Studying The Bourne Ultimatum

BookStudying The Bourne Ultimatum

Studying The Bourne Ultimatum

Studying Films


February 14th, 2012





At the time of its release in 2007, The Bourne Ultimatum was described by one writer as the blockbuster it was 'okay to like'. What is it about this third entry in a Hollywood action franchise that satisfied both the cognoscenti and mass audiences? In Studying The Bourne Ultimatum, Neil Archer considers the film's status as "a serious blockbuster'"; compares rise of Jason Bourne in relation to the decline of another J.B. – James Bond; analyzes how the dynamics of the action thriller are used to depict the covert operations of US intelligence forces across the world; looks closely at the action sequences, focusing on their style and technological innovation; and considers the film's questioning of responsibility and culpability, asking whether – against the backdrop of the "War on Terror"– it plays as a critique of American foreign policy, but also as a redemption for its soldiers.

Studying The Bourne Ultimatum is a clear and concise study guide to a popular film that should be welcomed by Media teachers looking to engage students with a culturally accessible film, one with which they might already be familiar, to utilize as a starting point for questioning the way films are constructed, what they might tell us (and, just as crucially, what they might not tell us, or even what they actively choose not to), and how they might relate to other texts and real-world issues.


[An] insightful analysis.

Barry Forshaw

Crime Time

Author Information

Neil Archer teaches film at Keele University and is the author of Studying The Bourne Ultimatum (Auteur, 2012) and The French Road Movie (Berghahn, 2012).