The Jason Bourne trilogy begins with , the story of a hero on a quest to discover who he is.
In second of the series, The Bourne Supremacy, he has a name (Jason Bourne) but doesn’t know who he is yet.
However, as that movie opens he is reconciled with having just the name, or he appears that way having created a new life with the woman he met in the first movie.
But in that second movie, he discovers he can’t discard his past as easily as that.
He is back seeking his identity again (something beyond a name) and trying to discover how what he suspects he may be (some kind of killer) came about. Was that who he always was? In this movie, he is no longer someone to whom things happen; now, he initiates.
When the movie concludes, he knows who he is, believes he knows his essential nature (killer), and is trying to right his past as best he can.
In the third of the series The Bourne Ultimatum (picking up immediately where the previous one left off), he is on the same quest, but it is more defined.
He believes he knows who and what his is; he is trying to make some kind of amends for what he thinks he has done (his memory is still missing; he just has glimpses) and most significantly he is determined to go back to where it all started and put an end to it.
Throughout the three movies, he is on a quest. This means forward movement in the story and it is what provides the raison d’être to the style of all three films. The pace intensifies through the three movies, fueled by this, as he approaches the end of his quest. This is partly why the third movie, Ultimatum, is the fastest and most frenetic of the three movies.
(It also intensifies for the purely commercial reason that each film must one up the previous movie.)
Separately or together, the movies that make up the The Jason Bourne Trilogy are among the best action films and best “franchises” of the last few decades. The phrase “film experience” has seldom been better applied than with these movies. They thrum from beginning to end and with increasing intensity.
And they combine so many elements we like: conspiracies, a strong hero, intelligent bad guys, able and likable cohorts to help the hero and the adrenalin thrill of great adventures.
They are as good as action movies get.
- The Bourne Identity (2002)
- The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
- The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)