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The Bourne Supremacy


Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne, the CIA superspy with amnesia run amuck. He told the CIA in the first movie that if they came for him, he'd go get 'em. So in a diabolical plot to steal lots of money, a Russian bad guy implicates Bourne in something, causing the CIA to send Joan Allen (the mom from the awesome Pleasantville) after him. Of course, Bourne, being innocent, doesn't know what is going on and counterattacks. Meanwhile, he is still suffering from his amnesia and is having recurring dreams and flashes of memory from his previous life.

What I Thought

The Bourne Supremacy is more the second half of the first movie, rather than a "sequel". It picks up 2 years after the first one leaves off, but with mostly the same characters and same actors. So go see the first one for the story.

Matt Damon is excellent as Bourne. He has very few lines, and in fact maybe says a dozen words in the first hour. But it's all about the face. For example, acting on instinct and self defense, he kills someone. A second after that, it reaches his brain and you see his shocked expression.

The otherwise amazing Joan Allen is pretty boring here. I wish she could have done more. Go see Pleasantville if only for her performance as the repressed mom. Amazing.

The story itself is pretty good as well. The action keeps moving, and the director does a good job of explaining what is going on without actually explaining it in words. There is no "so you see, kids, this is what's going on" like there usually is in a James Bond movie, say.

It's also (appropriately) very somber, dark, humorless. Bourne is a failed assassin/CIA spy, and the movie doesn't sugarcoat it. There are no jokes being cracked (ahem, Bond) and no cutesy little things. This is a brutal and intense world for Bourne.

The camera work is very frantic, almost too much. It's very jarring, making the action scenes more visceral. I think they should have sacrificed a little of this for a better view of the action. Some of the car chases are almost unwatchable. You know what's going on, though not necessarily the details. I don't know if I like it, but I can recognize this as a "style" rather than sloppy camera work. Usually, when you go see an action movie like this one, the action sequences are there to be appreciated. But this style of camerawork makes it feel more like you're actually there, and it's hard to appreciate an action sequence when you feel like you should be dodging cars at 80 miles per hour.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.