The story is present, neither wafer-thin or over convoluted. Its intense execution though grips you from the off. The espionage at play, tracking and monitor watching, particularly an early chase to Waterloo Station, are as tense as any of the outright action sequences. You never feel though you are watching a set piece, there is never a dramatic pause or shrill in the music to warn you to change your underwear for the oncoming bus of vehicular and human carnage. In fact music disappears entirely for a segment of the mandatory Bourne car smash up, only the sounds of grinding gears and scraping metal assaulting your senses. Breaks for exposition only add to the sense of urgency as motives are revealed. Any suggestion of lost lives or time for emotion that dare to show their faces are given little breathing space. The effect overall is that at least twice during watching I had to remind myself to start breathing again.
The Bourne Ultimatum is a great movie experience, inhabiting some intangible ground between the thriller and the blockbuster where heroes are the most real of people.