The unsurprising success of the trio of Bourne films shows just how well a twist on super-agent films can be accepted by a new generation of film-goers largely unimpressed with Bond. Don’t get me wrong, Bond is the super-agent to beat – a close look at the run of Bond films over several decades needs to prove to no one – but with the closely held franchise being retread to speak to a new generation, I’m saying that Jason Bourne holds all of the cards despite the fact that the only three original books have been used. With smart writing and his rogue elements, Bourne can become a new Bond. But we veer off…
A film is accentuated by its score, always. It has to convey the emotion and energies that underlie the scenes. Done right, they add as much to the film as the scenes that play out on the big screen. For The Bourne Ultimatum, the action is fast-paced and demanding. As Jason closes in on answers and another evil and unmoving protector of the awful truth, the film depicts, scene after scene, the thrill of the chase and the breath-holding fear of the necessity of having to walk in close amongst the enemy.
John Powell effectively captures all of that energy expended by the chases and tensions. Powell, who previously has scored the first two Bourne films thus completing the trilogy, as well as Greengrass’ United 93, keeps the movie running with a classically flowing score where needed as well as launching into racing tension. The Bourne Ultimatum storyline moves very fast with little rest. Powell’s score keeps up with plenty of edgy work to provide the movie with the pulse it requires. John Powell also provides programming to keep the thriller in an updated sound.
The disc closes with the newest iteration of Moby’s end-title song, “Extreme Ways,” this one the Bourne Ultimatum version. The song is the same but is re-jiggered to fit this latest film.
Here’s hoping that Bourne comes back. In the two post-Ludlum stories, Bourne is plagued by doubts and mistrust on fears of amnesiac reoccurrences or even continued brain-washings. This makes for a strong, self-constructed psychological enemy in addition to the physical ones he must contend with; a fearful, unsure super-agent engaged in battles on several fronts.