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THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, 2004
Movie Reviews!

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THE BOURNE SUPREMACY,  MOVIE POSTERTHE BOURNE SUPREMACY, 2004
Movie Reviews

Directed by Paul Greengrass

Cast: Matt Damon, Brian Cox, Franka Potente, Julia Stiles, Karl Urban, Michelle Monaghan and Joan Allen
Review by Andrew Kosarko


SYNOPSIS:

The stakes are now even higher for the agent as he coolly maneuvers through the dangerous waters of international espionage--replete with CIA plots, turncoat agents and ever-shifting covert alliances--all the while hoping to find the truth behind his haunted memories and answers to his own fragmented past.

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REVIEW:

First off, let me preface by telling you there are major plot points about to be spoiled as the most important aspects of the film take place in the first 20 minutes or so and affect the rest of the story – so if you have not seen the film, please stop reading after this portion. So, if you haven’t yet seen Supremacy, I will tell you that it’s a good idea to clear out some time if you have the first film in your possession and watch Identity first and then immediately pop this one in.

The Story: I’ll do my generic opinions first to allow some buffer for wandering eyes. After the first 30 minutes of this film, everything turns into a re-hash of the previous film in terms of car chases and fight scenes. The “bad guy” in this movie is in 3 scenes and really doesn’t do much of anything past sending an assassin after Bourne in the first 20 minutes. In fact, that’s all he does. Brian Cox is a bad guy, which doesn’t really turn out to be that big of a surprise and the even more stereotypical element is that he did it for money. The only real intriguing moments is the death of Marie in the first 20 minutes. That comes out of nowhere and after spending the entire first film with her is somewhat of a shocker. It’s the kind of death audiences always hope for – because it’s effective in it’s emotional impact on us. And then they go back into showing more how Chris cooper’s character from the first film was a bad guy. Like we didn’t know already.

Acting: Damon really shows his action film talents in this film. The fights are well done and his acting with amnesia is one of the best incarnations of the plot device seen in a long while. Brian Cox knows how to play bad guy really good, but I’m still waiting to see something new from him. Joan Allen is able to capture a head of a department that acts in a realistic manner – specifically one who transitions from boss to rebellious underling in such a swift manner. Julia Stiles, well, much like all of the Bourne movies she’s just kind of there in a filler role. And Franka isn’t in the film long enough to really get a fresh sense on her new performance.

Directing: Paul Greengrass is definitely the man to work on this franchise. While I take issue with the story, the characterization and the moments seem to take a hit and miss approach to being effective. The action scenes, however, are all spot on. Which, in some sense, is really what matters.

Cinematography: Here is what I love, and this plays a hand with the editing – is the way it was shot. The underwater sequence after the car crash is so poetic without being overly altruistic. The action scenes are realistically shaky and while it can give you some motion sequence watching it on a big screen, you are still able to deduce what in the blue hell is going on – which is a difficult thing to pull off.

Production Design: Realistic and that’s both good and bad. Good because it works within the story and bad because there is not stylistic design to it. You can’t really look at the film and say “that’s a Jason Bourne” movie because truth be told – it looks a lot like the word of the Matrix.

Editing: Love it. The word “pacing” is the first thing this editor knows and there isn’t anything better. Every moment is defined. Well, the ones that matter anyway. The action scenes are choppy in a way that are effective and compelling. You can understand what’s going on and be thrilled it. The film moves at a fast pace and is over in an hour and a half.

Score: Well, the score is pretty generic for a spy thriller and then on the other hand it also means Moby gets a paycheck every 3 years. But while we’re on the subject of sound, the one thing that this film rocks my world over is the use of nat sound. Aka – the background noise. City sounds, the hum of an empty room, a slight breeze. Playing all subtlety in the background. It lends an aesthetic tone to the film that is lacking in other departments.

Special Effects: Realistic – just like everything else. There is no CGI. Just clever camerawork and sound effects to back them up – combined with the cinematography and the edition of course.

In closing: As I had said, the first 30 minutes are really all the matter in the long run of things. Sure, it’s nice to see Brian Cox get his and the action scenes that go down, but it’s really unneeded. It’s all just the closure that we wanted from the first film finally delivered. Identity and Supremacy really could have been one film all together – and it was more enjoyable to look at, in terms of color tone, I think it could have been without problem. So in short, the film should have been called “The Bourne Exposition.”

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