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</script></div>{/googleAds}There's a new superhero on the cinematic landscape. One that doesn't prance around in a billowing cape and one that doesn't call upon the forces afforded by some ancient crystal or an accidental dip in a vat of caustic acid. This new superhero is like James Bond, MacGyver, The Invisible Man, and Oddjob all rolled into one - only better. Oh, and throw in a little bit of John McClane for good measure. This new superhero is Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and though he holds no real otherworldly powers - besides those he learned while training as a top-secret government black-ops agent in the now defunct Treadstone project - I'm convinced he could swing circles around Spider-man, and make Superman look like nothing more than a flabby, no-name actor in brightly colored tights.

Born from the government conspiracy novels of Robert Ludlum and brought to the big screen by writer Tony Gilroy through the Bourne trilogy of films, Jason Bourne is a true American hero that could be our country's real-life answer to all those Al-Qaida sleeper cells we hear so much about. He's our own post-911 crack sleeper agent that could take down the entire militant jihadist organization single-handedly... if only he were for real. And if only he could remember who he is.

The Bourne Ultimatum picks up basically where the previous two films left off. After finally uncovering most of the truth about his identity and exacting revenge against his former trainers, Bourne simply wants to forever disappear. But a story in a London newspaper once again puts Bourne in the crosshairs of attention as project Blackbriar a reborn offshoot of the Treadstone project speculates of his existence and sees him as a $30 million malfunctioning threat that must be taken out. With nothing left to lose, Bourne knows that following the trail of Blackbriar will lead him back to his creators where he can end it once and for all.

Bourne has two allies within the CIA, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) who becomes his latest globetrotting partner, and CIA Internal Investigator Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), who shelters him from the loose cannon ways of Noah Vosen (David Straithairn), who operates the umbrella black-ops program, Blackbriar, whose primary responsibility is to gather information and take action against a previous threat. And of course the most recent "previous threat" is Jason Bourne.

What ensues is an elaborate cat-and-mouse game that stretches across three basic settings. Beginning in London's Waterloo station, then swinging to the narrow streets and dangerous rooftops of Tangier, Morocco, the action finally terminates in the concrete jungle of downtown Manhattan. Bourne always manages to avoid capture, remaining just one step ahead of the CIA's counter-surveillance team. One slip up would mean certain death at the hands of Vosen's assets, but remember Bourne is a superhero.

Though quite labyrinthine and even complicated at times, Tony Gilroy and Scott Z. Burns' supercharged script is always smart and intricate, but never difficult to follow. Most of the credit must go to director Paul Greengrass however, for finding a way to present several intertwined plotlines that stretch, not only across multiple continents, but across three films as well, without allowing the proceedings to become intimidating. His signature hand-held camera shakiness becomes a bit distracting at times, but most of all, it allows us to feel involved in the actual chases as they occur, rather than as if we're watching elaborate pre-staged sequences. In The Bourne Supremacy, Greengrass got a bit excessive at times, especially with THE major car chase sequence. But here, everything is done perfectly. Just about the time anything seems to be sliding towards ridiculousness, Greengrass pulls back on the reins. In fact, some of the film's most intense moments have no audio at all... just Bourne weeding his way through a crowded marketplace, while the audience's collective knuckles dig deep into the auditorium upholstery.

Damon continues with the invincible tough-man persona we've come to know from the previous Bourne films. Any other actor might come off as some unbelievable Bond rip-off or a B-movie badass, but Damon feels like an everyman's hero. He has a vulnerable side that he uses to great affect to temper that ironclad invincibility. We know he's not really a killing machine, but rather a man forced to do something his heart's not into. We know he's not bad, just made bad. And that's why we like him. Why he's our new superhero.

In the long run, the Bourne series probably won't go down as the best action series ever. But The Bourne Ultimatum may well become recognized as one of the best spy thrillers ever. It's that good. Even when taken out of context of the three part series. With Ultimatum, Damon's Bourne just chopped a fairly sizable chunk of pedestal out from under the Bond franchise. Now if we can only convince Greengrass and company to continue the momentum.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: English; French; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; director's commentary; making-of featurette; other featurettes.

* Commentary - With director Paul Greengrass
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurettes
o Man on the Move
o Jason Bourne (scenes from Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid and Tangier locations)
o Rooftop Pursuit
o Planning the Punches
o Driving School and New York Chase

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging

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