Knee-jerk review: "The Bourne Ultimatum"

1. Jason Bourne is a bad ass. End of story.
2. Director Paul Greengrass demands our complete attention. He also delivered 2004's locomotive The Bourne Supremacy (which surely influenced the decision to strip down the James Bond character in Casino Royale) and 2006's harrowing United 93. This guy has the goods.
3. Poetic symmetry in the way this film ends with a watery shot reminiscent of the beginning of the first film, 2002's The Bourne Supremacy.
4. David Strathairn is always a pleasure. Even when he's stuck barking all those cheesy spy-movie dialogue cliches.
5. Considering the non-stop action, the film is curiously bloodless. Less so, it seems, than the first two films. Yet a quick check of IMDB surprisingly confirms that all three films received a PG-13 rating. The Bourne Ultimatum is all car crashes and fistfights and footchases. One shooting death, one death by explosion. That's just about it for extreme violence. Which serves as a reminder than blood splatters and noisy special-effect
squibs aren't always necessary to create satisfying action.
6. Instant classic sequence: Bourne trying desperately to shepherd to safety Paddy Considine's reporter in a crowded train station packed with assassins and agents. (Note to self: always follow Bourne's instructions. To the letter.)
7. The Cheese Fry has never been a big Julia Stiles fan, but she looks nice here. Really nice.
8. Nothing good was ever code-named "blackbriar."
9. That Bourne was brainwashed and turned into an assassin is sort of expected... how he "commits to the program" is a shock.
10. Albert Finney is looking old, people.
11. Go see it.

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