Movie Review: The Bourne Supremacy

Posted by Arlo on Aug 30, 2004 under Movie Reviews

The Bourne Supremacy Movie PosterI hadn’t seen The Bourne Identity when it made its rounds in the theaters, but when it came out on DVD, I heard plenty of good stuff about it from my friends. When its sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, began getting good critical reviews this summer, I was intrigued. I’m not one to rent movies very often, but if I was going to see this new one, I thought I’d better play catch up. Finding The Bourne Identity at Blockbuster proved to be difficult while The Bourne Supremacy was in town, but eventually I was able to rent myself a copy.

I enjoyed The Bourne Supremacy when I finally got to see it, although I didn’t like it as much as its prequel. The Bourne Supremacy picks up with the “Happily Ever After” from the first movie and within the first 15 minutes manages to destroy just about everything the first movie stood for. Jason Bourne acts alone in the second movie and because of that we lose the interactions that gave us insight into what made his amnesiac assassin character seem so human.

One things both movies did remarkable well (and perhaps this comes from the Ludlam books, I don’t know) was realistically portray how people and agencies act and react when they don’t have all the information. I don’t think either movie was trying to make a political point, but it’s hard not to draw comparisons to current events.

The Bourne Supremacy was definitely faster paced that The Bourne Identity and I suspect that has a whole lot more to do with the directors than with the stories. The Bourne Supremacy was cut like a music video, sometimes to the point of distraction – a friend and I agree that the final car chase was filmed so tight and was edited with so many rapid cuts that you just couldn’t see what was going on. The one-on-one fight scenes were the same way – I felt far more tension in the first movie’s if only because I could see everything that was happening.

The Bourne Supremacy also had one other aspect that lowered it below the level of The Bourne Identity: Two endings. Well, okay, not really. But there was a distinct feeling of closure when Jason Bourne wrapped things up with the American government and then they had to ramp the movie back up for a half hour or so to get some resolution on the Russian side of things. I can’t help but think that they could have tied the endings together better.

Trivial Thought: Didn’t The Matrix teach us that lengthy camera shots in an action movie are a good thing?
What did I find worthwhile about the movie? Some of the characters. Matt Damon did well enough, as did Brian Cox. I’m starting to like that Lord of the Rings guy that was in Riddick, too (and Oksana said he did a very good job with his Russian lines!) I wish that Julia Styles was used more in both movies – I’m not a big fan or anything, but the trailers made it seem like she had a bigger part.
Would I recommend the movie? Yes.
Will I buy it on DVD? No, probably not. The movie was good and all, but I can’t see watching it over and over.

Overall Summer Movie Ranking
Spider-man 2
Shrek 2
The Village
I, Robot
The Bourne Supremacy
The Day After Tomorrow
The Terminal
The Chronicles of Riddick
Fahrenheit 9/11
Van Helsing
Aliens vs. Predator
The Stepford Wives