musically matches Greengrass' intensity scene for scene, blow for
blow, stunt for stunt.”
Review by Christopher Coleman
Paul Greengrass brings the Bourne series to a very satisfying conclusion
(if indeed that was the final the installment) through his knack for
constantly building tension while telling his story and frenetic visual
style. In fact, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM may have been the most visually
exhausting of the three Bourne films. There are few moments where
something isn't moving radically across the screen...or when the camera
isn't shaking radically itself. That said, there is a wonderful symmetry
(visually and story-wise) when the three films are taken as a whole.
This would indicate that the series would end here at the Ultimatum. Of
course, not too many would complain if there were a Bourne 4.
Accompanying what may have been the best of the three-quels in the summer
of 2007 (spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Rush Hour 3), composer
John Powell's score for the THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM follows up the previous
two installments with more of the same electronic grit and audio "kineticism."
Powell musically matches Greengrass' intensity scene for scene, blow for
blow, and stunt for stunt. He reprises Jason Bourne's main theme as well
as his eclectic combination of orchestral and synthesized elements with
Western and Middle-eastern instrumentation. The overall effect suits Mr.
Bourne and his jaw-dropping exploits to a "T."
John Powell's creative instrumentation is well-known now and
somewhat expected. While Jason Bourne's theme is no James Bond theme - in
terms of being a thematic icon - it's interesting to contrast the two
franchises and how THE BOURNE series has had some influence on the
re-imagining of The James Bond franchise. Greengrass' influence can easily
be seen and Powell's heard in the latest Bond film, CASINO ROYALE.
For Bourne there are no gadgets, no glitz, just gritty documentary-like
realism and instead of brass fanfares and jazzy interludes that were the
norm for the spy-genre, Powell has contributed to the musical evolution of
the secret-service to edgy, contemporary electronics.
One of the earmarking characteristics of Powell's work for The Bourne
series is his heavy employment of percussion. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM is no
different. The most intense, and possibly most interesting, tracks of the
release all feature this trait. "Tangiers" (2) and "Waterloo" (6) are two
of the most "aggressive" pieces. Just as this approach worked well in THE
BOURNE IDENTITY and even moreso in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, so it does here.
Those who enjoyed the film will likely be the ones who enjoy these pieces
in stand-alone-mode the most.
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM is not without some musical balance. The most
sentimental cue of the soundtrack is "Thinking of Marie" (3), where Powell
keeps it simple with woodwinds and strings - a nice respite in midst of
this Bourne Storm. Another somberly emotional cue is "Faces Without Names"
(5) which is languishingly performed on strings - building to a slightly
melancholy crescendo. It's a piece that recalls moments from Hans Zimmer's
the Da vinci Code or Hannibal.
Decca, like Varese Sarabande's release of THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) and
THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004), delivers the most essential bits of the John
Powell's score. Despite only having 10 tracks, there is some 54 minutes of
score here. If this is the last of Bourne on the big screen, both Paul Greengrass and John Powell have done a satisfying job.
Both visually and musically, Jason Bourne's story of redemption has proven
to be quite a ride over the last five years. That said, there is
still some life in the franchise as the video game THE BOURNE CONSPIRACY
makes its debut on the Playstation 3 in August of 2007 and of course there
are fourth and fifth Bourne novels by Eric Van Lustbader: THE BOURNE
LEGACY and THE BOURNE BETRAYAL. There may indeed be much
Bourne-storming left for audiences!
Six Weeks Ago
||Man Versus Man
||Jason is Reborn
||Total Running Time (approx)