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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Bourne Supremacy - 2004

After Doug Liman took the first Bourne novel and transferred it to the big screen, acclaimed director Paul Greengrass, and a personal favorite of mine, takes over and works with the last two films of the series. However, despite the fact that the director change was clearly for the better, I personally feel that The Bourne Supremacy is a drop off from The Bourne Identity.

At the end of the first film, the audience is given the impression that Jason and Marie are going to start a life together, and that Jason has accepted his life for what it is, and will no longer be hunted, and live in happiness. But when there is an assassination attempt on Bourne, the life that he assumed was left behind, he has now re-entered. And similar to the first film, Jason Bourne must use his skills as an assassin to possibly save his life, and learn more of his past.

Now the thing I did not like most about The Bourne Supremacy is that it brings absolutely nothing new to the table, which even for a redundant series like this that is not good. When watching this film I almost feel as if it is not even needed in the storyline as a whole. The only thing good about the story is that it slightly develops Bourne's past, where the audience learns a bit more about the character. In my opinion, the first and second film almost feel as if they are one and the same, not a continuation. Because Identity does not end on a cliff hanger, Supremacy is not anywhere near as effective as it is supposed to be. The audience does not feel like we have gotten anywhere, and it is not until the third film that we actually get to where we were meant to be.

Now before I go any further, since I have already reviewed The Bourne Identity, I will not spend too much time on this particular review, as I do not want to be repetitve. So, I will just hit the basics and save the good stuff for The Bourne Ultimatum.

With all of that negativity being said, the story was really the only problem I had with the film. I really enjoyed, and the direction by Paul Greengrass was much improved from Liman's, which anyone would agree is saying quite a bit. Greengrass knows how to shoot an action flick like no other director I have seen, and any attempts at something similar have been failures. Example A. "Shooter". Mark Wahlberg is running for his life, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and it was an absolute fail of a movie. The stories clearly are not similar at all, but that is only an example.

The performances were good as they were in the first film, plus the wonderful addition of Joan allen to the cast, who in my opinion shows up every supporting actor or actress in the film. Matt Damon was same old same old, just the same as he was in the first installment. Though I must admit, the loss of Chris Cooper was quite unfortunate. I did not really care for Julia Stiles, but nothing to complain about. And thankfully Franka Potente was not in the film very much.

Overall, The Bourne Identity falls below the first film, but it still brings the action packed thrills that its predecessor carried. The audience will be glad to have learned a bit more about our hero's past, and will be heading to their local movie store to get the final installment the next day.


  1. It's funny because I know I've seen the first and third Bourne movies hundreds of times but this one only once or twice. I think I might like it bit more than you seem to but I understand what you're saying. Not a ton of new stuff but enough for my liking. - Gerry from CinematicMethod.com

  2. Great review. I liked this one though it is the weakest Bourne movie.

  3. Thanks Daniel, glad we agree.

  4. Thanks Gerry, I might have been a little too harsh, but as a whole I still really liked the film.