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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)


Never leave a spy alive, especially if that spy happens to be Will Hunting.

This sequel re-enters the shadowy world of expert assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), who continues to find himself plagued by splintered nightmares from his former life. Except this time, he has a bigger threat in CIA agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen).

I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you liked The Bourne Identity, you’re liking this one. As simple as that.

Director Paul Greengrass does a great job here with this material because instead of doing exactly what Doug Liman did with the first flick, he molds it himself. The first one without a houbt had action but focused way too much on its plot, which in turn took away from the little action there was. So what Greengrass does is just match the plot development it but tops it off with more action. And when I mean action, I mean action, baby! Yeah!

Greengrass films more than a few of the action scenes with his infamous “shaky cam” method, but it didn’t bother me as much here as I thought it would have; actually, it tweaked the film in just the right way. All of the fights that go down here feel like they were filmed by a drunken sports fan who just wanted to see some mono-e-mono brawls and happened to fumble in the right places for his camera. Maybe that doesn’t sound (look) so awesome right now but it really makes you feel like you’re there watching Bourne layeth the Smackedowneth on all of these CIA agents’ candy-asses. You can feel the action no matter how far away from the screen you are. The frenetic editing Greengrass did here may not be for everybody, especially the ones that were huge fans of the original, but most will appreciate the gritty vibe he brings to the film and if nothing else how good he is at filming a car chase.

This film isn’t all about its action though, because a lot of it actually is dedicated to its plot which keeps on moving and moving the plot along. If you saw the original, you will probably know everything that’s going on here in the first place, so therefore when all of these mysteries start to be brought up, solved, and twisted around like a curly fry, you can’t help but feel like you don’t know what’s going to go down next. So many things are being brought up here but somehow, it all works itself out and doesn’t become over-bearing.

However, as interesting as the story may have gotten to become, it was still pretty predictable in the end which bothered me. Yes, I know that this is all used for entertainment values and anybody going into these types of films expecting anything else but just pure, adrenaline-junkie action is a total dumb-ass, but I couldn’t get past the fact that almost every action sequence would pretty much end in Jason Bourne coming out on top no matter what the odds stacked against him were. Maybe the fact that I also know that there’s another sequel to this one is what had me thinking this too. Actually, that’s exactly what it is. Damn, I just wish I saw this when it first came out!

Other parts of this film I didn’t like was when the film tried to  get a little sentimental with some subplot about Boune’s first “job”. I don’t mind an action/thriller flick trying to be more than just that but the film tries to edge Bourne out more by giving him this plot to show that he really is a human and humans make mistakes. It comes up just about every 30 minutes when something strange goes down and when it’s all over, you feel like they totally dropped the ball on it. I don’t want to say how this whole subplot eventually plays out, bu the scene it ended with seemed to have left me a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Don’t know what it was but definitely didn’t feel too right.

Matt Damon once again proves himself to be a good action star, and an even better action star as Jason Bourne. He is able to handle this “plain-looking” guy style but also be able to come off as a ruthless bad-ass whenever it comes down to him taking on other spies and the CIA. Bourne is also a bit more interesting this time around because we see him go from a defensive position to an offensive one, which allows us to root him on some more as he battles these CIA punks. Go get ‘em Bourne!

Damon is also backed up by a pretty solid cast. Joan Allen is pretty awesome as Pamela Landy because she’s a strong character that doesn’t have to use her muscles to prove her ruthlessness, instead, she uses her brain and that’s a real tough brain to go against. Let’s also not forget to mention that she’s very sexy and a chick I wouldn’t mind going up against myself, if you know what I mean..? Rawr! If you have ever seen Brian Cox play a bad guy before, (which is almost every flick with the exception of Super Troopers) then his performance here as Ward Abbott will just be another example as to know what this dude is capable of and Karl Ubran gets some pretty bad-ass scenes where it’s just him looking all tough and ready to fight Bourne. Yet, none of them ever really stand a chance.

Consensus: Though it misses a couple of beats here and there, The Bourne Supremacy is still a solid action flick because it keeps the adrenaline moving at such a solid pace, that you rarely ever forget what you’re watching and you get more and more involved with the story as it goes along.

7.5/10=Rental!!

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10 responses to “The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

  1. DarthSpock July 25, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Good review mate. Personally this is my least favourite Bourne film (atm, lets see how The Bourne Legacy plays out), i mean I like it, but feels far too long. I wasn’t as drawn in as much as I was with Identity and Ultimatum.

  2. vinnieh July 25, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Need to give this a rewatch after reading your review.

  3. thaumaturge July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    The next one – Ultimatum – is the best of the trio. I liked this one a little more than you did, but I think your criticisms are dead-on… they just didn’t impact my enjoyment as much as you indicate.

    Brian Cox is friggin awesome. Just throwing that out there.

  4. NUTS4R2 (@nuts4r2) July 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Yeah. You were right about the editing. I loved the first movie and didn’t appreciate the incoherent, action editing on this one which I just couldn’t follow. I like the Bourne films but so far think everyone is just not as good as the last one. Especially when it skews off and does it’s own thing independent of the books after the first one.

  5. Jaskee July 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I love this entire trilogy, but this one is my least favorite of the three.

    Did you just call Joan Allen sexy?

  6. Jaina July 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I’m wondering if you’d have thought this one was as predictable as you found it if you had seen it back in 2004. The Bourne franchise really kicked off a lot of films since then, in look and feel and plots.

    I stepped into the franchise with this film and just loved it. Paul Greengrass and his crew did a great job just upping the ante. The car chase in Moscow is amazing. So well done. One of my all time favourite set pieces.

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