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Bourne Ultimatum, The


Stars: Matt Damon, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Julia Stiles, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine

Director: Paul Greengrass

It's symptomatic of the proportion of action in this last instalment of the Bourne trilogy that more than 150 stuntmen are listed in the end credits. Highlights include a motorcycle climbing steps and jumping a wall, and a sensational car chase that lets you feel every impact.

Thumping music drives it ever onwards, while, for sheer ferocity, a fight to the death between Jason Bourne (Damon) and an assassin sent to kill him rivals that between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love.

The director's favoured handheld camerawork does become dizzying every now and then, but at the same time lends a sense of immediacy and urgency to the many pursuits in which Bourne is (audience-pleasingly) almost always one step ahead of those who would hunt him down. And the phone calls to CIA agents to reveal he's where they least expect are among the film's few, but welcome amusing moments.

Damon, who has grown into this role, is tougher than ever as the resourceful hero. Allen and Stiles are back as 'good' federal agents, while Glenn and Strathairn are in, thin-lipped and stony-faced, as 'bad' CIA chiefs. 'If he is not The Source,' grates Strathairn at one stage, 'he is after The Source - same as we are.' But what sort of double game is he playing?

All in all, this is no more than a surface thriller but, if not the best of the trilogy, it does bring the series to a satisfying conclusion.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by de Luxe/Technicolor.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Aug 2007