The Bourne Identity has been a favorite action film of mine since it came out on DVD in 2004. We’d gotten a copy of the Bourne Ultimatum about a year ago but, since we didn’t have The Bourne Supremacy, I hadn’t watched it. So this week I had the chance to view all three, essentially back to back. (Note: Some details follow which might spoil it for you if you haven’t seen all three – in which case, you’re farther behind than I.)
Before going any further, let me say that I have not read any of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne novels. I read The Holcroft Covenant (also made into a movie, which I also have not seen), but that was years ago and was not part of the Bourne series. My father-in-law, however, has read The Bourne Identity and said that the movie is only loosely based on the book, an observation that squares with the reviews I have read.
Not having read any of the books, “Identity” stands well enough on its own. But “Supremacy” and “Ultimatum” together do a nice job of completing the story. The beginning of “Ultimatum” intertwines with the ending of “Supremacy” and its ending resonates very well with the beginning of “Identity.” The only problem I/we had in watching “Ultimatum” was figuring out how Bourne makes the connection with an investigative reporter from The Guardian writing an exposé about Bourne and the CIA. One of the deleted scenes in the bonus material provides some idea, but it really isn’t clear from the movie itself. Regardless, “Ultimatum” did a good job tying up the loose ends of who Bourne is/was and how he came to be, not to mention uncovering illegal assassinations and “rendition” by an agency of the US government (sound familiar?), though the chase in Morocco was longer than it really needed to be.
There has been rumor of a fourth Bourne movie for a few months now. While the original Bourne story line has been completed, I wouldn’t mind seeing more, especially if they continue to combine the action and locations with decent story lines. And I’d take Jason Bourne over James Bond in a fight any day (sorry, Daniel Craig).