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Still shot from the movie: The Bourne Ultimatum.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne, a trained assassin with a memory problem. In this third installment of the franchise, the amnesia sufferer continues to search for his past identity while trying to avoid the trigger-happy federal and Interpol agents who do remember him.

Overall Grade: B-
Violence: D+
Sexual Content: A
Language: C+
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 02 Aug 2007
Run Time: 115
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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In-Depth Review

It's the third outing for Matt Damon's character Jason Bourne, a trained killer who has nearly no recollection of his past or how he came to be a one-man lethal weapon. As in the previous films, his goal is to fill in the blanks and determine why he is in this predicament.

Opening in Russia, Bourne is trying to avenge the death of his girlfriend, which he hopes will also shed some light on his identity. Following a lead to a CIA boss he believes may have approved Marie's (Franka Potente) permanent termination, the indestructible man makes his way to Spain. But instead of finding his man, he instead bumps into Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), another CIA member from his past, who is willing to overlook the determined former agent's tough exterior -- and loaded gun.

Putting her own career and life on the line, Nicky agrees to help Bourne find his forgotten years. However, the duo must first dodge complex surveillance tactics to avoid death from snipers, bombers and assassins. Meanwhile, back at home base in a New York City high-tech control room, CIA chief Noah Vosen (David Strathaim) is keeping very close tabs on the action overseas. Determined to rid himself of the problematic situation Bourne has created, he grants all operatives the right to shoot on sight. Looking over his shoulder is Pam Landy (Joan Allen), one of the original members of the team who enlisted Bourne. Like Agent Parsons, she too has a soft side for the man who knew too little.

As in the previous movies, you can expect non-stop action and suspense as we trail our hero across Europe and eventually back to the United States. Confrontations are numerous, as this seemingly invincible super-agent quickly takes down most of his aggressors with his bare hands, which minimizes the gun violence but certainly makes for some brutal attacks. When another highly experienced agent meets up with Bourne, the result is a very long bash-fest with a disturbing, audible strangulation. Eventually, the weapons begin firing as well, with a couple of shootings on screen (some blood shown) and countless more bullets flying aimlessly. Rounding up the mayhem is a myriad of highly intense car crashes and other death defying stunts.

Also similar to the last Bourne film, there is no sexual content in this script, and language is contained to somewhat frequent uses of mild and moderate profanities, along with terms of deity.

Considering these movies are based on a series of novels (by author Robert Ludlum), there is little story detail and development included. Instead, this is a film with a likeable, unstoppable hero who wants to find the truth about his past and reform his life. Suspenseful from the get-go, this well-executed title may be suitable for older teens -- but only if parents are comfortable with the violent content. Key in making the concept work is audience sympathy, and Matt Damon does a fine job of gaining that while taking us on a whirlwind adventure in his quest to become Bourne free.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

This third edition in the Bourne franchise tones down the violence by just a notch, allowing us a little more time to get to know Jason Bourne and sympathize with his situation. However, there are still dozens of conflicts involving very brutal hand-to-hand combat with attackers being hit, pushed, kicked, punched and beaten in every way imaginable. A bomb explodes killing a man and injuring another. A gun is used to kill an innocent person in a public area. A man whose head is covered with a hood is executed. More gunplay is included in other scenes of the film, and further violence includes a man being forcibly dunked and almost drowned in a tank of water. Language consists of terms in moderate (mostly scatological expletives) and mild profanities, along with terms of deity. Drug use is limited to a man injecting himself with medicine. No sexual content was noted.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

This movie features a hero who is able to kill with his bare hands, resulting in some very brutal confrontations and in one case, strangulation. Does the more “intimate” nature of the two men beating each other to death seem more or less bothersome to you than violence with an arms-distant weapon, like a gun?

How does this movie solicit sympathy toward the hero from the audience? Why is this empathetic attitude key to making this film work?

Video alternatives

This is the third installment in this franchise. The first two are The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy.

Home Video Notes

This film is the first in a franchise. Its sequels are The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Home Video Notes: The Bourne Ultimatum (Steelbook)

Release Date: 6 May 2014

The Bourne Ultimatum re-releases to home video (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL with UltraViolet) in a Steelbook edition (meaning packaged in a steel case), with the following bonus materials:

Digital Copy of The Bourne Ultimatum (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)

Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)

U-Control: Volkswagon Get More Info

U-Control: Blackbriar Files

U-Control: Bourne Orientation

U-Control: Picture in Picture

Be Bourne Spy Training

Deleted Scenes

Man on the Move: Jason Bourne

Rooftop Pursuit

Planning the Punches

Driving School

New York Chase

Feature Commentary with Director Paul Greengrass

BD-Live: Ultimate Download Center

BD-Live: Ultimate My Scenes Sharing

BD-Live: Ultimate My Chat

BD-Live: Ultimate My Bourne Ultimate Commentary

BD-Live: Ultimate Bourne Card Battle Strategy Game

DVD Release Date: 11 December 2007

With the release of The Bourne Ultimatum on DVD (wide or full screen) and HD DVD, the elusive fugitive can hide no longer! Uncover the secrets of the production by listening to director Paul Greengrass’s commentary, piece together clues as you examine various making-of featurettes, and check out forgotten footage with deleted scenes. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

The movie is also available as part of The Jason Bourne Collection, which packages together the entire franchise (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum).

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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