The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum 2007

Remember everything. Forgive nothing.

Bourne is brought out of hiding once again by reporter Simon Ross who is trying to unveil Operation Blackbriar, an upgrade to Project Treadstone, in a series of newspaper columns. Information from the reporter stirs a new set of memories, and Bourne must finally uncover his dark past while dodging The Company's best efforts to eradicate him.

If you like this movie you'll probably like these:

The Bourne Identity
Green Zone
Jason Bourne
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Legacy
desireetornell call this movie movie a favorite
sandrock26 wrote:

Mon héros! Quand je serais grand je veux être comme lui...

ronprice9 wrote:


Identity is always in crisis and that's a distinctive characteristic of European thought.-Julia Kristeva

Part 1:

I think there’s something about a character in movies or in books facing the huge problems and challenges of life in the contemporary world, or at some time in history, and meeting these issues head-on with courage. The character must allow for darkness and mistakes and, if there is ultimately a morality in the plot, then there is an added spice of inspiration for the reader or viewer.1 The Bourne Identity, which I watched last night at the end of the second week of the autumn season in Tasmania sometime in the evening of my life, had all of these ingredients. At least they existed for me.

The film to me was about many things, and I think viewers will enjoy the ride, if they haven't already, and even if many of the themes elude them as they get caught-up in the plot, the action scenes, and the touch of eroticism. I think people love the character, Jason Bourne, because it speaks to them but not in a partisan way. The character certainly spoke to me. After reading and teaching philosophy, the social sciences, and religion for more than 50 years; after dealing with issues like identity among many others, this film was made-to-measure for my philosophically-inclined predispositions.

The character and the plot spoke to the way the world is, at least as I see it, and have seen it for decades. The story and the protagonist are chocker-block full of difficulties, challenges and enough violence to keep our sensory-motor organs on all-ahead-full. Ultimately, if you can keep struggling toward the light, you will find that the road, the travelling, has meaning and purpose. It turned-out that way for Jason Bourne and viewers live in hope that it will turn-out that way for them. Of course, there are no guarantees. The whole Bourne series, known as a franchise, is aggressively contemporary and that’s part of its appeal.

If I was teaching philosophy or one of the several social sciences that deal with the subject of identity, and if I wanted my charges to understand Julia Kristeva's philosophy2 and her thought as a literary critic, psychoanalyst, sociologist, feminist and novelist, I'd give them a trailer, a teaser, of this film, to wet their whistles and send them home to watch the rest. –Ron Price with thanks to 1director Paul Greengrass, "Interview: The Bourne Ultimatum,”, 25 July 2007; and 2 Ruth Schneider, "Julia Kristeva, The Berlin Interview!" Exberliner, 2 March 2011.

Part 2:

The scale of the activity in the series is huge: logistically and financially, in terms of the film's budget and resources. You have to operate 360 degrees in a cruel time-frame to make the things happen in your head that happen in this film, and the other films in the series. I leave it to readers and viewers with the interest to do some background reading on this film and on Kristeva, if they have the interest. I'm not into the game of the hard-and-fast-sell as I was for decades as a teacher, tutor, lecturer and adult educator. I just drop ideas now into cyberspace and watch the ripples, if there are any to watch.

No one person is the author of a Bourne film. The truth is: it’s a coalition of people who share the same vision for Bourne and his world. The series is remarkably collaborative and collective. Of course, this is true of many films. They are an expression of a group creativity in a world which places individual creativity in the driver's seat.

In the old days, at least while I was growing-up in the 1940s and 1950s, coming to maturity and travelling through young adulthood from, say, the 1960s to the 1980s, we knew who the bad guys were and the good guys. Jason Bourne has, maybe unintentionally, molded all the superhero and action figures that I've ever known into one. Before, for example, in films like Indiana Jones there was a clear cut sign of good from evil, and the good always seemed to win and not to get killed. It's not that way any more, at least a lot of the time in the movie-world.

“Run, Jason, run,” writes that oh so successful film critic, Roger Ebert, in the opening of his review.“The Bourne films have taken chases beyond a storytelling technique and made them into the story,” notes Ebert. “Jason Bourne's search for the secret of his identity doesn't involve me in pulsating empathy for his dilemma,” says Ebert. Me neither, Roger, but his journey captured my interest and held it for two hours. I watched The Bourne Identity, the 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel with the same name starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. Last night I watched Jason suffer from extreme memory loss, and attempt to discover his true identity amidst a clandestine conspiracy within the Central Intelligence Agency.

The film opens with some guy, a likeable chap, Jason Bourne, who finds himself with a fake identity. He wants to know who he really is and spends both this movie and its several sequels finding out at breakneck speed. And if the ending of the sequel of the sequel to this film, The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, means anything at all, it is that Bourne needs yet another movie to clear up the loose ends. The loose ends come in The Bourne Legacy five years later in 2012. Enthusiastic viewers will be happy to know there is more to come later in this second decade of the 21st century.

Part 3:

Movie-watchers can enjoy the skillful exercises in high-tech effects and stunt work, stringing together one preposterous chase after another, in a collection of world cities with Jason apparently piling-up frequent-flier miles between them. That Matt Damon can make this character more convincing than The Road Runner is a tribute to his talent and dedication. I used to enjoy the animation cartoon character The Road Runner in the 1950s and 1960s before my life went adult, went viral, and I put away childish things like watching cartoons, and playing endless board games to relieve life's tedium on hot summer days in Ontario.

It's not often you find a character you care about even if you don't believe he could exist. At least that was my experience of film. We are each different and this piece of writing is my experience, my take on things. The action in the film assaults you, and using words to re-create it would be futile. What actually happens to Jason Bourne is essentially immaterial. What matters is that something must happen, so he can run away from it or toward it. The great element, one of the great elements, of the Bourne Series is that viewers don't actually know if the protagonist is good or bad, because his first initiative is obviously to save himself. One reviewer called this film “an enjoyable piece of postmodern action mayhem.” Readers here should do a little reading on what postmodernism is all about. I leave this, of course, to them as they run their own gauntlets in life.

As another reviewer, in summarizing the film, wrote: “In the traditional way of these things, Bourne can keep going for days and days without sleeping, without eating, without shaving, and he has a kitbag with an infinitely expandable Tardis-like interior, in which he keeps an endless supply of guns and kit. Jason Bourne is always waltzing into CIA buildings to nick files, using what appears to be his own ID swipe-card to work the turnstiles. Er ... didn't human resources get the email about cancelling the guy's card? ”It's all very absurd, but there's no doubt about it: the Bourne franchise delivers more entertainment-bangs for your buck than anything else comparable. And it's an action movie with an IQ.

Part 4:

The amnesiac Jason Bourne is an assassin-killing-machine out to go whip-ass on the CIA operatives who made him. The Bourne Ultimatum is a wow of an action movie, too, with a soul that isn't computer-generated. As the reviewer at The New York Times wrote: “there’s no one in Hollywood right now who does action better than director Paul Greengrass, who keeps the pace going so relentlessly, without mercy or letup, scene after hard-rocking scene.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Five Epochs, 4/10/'14.

Behind all this whip-ass stuff,
all this fast-lane action-packed
handsome man and pretty-lady
running and driving all over the
place keeping viewers glued to
their couches potato-like year-in
and-year-out, there is often some
thing happening, Mr Jones, and I
don't want you to miss it....That's
why I'm writing this little prose-
piece for those who like to read
what I write all over cyberspace.

They did not give Julia Kristeva
8 honorary degrees for writing...
all her dense & sharp ideas that
have kept most people far, far
away from her books, essays,
& thoughts about the plural &
complex nature of our human
identity and what will replace
those old, corrupted structures,
those time-honoured, powerful
strongholds of orthodoxy that
have for centuries maintained
their strange hold over men's
minds and now our inner lives
seek enlightenment all-over the
place creating a dog's-breakfast
of stuff for voteries of all faiths:
a corpus mysticum of the whole of
humanity is needed at the centre of
morality today. Why Kant said that1
in his The Critique of Pure Reason,
but it's all too complex, Julia, for our
TV-mediated-audio-visual world with
its Jason Bournes running about all
over our screens as we go asleep in
front of the TV as millions die listening
to the pundits of error with a humanity
sinking into awful sloughs of despond.

1 Immanuel Kant(1724-1804) was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to have a major influence in contemporary thought, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.

Ron Price

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