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Having just lost his girlfriend and only companion, his search for answers is now fuelled by much more than his own self-preservation. The film kicks off with Bourne tracking down a British journalist (Paddy Considine) who he believes has valuable information about his past. He quickly discovers that the government conspiracy runs far deeper than he realized, and so begins a riveting, action-packed game of cat and mouse with the CIA. Bourne plows through the bad guys like a mini-tornado, and after some breathtaking fight sequences and several nail-biting car chases, he closes in on the truth in a climactic stand-off on the streets (and rooftops) of New York City.
Now this is one of the first films that really breaks that ďthird movie curseĒ thatís talked about so much on the fan level. This film delivers everything that a fan would want. Continuity, mind bending twists, great characterization and a solid structuring and thought logic.
The Story: This movie is trippy in so many ways. There are cut backs to the second film that are actually taking place during the third film and you didnít even realize it before. Upon repeat viewings, itís a little easier to figure out what goes where and why but itís definitely an original approach to the whole ďthird movie is about going back and seeing things you missed beforeĒ theme that is all too common among franchise 3rd entries. What I love most about this film is the fact that although itís jumping around between films Ė everything is a lot more focused. The action, dialogue, the story Ė everything. There are clearly defined characters who transfer swiftly into new roles of good to bad and bad to good. The action is heightened and even characters we only know for minutes, such as the British reporter, have some emotional weight with us as an audience. Itís thrilling and the film makers have really hit their stride with this film. Itís easily the best film in the series no only because itís perfectly executed as a film, but because we finally get the ball rolling and get over the ďamnesiaĒ hump thatís been plaguing us for 2 movies (or 1 movie split into two films if you go by my rationale of Identity + Supremacy)
Acting: Everyone in this film is able to pull of their stereotypical roles while bringing a realistic angle to them that isnít dull. No, the characters are not over the top, theyíre not misunderstood, theyíre just the way they are. And it works perfectly. Everybody who makes a change does so justifiably and without having a ďlook at me, Iím changing sides!Ē moment. Granted, there are a few expositional scenes where that does happen with less important characters but it doesnít detract from any of the performances.
Directing: Paul Greengrass, as I said before Ė has hit his stride with this film and good for him. I forgive the shortcomings of the 2nd film because it was his first entry into the franchise. But this film really demonstrates him taking chances within the genre and still executing itís requirements in a way that keeps the audience from getting ahead of it. Weíre on the edge of our seats and ready to stay with Jason Bourne not knowing what will happen, even though deep down we all really do. Thatís good film making people.
Cinematography: Itís a lot more of the same, sadly. Yes, I understand continuity is a great way to define a franchise but thereís something about the over use of dull greys and greens that really bores me while looking at the film. A nice sepia tone would work wonders on these films and make them much more apt to repeat viewings. Instead, I only get the urge on cold rainy days when I have nothing to do. And yes, the visual look of a film strongly affects the emotional desire to watch it.
Production Design: Again, gritty and real Ė as always Ė in league with the story and action. I can live with it, but I still would love to see some style imposed into these films.
Score: Still that same old techno action-y music with Moby playing the credits. Again, continuity is always a good thing, but can we try and push the barriers just a tad?
Special Effects: More of the same fast fighting and camera/sound effects. The stunts are all real and that provides a solid base to the thrills. Stunts and real people are what make action movies so great Ė not CGI.
In closing: This, to me, is the greatest film in this series so far as it finally pays off everything that weíve been sitting through. It was getting annoying waiting for answers, but thatís the great thing about watching these films on DVD is that you donít have to wait 3 years for the answers. I hope now that this is all finally resolved the next film, if there is one, will go into a new direction of one solid movie that answers questions before the credits. Itís one thing to make the audience wait till the end of the film for something, itís another to have to wait 6 years. Letís get into the new world of Jason Bourne in the next one shall we? Cuz we all know, regardless of what he says, Jason Bourne is not done yet.