Bourne Supremacy

Film Review by Jeffrey Winters

This is a fantastic action-adventure film that doesn’t slow down or let up. The reason is simple. Jason Bourne skillfully played by Matt Damon is immediately likeable and at the same time he is in constant jeopardy while assassins try to kill him.

Instead of slowing the pace, which often happens like a roller coaster ride in many thrillers, British filmmaker and director Paul Greengrass (“Bloody Sunday”) takes the original story by Robert Ludlum and moves Bourne from India to Venice, Italy to Germany to Moscow to New York City. This keeps the film moving with well photographed and staged views of the different cities and countryside. That makes the world seem small because wherever Bourne goes he is being framed for murder and people are trying to kill him.

The film starts with Damon as William Bourne in India with his girl friend. If you saw the previous mega-hit “The Bourne Identity” you know Bourne is a highly trained CIA special ops assassin who lost his memory. “The Bourne Supremacy” shows him having flashbacks as he tries to fill in the pieces of what has motivated people to try and kill him. But the memory subplot is not key to understanding the twisting conspiracy. That’s because Bourne (Damon) uses himself as bait to flush out and discover why the CIA and Russians are after him. He uses deception and cleverness.

What we do know is Damon doesn’t come to the set (after working out with a muscle coach) looking like Brad Pitt in new buff naked gleaming muscles. Instead Damon does what he does best. He looks ordinary and real, and immediately we like and care about him. Also, he trained for this role using in close fighting technquiqes and he boxed everyday. So when there is a fight we see him get hurt or bloodied before taking down the prey. He also did most of his stunts and working with director Greengrass heightened the film’s sense of thriller enjoyment. Damon acts low key and when necessary displays vulnerability and quiet depth. He is a terrific actor (rent ”The Talented Mr. Ripley”) who doesn’t rely on pretty boy fluff to accentuate a role.

I used to read all of the late Robert Ludlum books and was always dazzled with the details of different locales around the world. I thought this guy must travel and research all these exotic places. What a job. In fact Ludlum had a great imagination and his creation-Jason Bourne has transferred to another spy writer. This means we will see another Bourne film in a few years.

The surrounding cast is terrific. Joan Allen plays Pamela Landy, a CIA supervisor who is convinced Bourne killed two of her agents. She is forced by headquarters to unite with Brian Cox who just played Agamemnon in Troy and was the evil guy in X-Men 2. He gets more despicable and better with each film.

“The Bourne Supremacy” is one of the best made action-adventure films to come along in a while. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. In other words it was really fun to be absorbed in a far fetched story.