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The Bourne Ultimatum - Preview

Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum

Preview by Jack Foley

IN A SUMMER filled with super-heroes, pirates, animated heroes and wizards, one film more than any stands out from the pack of three-quels as an action-based thriller with a very real human emphasis.

The Bourne Ultimatum marks the third outing for Robert Ludlum’s amnesia-stricken assassin and it looks set to provide one of the highlights of the summer season for action junkies.

And the story this time concentrates on bringing Bourne (Matt Damon) home to New York, during which he continues to unravel the secrets of his real identity while outwitting a new breed of government assassin trained by a new character played by recent Oscar nominee David Strathairn.

The Bourne Ultimatum is once again directed by Paul Greengrass, the Brit who orchestrated such memorable chaos in The Bourne Supremacy before securing an Oscar nomination for his excellent 9/11 movie United 93.

And among the highlights are a motorbike and rooftop chase through Tangier, as well as another exciting car chase through the streetts of downtown Manhattan, New York.

Given the surprise success of the first two movies, however, it’s fair to say that there’s a great deal more pressure on this third instalment – not least because studio execs will be hoping that Ultimatum can match, or even surpass, the $176 million domestic gross of the sequel.

The omens do appear to be good, though. A teaser trailer looks as slick, bone-crunching, fast-paced and fun as ever, while a fuller version (just released on the world-wide web) promises the usual blend of intrigue and action. Greengrass’s continued presence as director is also a good sign, as are returning cast members Julia Stiles and Joan Allen, not to mention newcomers such as Strathairn, Paddy Considine and Edgar (Domino) Ramirez.

Greengrass, in an interview with US magazine Entertainment Weekly, is also confident that the series still has enough in its locker to guarantee a strong following.

“I think the unique thing about the franchise is that it has got that root in reality,’‘ the director explains in the interview. ‘‘Bourne’s not a superhero. I always remember that moment in Supremacy when he uses the magazine in the fight, and it’s nothing – just a magazine. He doesn’t worship at the altar of technology like a lot of these heroes do, with their bigger and bigger cars and gadgets. I think that helps ground him.

‘‘The Bourne movies stand out because Bourne is a real man, in a real world,’‘ he continued. ‘‘And he’s in pursuit of a quest that’s as mythic and old as Greek tragedy: He’s in search of his identity. And when you marry those things together as a Bourne movie, it’s a precious thing.”

With that in mind, Greengrass intends to keep it real in Ultimatum, stating that even the New York-based car chase was shot using real locations and vehicles, rather than any special effects wizardry. It took six weeks to shoot and adheres to the usual Bourne asthetics, whilst continuing to tip its hat to one of cinema’s all-time great car chases, The French Connection.

We can’t wait! The film opens on August 17 in UK cinemas.

Watch the teaser trailer or check out images