wo years ago, "The Bourne Identity" introduced Jason Bourne (Matt
Damon), a trained CIA contract killer who has amnesia when he's pulled out of
the sea. While attempting to recover his memory and adjust to a new life, he
must not only evade malevolent operatives from his former life but also protect
his relationship with Marie (Franka Potente) who has befriended him.
After a somewhat confusing set-up, particularly if you're not familiar
with the characters, Jason and Marie are being chased through the streets of
Goa, India, by a killer (Karl Urban). Meanwhile, the CIA is coping with a
botched Berlin assignment which CIA watchdog Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) links
with Jason, who finds his to way to Naples, then Munich and Berlin. From a CIA
field agent (Julia Stiles), he discovers that he's been framed and eludes
various hit-men. Eventually, the deadly spy game travels by train to Moscow,
where much of the action takes place, along with a terrific car chase, and the
groundwork is laid for a third installment.
Based on Robert Ludlum's best-seller, adapted by Tony Gilroy
(co-screenwriter on "The Bourne Identity") and helmed by British director Paul
Greengrass ("Bloody Sunday"), the enigmatic character-driven story evolves into
another high-stakes, globe-trotting, post-Cold War action-adventure that, this
time, has the subtext of a rogue assassin's journey of atonement.
Matt Damon infuses Jason Bourne with a deep sadness, along with
justifiable paranoia, and he's suitably surrounded by stalwart supporting
players. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Bourne Supremacy" is a
tension-filled, fast-paced 6, with the shaky, hand-held camera-work and
quick-cut editing presumably geared to spur on a feeling of relentless urgency.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger