By Vic Holtreman
Short version: If you enjoyed The Bourne Identity you'll enjoy this worthy sequel, that except for some overly jumpy camera work and editing, delivers.
In my earlier review of The Bourne Identity, I stated that The Bourne Supremacy had a lot to live up to due to the prior film's excellence.
I'm here to tell you that it didn't disappoint.
Except for a new director, it's pretty much the same team at work here as in the first film, and there's a sense of that here... like everyone has gotten to know the characters and this world, and it's all become second nature to them.
Bourne Supremacy picks up two years after the events of the first film, with Jason Bourne and Marie (his partner from the first film) living in India, still apparently under the radar and still in love, but Jason is plagued by nightmares. These dreams give him brief glimpses of his past, but nothing really tangible. He still does not know anything about his life prior to the events of Bourne Identity.
As you can expect, they are "made" within minutes of the beginning of the movie, and things progress from there. After a brief action sequence, things slow down a bit, and this time in addition to viewing things from Bourne's point of view as he tries to piece together his fragmented memories, we also see things from the CIA's point of view... trying to figure out what his next move will be.
Don't worry though, this is not a snoozer... the pace soon picks up once again. It's just that the film gives you time to catch your breath between high-energy scenes, instead of bombarding you relentlessly to the point of numbness to the whole thing. Of course if you're reading this and you're under 25, I realize that your enjoyment of a film is directly proportional to the number of mind-numbing action sequences that can be consecutively strung together.
If you're reasonably bright, the person behind all the mayhem will become clear to you before being divulged in the movie, but despite this there was one thing that I really enjoyed in this film: It did not insult the intelligence of the audience. That's really rare these days. I get so tired of getting beat over the head with plot points in so many films... hey, the audience might not get it, let's be REALLY CLEAR. Here it's as if the director challenges you to keep up... if you stop paying attention, hey, that's your problem.
There are a couple of fight scenes in the film similar to those in the first movie. The main one was shot and edited a bit too close and fast for my taste, but not as bad as I've seen in other films, where you can't even tell what's going on. There was also a car chase that had a twist I haven't seen in other chases, and you'll understand what I mean once you see the film. In this case I did like the frenetic pace of the editing, which really brings you into the driver's seat.
Matt Damon does an admirable job here, balancing real-world-superhero skills with a humanity and vulnerability (man, did I really just say that?) which makes him seem real and makes you care about him and his predicament.
Oh, and for those of you who care about such things (like myself), they managed to make this with a minimum of foul language or sexual situations. Go figure.
I really hope this does well and that everyone involved returns for The Bourne Ultimatum.