'm open to comments, readers) then it's one I'm fully signed-on to.
Oh, and in terms of the movie, it's a slick, precise, machinated entertainment device that has maximum yield with minimum ingredients. It's a LOT, and I'm surprised I haven't seen this on posters, like a Hitchcock film. Though I guess most people think Psycho and murder when they think Hitchcock. It's just pure distilled tension and perfectly cut action. I recommend it.