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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Movie Review - The Bourne Supremacy

***Movie #2 of BOURNE Week***
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Starring Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, and Julia Stiles
Directed by Paul Greengrass

Director Paul Greengrass carries a certain amount of caché for me as he helmed one of the films that is part of my Personal Canon -- United 93.  The Bourne Supremacy, however, was only his third feature film and his first big budget Hollywood flick...and unfortunately, his nascence shows a little here.

Two years have passed since the events of The Bourne Identity and Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and his girlfriend Marie (Franka Potente) are living a peaceful existence in India.  In Russia, however, the CIA are in the midst of an operation headed by Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to retrieve the "Neski Files" which contain details about the theft of millions of dollars of CIA allocations.  The mission is interrupted when a Russian agent steals the files, kills all the CIA agents present, and plants Bourne's fingerprints at the scene of the crime.  The Russian agent then sets out on a mission to kill Bourne, but that goes horribly awry, sending Bourne out into the world to track down the man who tried to assassinate him.  Meanwhile, Landy and the CIA believe that former agent Bourne is the one who killed their men in Russia.  With Bourne being tracked down by both the Russians and the CIA -- with both seemingly intent to end his life -- he's found himself in a bit of trouble again all the while trying to overcome his amnesia to determine how exactly he became a spy for the CIA in the first place.

Most pleasant about The Bourne Supremacy is that it does a nice job of slowly building the backstory of the title character.  Getting little tidbits here and there places the viewer in Bourne's shoes -- just as he is unaware of his background, we are as well.  This ambiguity connects us to the character in a way that most other films of this ilk are unable.

However, The Bourne Supremacy feels a little too complex for its own good.  It's not that it's particularly confusing, it's just that it seems "big" and more worldly than it needs to be.  Having Russian spies trying to frame Bourne in an effort to keep info from the US expanded the story beyond where I felt or wanted it to be, pulling the focus too much away from Bourne himself.  Director Greengrass also lacks the eye just yet to really lens an action sequence, with many of the moments feeling less impressive than director Doug Liman's venture in the series' first film.  Fortunately for the series, by the time Greengrass went behind the camera again for the third Bourne edition, he learned a tremendous amount.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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