The Bourne Supremacy

Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, Karl Urban


We start off in sleepy, dusty Goa watching Jason Bourne (Damon) agonise over dreamed glimpses of his past. He is living a life of mediocrity with Marie (Potente), moving from obscure place to obscure place, 2 years after the events of The Bourne Identity. The first 10 minutes move very slowly, with many dark brooding silhouetted shots of Bourne pondering his past. However the CIA catch him up. Or so Bourne thinks. But are they really CIA? In the same time frame, we also get to observe CIA team leader Pamela Landy (Allen) watch an operation go badly wrong, supposedly at the hands of Bourne. Who is behind the plot? And so goes the intrigue.


The pace is much faster than The Bourne Identity, a film of which I was no big fan, but the change of director (Paul Greengrass) seems to have done wonders. The rough-and-ready camera techniques work well to enhance all the confusion Bourne himself is feeling and the fight scenes viewed through the blurred hastily-moving lens adds to the perception of being involved in the action. The plot might be somewhat obvious to the audience but the thrills lie in the character arc of Bourne, which thankfully is paid vastly more attention to than in the pointless 'Identity'. The is grateful relief from the ingratiating romance of the first film as well, with plenty more attention paid to real character development and interaction. It is a shame so little was seen of Julia Stile's on screen persona, Nicky, as her relationship with Bourne could have added an extra element to his depth.


Pamela Landy is an effective new addition, as Bourne's new contact within the CIA, hunting him to discover his involvement in her Nevski murder case. Bourne is always one step ahead, but then we expect that as the undisputed hero. Throw Brian Cox into the mix as yet again a high up figure with possibly hidden motives and there is even more to tot up on the plus board for this film. However reviewing his recent roles it may be a tad too easy to guess his alignment. Karl Urban, looking much more rough than as recent role Eomer in Lord of the Rings, stars as the assassin, Kirill, assigned on a fair few occasions throughout to dispose of the titular ex-assassin himself. He plays well opposite Damon, his distinctive slimy-evil frame a good choice for the pursuing and fighting.


A vast improvement on the first in the series, a pleasant offering of Bond-style action, The Bourne Supremacy is a satisfying middle-of-the-road action film for the end of Summer, not to be sneered at.


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