The best way to describe The Bourne Ultimatum is to note that I came to the picture never having read a Robert Ludlum book, and never having seen any of the previous Bourne movies. I was quite prepared to be lost, plot-wise, since my understanding was this movie would complete the narrative begun in the first two films I hadn't seen. I shouldn't have worried. The plot of The Bourne Ultimatum is irrelevant to the pleasures the movie offers. Rather like a non-comic Road Runner cartoon, the movie spends almost its entire running time in chase scenes. They are quite inventive, they are enjoyable, you can see why the three Oscar nominations the movie got were for editing, sound, and sound editing (not sure why those are three different categories). No one is likely to feel cheated watching The Bourne Ultimatum, and while I have little interest myself in sniffing around for cultural context to analyze, I'm sure it's there. It's just that in this case, I'm not interested. The movie delivers, the characters and situations are completely unbelievable (which doesn't matter except that once in awhile the movie stops for a few minutes and I think we're supposed to find Jason Bourne's situation profound ... it isn't), and I can recommend the movie even to those, like me, who knew little about Jason Bourne going in.
I do have one question, though. How does a movie like this get three Oscar noms ... let me finish, I don't mind that it has its nominations ... how does a movie like this get nominations, but last year's superior Casino Royale got none?