The Bourne Supremacy Movie Review

Attention all adventure-starved, action-crazed moviegoers: kennel the cat, wreck the robot, and step on that spider. This summer's best action hero is not Catwoman, Spider-Man, or a CGI robot - it's just a dude named Jason Bourne!

Matt Damon is back to reprise his role from the widely popular The Bourne Identity as Bourne - a former CIA operative trying to regain his memory. Again, he must determine why the world wants him dead. Based on the second novel from Robert Ludlum's series, The Bourne Supremacy begins in India where Bourne and his girlfriend Marie (Franka Potenta) are living a new life off the radar. Bourne continues to deal with a series of disjointed nightmares that offer vague pieces of a prior life he does not remember.

Meanwhile, across the globe in Berlin, senior CIA agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) leads a covert operation that fails miserably, leaving two CIA field agents dead. Jason Bourne is the chief suspect. We learn that the Russian mob is framing Bourne for the hit they performed and that they're headed to India to kill him. Landy quickly assembles her team of intelligence experts, including Bourne-profiler Nicky (Julia Stiles) and CIA brass Ward Abbott (Brian Cox). With the CIA hot on his trail and a driven Russian assassin prepared to take him down at any cost, Bourne has no other choice than to run.

Bourne darts across Europe and Asia with ease, eluding his bounty in India, Naples, and Berlin. All the while, he finds time to investigate who he is and why things are happening. Each stop is punctuated by a thrilling chase sequence that becomes increasingly intricate and equally impressive as the film progresses. The exhaustive, edge-of-your-seat chase finale on the streets of Moscow where Bourne first outruns his pursuers on foot and then by driving a cab rivals any pursuit I've seen in recent memory.

Unfortunately, much like its predecessor, Supremacy's only real failing is its muddled and confusing plot about CIA cover-ups, espionage, and a Russian politician. I'm sure there's a cohesive story somewhere in this mess (which a rewrite would have clarified), but it's not completely necessary to figure out. The plot only exists to give a tangible palette on which to paint the action scenes. There are however welcome moments that offer small clues to Bourne's true identity, thus whetting our appetites for the final installment (The Bourne Ultimatum) where we will learn the ultimate truth about him.

While Supremacy's plot is just as jumbled as other action pictures, it is able to sustain itself and standout from the rest because of Tony Gilroy's highly intense and literate script (he also adapted the first film). Damon, Allen and Cox all give credible and compelling performances. Once again, Damon is exceptional as Bourne. His performance is not flashy or one-dimensional like most action heroes; rather, Damon is complex, rational, and cognitive. His ability to make intelligent, split second decisions keep the action fresh and unpredictable. In the few quiet scenes, it is a marvel to watch Damon's mind work.

British director Paul Greengrass proves to be an excellent choice to succeed Identity's Doug Liman. Greengrass uses the same effective hand-held camera technique from Bloody Sunday to create a more heightened sense of urgency than in the first Bourne film. Greengrass also dazzles in moments of subtlety. He seamlessly bridges the two films without showy introductions, or extended epilogues. Supremacy begins as if we'd just finished watching the final scene of Identity fade out and Supremacy's fade in with the first scene in the Indian village.

Supremacy is the most fun you'll have in theaters this summer.

DVD extras include deleted scenes and a pile of making-of featurettes, revealing secrets from the special effects to the stunts to the casting. (Casting secrets! How can you miss it!?)

Hair Bourne.


The Bourne Supremacy Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG-13, 2004


More Matt Damon

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass to Return for Fifth 'Bourne' Movie

Matt Damon is to return to play Jason Bourne in the fifth movie in the spy-thriller franchise, with director Paul Greengrass also returning. It will...

Matt Damon And Paul Greengrass In Talks To Reunite For New 'Bourne' Sequel

One of the most intricate spy stories may be coming back to the big-screen! Matt Damon and British director Paul Greengrass are reportedly in talks...

Interstellar Trailer

Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With little discoveries left to be made on Earth and the...

What Do We Know About Christopher Nolan's Interstellar?

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey made a surprise visit to the San Diego Comic-Con last week to unveil the full trailer for their new movie,...


Franchise King Dwayne Johnson In Talks To Star In Robert Ludlum Adaptation For Universal

Dwayne Johnson might have a new creative endeavor lined up, as the former WWE champ and current actor is in talks to star in the...

Interstellar Trailer

With the Earth facing a bleak future, pilot and engineer Cooper wants to know how it can possibly be saved from its inevitable demise. The...

Matt Damon Open To More 'Bourne' Movies: Will He Team Up With Jeremy Renner?

Matt Damon has revealed that not only would he be happy to reprise his career-defining role of Jason Bourne in the butt-kicking, Bond-esque blockbusters but...

HBO To Revive 'Project Greenlight' With Matt Damon And Ben Affleck Returning

Project Greenlight is to be revived for another series with original stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon at the helm. The reality TV series saw...