Written by Tony Gilroy
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Running Time: 1:48
for violence and intense action,
and for brief language.
As much as I enjoyed The Bourne Identity, I was hoping for a lot more from The Bourne Supremacy.
The movie picks up some time after the original. Bourne, along with his female friend Maria, are in Goa, India, living the calm life. Meanwhile, the CIA is botching a sting operation in Germany. Someone plants Bourne's fingerprints at the scene of the crime, so that all the attention will be thrown in his direction. It seems some years ago, $20M of CIA money was stolen, and the sting operation was supposed to land them some evidence. But the bad guys obviously don't want to be found out, and it turns out the one person who would know everything, is Bourne, who as we may remember, has amnesia. Their biggest mistake? Trying to kill Bourne. You don't want to piss off Jason Bourne, because he'll come back at you with all the fury he has in him.
The movie gave me a massive headache. Without looking it up, I can't tell you what other movies Paul Greengrass has directed, but I'm not sure I can sit through another one of his films. I swear the man has never heard of a Steadicam. Anytime there was any semblance of action on the screen, the camera would start flying around so much I had no idea what I was looking at. Add in the very quick editing and entire sequences would be one big mess. There was one fist fight between Bourne and another character where I couldn't figure out anything. At one point I think there was a rolled up newspaper involved but otherwise up until the fight ended, I couldn't see who was punching who or what they were fighting with. Then there was a car chase sequence that had the same problem. Up until the end I had no perspective over what was happening. Where were they? Who was involved in the chase? Even something simple as someone running through a crowd was shot with a jittery camera and used fast cuts so that it was incomprehensible.
The plot of the movie was just so-so. It seemed to me the CIA was going through a whole lot of trouble to find out what happened to $20M a long time in the past. Sure, if there was a mole, it would be nice to find out, but from the story I didn't see that this mole had done anything in a long time and $20M isn't a whole lot of money these days. There were your usual predictable twists with good guys turning bad and what have you, but really, the story was more about Bourne regaining a small portion of his memory. He didn't unlock anything major mind you, just one incident that happened in Germany years ago. So as far as furthering the 'Jason Bourne figuring out who he is' story, the entire movie, save the last few seconds, didn't resolve much. Then there was one annoying issue. You go through an long, hour and 48 minute movie, and there is action throughout, but just minutes before the movie ends, we're taken to a scene where Bourne goes to the now grown up child of two people he killed, just to apologize. Why? What purpose did that serve? To show Bourne is a nice guy? We know he's a good guy caught in a bad position. I couldn't find one single reason to bring the entire movie to a crashing halt, just so he could shed some tears for a girl.
Matt Damon was back in fine form as Bourne. He doesn't show much emotion, except for that final scene. Hmm, maybe that's why that was thrown in there, to show he can do more than yell and hurt people. Anyway, he brings a strong intensity and coolness to the role which had the audience clapping a couple of times. Franke Potente wasn't in the film much too long to discuss. Joan Allen was very reserved in her role, but it was nice to see that they had her play a strong woman who wouldn't back down to the men in the company. Julia Stiles was once again there for no particular reason except she had been in the original and presumably had a couple of weeks free to shoot her role here. The rest of the cast was fairly one dimensional and uninteresting. Make no mistake, this movie is all about Matt Damon.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I'd have to say I was disappointed by The Bourne Supremacy. I didn't find the story very engaging, and the direction was just awful. I do like Matt Damon, and his presence on screen kept the movie afloat. Here's hoping they come up with a better story and director for The Bourne Ultimatum.