The Bourne Supremacy -
Rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Adventure / Mystery / Thriller / Action

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

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

Written by: Robert Ludlum (book) and Tony Gilroy (screenplay)

Length: 108 minutes

Rated: PG-13 for violence and intense action, and for brief language.

Matt Damon as Bourne, doing what he does best

When Jason Bourne is framed for a botched CIA operation he is forced to take up his former life as a trained assassin to survive.

It is a general rule that when Hollywood produces a successful (ie money-making) movie a sequel will inevitably follow. It is also a general rule, I believe, that the sequel will be terrible. Although there are a few exceptions, when I first learned that there was to be a sequel to the Bourne Identity I assumed that it would follow the general rule of sequels. I went to see this movie with that in mind, and while I was not blown away with wonder and awe, I believe this is an atypical sequel.

Formulaically speaking Supremacy was pretty much the same as Identity. Jason Bourne (Damon) finds himself being targeted by unknown assailants for unknown reasons, fighting and chasing ensues, Damon outsmarts his would-be killers, and a tenuous balance is reached in the end. The thing is I didn’t realize that the balance was so tenuous at the end of Identity, I foolishly believed, since half the cast was killed by the end of the movie, that there would be no possibility of franchising Jason Bourne. Little did I know that Hollywood knows no limits in the pursuit of creating a potentially endless string of movies without ever bothering to come up with new characters or plots. So I was curious to see how exactly they would kick start the plot in Supremacy. They ended up using a method which seemed to work pretty well, Bourne is in India when suddenly someone (the CIA, he assumes) is trying to kill him and he must find out why and put a stop to it.

As I previously noted, half the cast was dead by the end of Identity, so in addition to bringing on a new director, several new cast members were added. Joan Allen enters as a CIA director trying to find Bourne, and Karl Urban comes in as a Russian assassin trying to kill him. Franka Potente, Brian Cox, Gabriel Mann, and Julia Stiles all return as their characters from the original. New director, Paul Greengrass, also left his mark, opting for hand-held cameras and swift, flashing fight scenes, which lent a whole new view to Supremacy. Although it gets a little old at times, this new style succeeds in making the audience feel the rush and confusion that Bourne experiences.

Supremacy ended with an even looser conclusion, leading me to believe that producers are anticipating or allowing for a third movie in the Bourne franchise. I really liked the Bourne Identity, and I was pleasantly surprised by found the Bourne Supremacy, but I’m hoping that they leave the series at that. Afterall sometimes characters get old and plots definitely get stale and if producers continue down the road their on I think they’ll end up in B-movie hell.


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