The Bourne Ultimatum

Cover Art and Menu: 8/10
I actually thought the menus were better than the cover, and the cover was a pretty cool looking shot of Jason Bourne, carrying a gun and looking like the ultimate action hero. The menus are a high-tech looking array of sharp lines with a nice techno song looping in the background. Usually techno music can make me feel like pulling out my teeth, but this really seemed to work.

Features: 9/10
This standard DVD was chock full of great extras. There is the obligatory deleted scene short, which was decent, but the meat of the extras are the mini documentaries.

The first documentary is Man on the Move, which details the hellacious problems associated with shooting in so many locales. IT is a really amazing glimpse into the hectic scheduling and preparation that goes into making the movie look seamless. There are shots from the locales and movie mixed in with interviews with the cast. This is the main extra, and it is short and sweet.

Even better is the Rooftop Pursuit short, which detailed my favorite part of the film; the Tangier rooftop scene. It was amazing to see all that went into the sequence, and the camera set-up that was needed to catch the action. The disk also includes Planning the Punches, a short about the choreography of the fight scenes. While watching this short, it really drove home to me the fact that the movie itself used a much closer shot of the fight scenes, which really made the action seem more real.

The disk also includes a short called Driving School, which describes Matt Damon’s intense driving lessons that were used for some of the car chase scenes in New York (he seems to be a decent stunt man.) And finally there is a short about that chase scene itself, entitled New York Chase. Overall the extras were very interesting, and not so long as to be hard to watch, which for me is key.

The Movie: 8/10
This is the best of the Bourne bunch in my opinion. The movie is just a great action flick, without too much in the way of over-the-top explosions or totally unrealistic action sequences. That being said, you do have to suspend your belief just a bit, but then again, this is an ACTION flick.

Jason Bourne is struggling to find the answers to the questions that have plagued him through the series of films. Why is he like this? Who is to blame? How many more CIA agents are going to sell him out?

What ends up occurring is another round the globe, non-stop tale of spies and espionage. Jason, played remarkably well by Matt Damon, is a fine tuned killer, and knows the spy game as well as those who are hunting him. He uses this knowledge to turn the tables on the CIA, in order to get the information that he needs to come full circle. Damon is believable as Jason Bourne, and I never, ever would have thought that I could get behind Matt Damon as an action hero.

The movie has a real European feel due to the fact that most of the movie takes place abroad, as did the other Bourne projects. The Tangier roof-top chase is one of my favorite action sequences in recent years, and the cinematography is breathtaking. Ultimatum does use a lot of the “shaky camera” technique, but it is not so bad that it feels over-used. It really adds to the tension and panic of the movie, as Jason struggles to escape from agents that are sent to take him out. The hand to hand fighting is also well done, with close up shots of the fighting, as opposed to far away, more revealing camera shots. It really adds to the believability, and it gives the fight scenes a real gritty feel.

Overall I thought that Ultimatum was a great action film, and it to me ranks right up there with Casino Royale (yeah, you almost have to compare the two). Both the Bourne series, and Casino Royale seem to advance the action movie to a new level, and I can honestly say that I am ready for more of both.

Video & Audio: 8/10
The video was really great on this standard DVD. The colors were exceptional, especially when you take into consideration that there were so many varied locations used. Even though it was not HD, it was really well done and crisp.

The audio was great also, and really used the 5.1 surround sound. My subwoofer and rear speakers really were utilized quite a bit, and it was well mixed.

Value: 8/10
I liked this film, and I would recommend adding it to your collection if you are an action flick type of person. The standard DVD is priced decently (around $16.99) and it is well worth it. The extras are great, and it is a great ride form start to finish.

Overall Score 8/10