A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

The Bourne Supremacy

October 7, 2010

The Bourne Supremacy

I closed yesterday’s review talking about how organically these movies blend into each other. It’s part of what makes this trilogy stand out. Each movie tells a different story but each also builds on the story of the previous ones. It’s not just that they take place in the same world and have the same characters, the movies work as a single unit.

The action here picks up two years after the first movie. Jason and Marie are living in India, miles from everywhere, off the grid. He’s plagued by nightmares and half remembered bits of what he once was. Nightmares and headaches aside they would be happy, but events out in the world are about to impact them. In Germany there’s a deal going down. The CIA is buying information regarding a mole in their organization. Of course the deal goes bad, the guy selling the information and the CIA agent get killed, and incriminating evidence is left at the scene implicating Jason Bourne. The killer responsible makes one error though. He tries to kill Bourne and so tie off all the loose ends in his scheme, but only succeeds in accidentally killing Marie instead. This is absolutely the worst possible thing he could have done, because it unleashes all the badassery of the world’s greatest assassin with his moral core ripped away.

For about the first half of this movie there’s a very different feel her than the first film. It’s a lot of fun to watch because Bourne here is shown with all his cunning, all his gadgets, all his guile. He is a hunter who is in complete command while all the coordinated efforts of the CIA, which believes that he was responsible for the killings in Germany and is trying to hunt him down, are feeble and misguided. I really enjoyed seeing Bourn in complete command as everything goes exactly according to his plan for a little while. It’s a cool contrast and it does a great job building the mystique of his character.

Of course another part of the appeal of these movies is that as a hero Jason is human and mortal. The second half of this movie is pretty much an extended chase scene with Bourne pursued by swat teams, German police, Russian police, and the killer from the start of the movie who needs to get the job done that he messed up in the first place. It’s all great action because it shows him at his resourceful best. There’s one action beat where he is driving a stolen taxi cab through the streets of Moscow with three Russian police cars on his tail while he reads a map and at the same time performs triage on a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Now THAT is an action scene, and THAT is an amazing action movie hero. Yes, he has super powers, but they are plausible ones such as reading maps at a glance or doing amazing stunt driving or improvising escape plans in seconds.

Paul Greengrass takes over as director for this installment and for the third one with Doug Liman taking an executive producer credit, but the movie does a fantastic job of keeping the same feel as the first one. Part of it is the great job of the cast, many of whom return from the first film. Of course we have Matt Damon again as the unstoppable killer himself, but there’s also Franka Potente again as Marie (I wish she had more of a part in this movie,) Julia Styles as Nicky, and Brian Cox as William Stryker Ward Abbott. It helps to keep the movie universe consistent. New to this film we have the always glowering Karl Urban as the Russian killer Kirill (man, but Karl is fun to watch. He just has such a distinctive and awesome look.) And on the CIA side we have Joan Allen as Pamela Landy, the exceptionally cool commander in charge of the operation to unearth the mole in the organization.

Since this is the second movie it begins to establish just what we can expect from a Bourne movie. After watching this you begin to know what goes into these films. As I said yesterday, the are not un-formulaic, but the recipe used to put these movies together is so well crafted that it makes it easy to be swept away by the formula. There’s going to be a totally kickass car chase. Bourne is going to escape from huge numbers of pursuing police. Bourne will use his intense spy/assassin training to turn the tables on the people trying to hunt him down. And the whole thing will end on a high note with that cool credit style using the grid of lines and Moby’s Strange Ways playing. I will say that the beat that this movie ends on is particularly rousing. It makes me grin and it leaves me wanting more right away. As an added benefit, I know how the third movie seamlessly blends with the end of this one, which makes me want to put it in right now. Who knows, I just might do that, since it will be midnight in less than five minutes.

October 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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