The Bourne Ultimatum (Soundtrack) by John Powell



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The Bourne Ultimatum by John Powell

The Bourne Ultimatum

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The Bourne Ultimatum by John Powell

The Bourne Ultimatum
Composed by John Powell
Decca Records (2007)

Rating: 6/10

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Listen to this soundclip of The Bourne UltimatumSix Weeks Ago(370 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of The Bourne UltimatumFaces without Names (339 kb)

More clips from The Bourne Ultimatum at


(John) Powell musically matches Greengrass' intensity scene for scene, blow for blow, stunt for stunt.

Review by Christopher Coleman

Matt Damon as Jason BourneDirector 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!

Rating: 6/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Six Weeks Ago 4:31  ***
2 Tangiers 7:40  ***
3 Thinking of Marie 3:51  ***
4 Assets and Targets 7:18  ***
5 Faces Without Names 3:31  ***
6 Waterloo 10:38  ***
7 Coming Home 3:19  ***
8 Man Versus Man 5:45  ***
9 Jason is Reborn 4:04  ***
10 Extreme Ways 4:22  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 54 minutes  




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