(2004)  

Alan:

Ebert: Rolling Stone:1/2 TV Guide:


 


Warning, minor plot points revealed!

I don't really have a lot to say about this movie.  I liked it but I didn't love it.  It's one of those movies that you can watch once and then forget about.  Kind of like the first film of the series, The Bourne Identity.  I prefer my spy movies in the less realistic and more cartoony style of James Bond.

I've never been a fan of Matt Damon.  I don't hate him but I don't really like him either.  I thought he was great in The Talented Mr. Ripley but Jude Law sort of stole the show in that movie.  I didn't see The Bourne Identity at the theater because it didn't look interesting enough and I was still paying to see movies at the time.  I rented it and liked it but only vaguely remember it.  Now, only four days after seeing it, I feel the same way about The Bourne Supremacy.  

When we last left Jason Bourne he woke up with amnesia and found he had secret agent training, multiple identities and people who wanted him dead.  At the end of the film he had hooked up with his new girlfriend Marie Helena.  At the beginning of this installment we find that they have been living off the grid on the beaches of Goa, India.  Meanwhile in Berlin, someone is framing him for the murder of U.S. operatives and then dispatching an assassin to India to murder him as well.  The assassination is botched and this makes Bourne mad.  He comes out of hiding and goes on the offensive to find out why our government is trying to frame him and who, this time,  is trying to kill him.  

Let me restate.  I did like this movie.  For an action drama it is first rate.  In fact the real on-location globe trotting story makes for a small pleasure in and of itself.  And the action is all old school car chases and non-CGI enhanced fighting.  Because the filmmakers decided to go with the Cinema Verité style, the car chase is a bit more bone crunching and violent than we are used to but on the downside the hand held camera that bounces along with Bourne as he is chased may induce nausea.  I don't mind the rapid editing style used in fight and action sequences of late but I do not love the overuse of the hand held camera.   I suppose this is meant to bring us closer to the reality of the action but for me it obscures the choreography.

The actors are all fine but I don't think any of them stand out.  Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne very low key so it's exciting in the brief moments when his well trained spy shell cracks under pressure.  Franka Potente from the brilliant Run Lola Run is not really used at all in the brief girlfriend role of Marie Helena.  Julia Stiles reprises her role as Nicolette but her part is so small that I don't even remember her from the first film.  Joan Allen does a good job as the fierce CIA agent who believes that Bourne is working against her.  Brian Cox is back in his role as CIA boss Ward Abbott but I honestly don't remember him from the first film either.  

The Bourne Supremacy was a good alternative last weekend for adults who didn't want to see the "superhero nonsense" of Catwoman.  But with great films like The Village, The Manchurian Candidate and Garden State coming out this weekend I think Bourne will only reign supreme for another day or so.