21 October 2008

"The Bourne Ultimatum" Review

I finally, after some hilarious Netflix hiccups that were entirely my fault, saw the last installment in the Bourne trilogy. Though only nominally related to the plot of the book from which it takes its name, it was easily the best film of the three, and included some lovely developments of John Powell’s now undeniably iconic score.

The film is beautifully paced — the first hour is non-stop cat-and-mouse chase that is never boring and all of which furthers the meta-plot. Powell is given huge expanses of action and extended dialogue-less sequences that he fills with music. The silences are well-chosen, and the film is overall impeccably spotted. There are about 3 or 4 major themes — all of which have been well-established at this point — that he is given ample opportunity to use to good purpose. It also features new and quite sophisticated developments of the motivic material that compellingly serve the subject matter and contribute in a massive way to the success of the movie. His use of middle-eastern (or ersatz middle-eastern) harmonic structures, and the ever-shifting cello licks and hot (seriously!!!!) guitar vamps are as iconic to me as anything Don Davis or John Williams has done, but in a wholly original way. It was exciting and cool and satisfying, and I commend Powell for making such simple ideas so compelling — even when stretched over three longish films.

Also, Albert Finney!?!?! Hell yeah!!!

All-in-all, an excellent conclusion to the trilogy.

Film: 4.5 stars Rating: ★★★★½

Score: 5 stars Rating: ★★★★★

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