Are you Bourne to be wild? Are you a
natural Bourne killer? How about a Bourne leader? Is it time
to be Bourne again? Hallelujah! If the answer to any of
those questions is yes or no, it doesn't matter, because the sequel to
The Bourne Identity is finally here.
Matt Damon stars as the
titular Bourne. Now, if you haven't seen The Bourne Identity
you might want to go out and buy it (here)
or rent it (somewhere else). Why? Because Supremacy
picks up where the last film left off. Also, a lot of events from
the first film are referenced in the second, and almost the entire cast
is brought back for round 2.
The movie is a spy/thriller/action adventure. In addition to
Matt Damon, the film stars Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Franka Potente (Run
Lola, Run), Joan Allen (The Contender and Manhunter),
and Karl Urban (he played Julius Caesar in "Xena: Warrior Princess" and
also appeared in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The
Chronicles of Riddick). Chris Cooper also appears briefly in
First of all, this isn't a spy flick in the style of the James Bond
movies. It's much grittier and realistic, similar to Spygame
or The Recruit. The emphasis is on suspense and evasion
rather than blowing things up or big fights. There is quite a bit
of action, though, which is handled quickly and painfully, for the most
part. As far as long hand-to-hand battles, there's only one, and
it's more intense than the action in the first film.
The "money shot" for this film is an extended car chase sequence; it
is certainly the best car chase in years, and it has some truly
memorable and incredible sequences. It gets a bit over the top,
with Matt Damon's car getting hit, spinning 360 degrees, then continuing
on in forward or reverse (and that happens a couple of times).
However, there are moments that look absolutely convincing and
The Masked Reviewer has a few major gripes about the film, however.
First of all, director Paul Greengrass seems to love shaky
handheld shots. Many directors feel this adds to the realism of a
scene. It's like you're there. It adds to the confusion.
Well, yes it does. Every fight scene is plagued with shaky camera
movements. Most of the driving scenes are in shaky-cam too.
It's not just a little shaky, but very shaky. Did the cameraman
have palsy? It will undoubtedly make a lot of people unhappy to
try to see what's happening through the shakes, and those of you who are
prone to motion sickness had better bring a barf bag. It's too
bad, and rather pointless.
The shakiness is particularly bothersome because it isn't effective.
Everyone has seen shaky handheld cameras, but even on shows like "COPS"
the camera doesn't shake that much, when they're running down the street
in pursuit of a suspect. It's quite distracting.
The acting is fine across the board. Matt Damon doesn't get a
whole lot to say, and in many ways the story and characters unfold
around him. He's the driving force behind the movie, but the story
seems to be about everyone else, for the most part. Joan Allen,
Karl Urban, and Brian Cox all give interesting performances.
The overall story isn't terribly suspenseful, but there are nice
moments of suspense at various points. There isn't a lot of humor
in the film (maybe a few laughs of surprise) which is why this review is
so serious (relatively). Hey, he's an assassin. There's
nothing funny about that (unless he wore one of those Groucho noses and
It's not great but it's not bad, either. It feels a bit like a
TV show; many elements from the first film (like, almost the entire
cast, the music, the credits) are re-used and it seems like there aren't
any major changes in the main character. Though the other
characters are fairly well developed (at least, some of them are) it
just falls a bit flat. The story isn't quite good enough.
Though the car chase at the end is great, it seems like there should be
more of that in the rest of the film. The one real fight scene is
marred by herky-jerky camera movements. There are a few good
moments of suspense, but not quite enough. It's a better than
average film, but not by much.
If you loved The Bourne Identity, then you'll almost certainly
love this one more. If you weren't a fan of the first, you might
think this is okay...it's certainly not bad, but it isn't as good as it
could have been. Still, there's a lot to like. And, of
course, Matt Damon fans will enjoy seeing him in this (because they'd
enjoy seeing him in anything).
Expectation from the Title: It's probably got something to do
with Nazis and genetics.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Matt Damon is very polite for an assassin.
The Pros: Excellent car chase, some good suspense moments,
fine supporting performances, more realistic spy stuff.
The Cons: Shaky camera movements are distracting, gimmicky,
and ineffective. Not quite enough of the good stuff...the good
moments make you wish the whole film was like that.