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The Bourne Supremacy

Combining fast-paced action with an interesting, efficient plot, The Bourne Identity was a sleeper hit of 2002. Though not a huge hit at the box office, it was definitely a quality movie worthy of renting on DVD, and hey, Robert Ludlum wrote a whole series of books with Bourne in the title.

Matt Damon reprises his role as the secret agent with the Swiss cheese memory in The Bourne Supremacy. This time instead of complete amnesia, Bourne simply can't remember details about a mission that haunts his dreams. He and Maria (Franka Potente) are living out of sight from the CIA, but not a different organization that frames Bourne for a crime and then tries to kill him to tie up loose ends. Once again Bourne must use his training as a lean, mean, super spying machine to piece together his frame up as well as dodging Russian and American intelligence agencies.

The plot holds together nicely, mostly because it follows the same formula that worked in the first film. The audience follows Bourne around putting together the pieces he discovers as he does. The plot offers no great twists but does get from point A to B very effectively. The only drawback to the straightforward plot is that everyone watching the movie will figure out who the bad guy really is long before the movie reveals him.

Matt Damon doesn't have much acting to do other than look really intense and occasionally slap the crap out of an assassin. There is a tender moment or two in the film but they pass quickly enough that no one will be nominating Damon for an Oscar.

Potente, Julia Styles and Brian Cox all reprise the roles they had in the first film. Styles is severely shortchanged in the screentime department as her role consists mostly of an extended cameo. Brian Cox makes the most of his role with a few great lines but the script ultimately isn't as strong as his performance.

Brian Cox fans will just have to cherish Troy this year and wait till next year for more.

Joan Allen joins the cast as Pamela Landy, the head of the CIA team assigned to take Jason Bourne down. Like Brian Cox, she's given little to do emotion wise and mostly just has to bark orders to subordinates.

The film's greatest weakness, however, isn't the script, but rather the directing. Even a weak script can be overcome if the director is able to properly display the action scenes, which, let's face it, is why most people will go to see the movie.

Director Paul Greengrass isn't as capable as Identity director Doug Liman was at pulling the camera back to give the audience some perspective. Most of the time you'll know something cool just happened on the screen by the way the characters are reacting but you will be left to fill in the blanks as to what that blurry thing you just saw was.

The Bourne Identity was worth seeing in the theaters but most folks waited for the DVD. The Bourne Supremacy isn't as good as the first film but is still worth checking out as a rental or on cable.


Michael Goodson

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