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The Bourne Ultimatum: Movie Review

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The Bourne Ultimatum is a high octane action filled spy thriller with a lot of eye candy that produces some oohs, aahs and cheers when Jason Bourne gets revenge on the bad guys in the CIA. That said, there are moments where the movie lags. What was surprising about the press screening is that the audience was so grey and old. Press screenings for HP, Transformers usually include a lot of youth. Halfway through, the revelation occurred to this reviewer that this aging baby boom audience were the ones who liked the self-hating, anarchistic, defeat the United States, and strangely pacifistic plot.

For those who don’t know the story of the first two movies, Jason Bourne is a man without a memory. He is searching throughout the world to find out who he is and how he became such an adept killer. Bourne Ultimatum answers those questions.

The movie opens in Moscow with a high octane chase as the CIA attempts to get rid of the rogue agent, Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon. A reporter in London finds out about the CIA’s top secret assassin Black Brier Project from a deputy bureau chief with a conscience. The head of the CIA and his immediate deputy have been given great power to do what they want to stop terrorism. That includes assassinating their own people for little or no reason.

Pam, one of the top CIA operatives played by Joan Allen, believes Bourne is not out to make a lot of money by exposing the CIA nor to destroy the agency, but just wants to find out who he is. Part of his training as an assassin was a program of torture, brainwashing and drugs to remove all memories and turn him into a cold, calculating killing machine. Now, Jason has flashbacks of being tortured and fractured memories he is trying to repair.

Jason finds out about the reporter in London. The CIA, through wiretaps, finds out at the same time. Jason tracks down more leads about his identity. At the same time, Pam is wrestling with her conscience and trying to turn the CIA into a kinder, gentler, more pacifistic, sensitive organization.

The chase scenes in The Bourne Ultimatum are terrific. The fights are reminiscent of Bruce Willis where, against all odds, Jason Bourne defeats younger, meaner, tougher people than anyone can imagine. He can defeat a platoon of CIA agents, and He can outwit the entire CIA. At some point, one must wonder at the incredible improbability of this plot. Also, the action is so intense that the plot points are not in the right position to sustain complete interest in the movie. There are points where the movie lags. Whether a movie is action or a parlor drama, to sustain interest you must put the plot points in the right place.

That said, this is a four-star action thriller. Audiences will walk out enjoying the action experience, but what is the message? The message is that the United States government is the root of all evil, or at least the bad guys within it. If the U.S. would just adopt a kinder, more pacifist attitude, the whole world would be happy.

In the midst of this theme, Jason Bourne is trying to apologize to the families of all the people he killed. Ultimately, however, finding his identity seems to solve his angst, and the issue of guilt, apology, and the need for redemption fades. This is too bad because the movie could have set up a very powerful story of the fallenness of mankind and the need for God’s forgiveness.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become