The Bourne Supremacy (***)

Posted on July 2nd, 2004 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

The Bourne Supremacy is a solid, well-made, easily forgotten spy/action film. I did not notice any forehead-slap-inducing plot holes, weak dialogue, or bad effects. That immediately separates this film from virtually every single recent spy/action film that I have seen. I’m not trying to damn Bourne with faint praise, because it *is* entertaining, but it is an example of good film craftsmanship, not of artistry. Today’s standard Hollywood release is as flimsy, trendy, gimmicky, and veneered as cheap furniture from Target. Bourne, in contrast, is more solid, well-made, and substantial, like, say something from the higher end of the IKEA price spectrum. Nothing permanent or enduring, but good enough to get the job done.

The story, the sequel to The Bourne Identity, follows the continuing adventures of brainwashed-former-super-assasin-turned-amnesiac-gentle-loving-hunk Jason Bourne as he is wronged, wrongfully accused, and pulled back out into the cold. Jason doesn’t remember much about his former life, but he does know that he’s a former modern-day gunslinger who is trying to hang up his pistols and have a normal life, but the forces of evil force him to strap them on and head out for another gunfight. There’s nothing like the thirst for revenge to motivate a calculating, efficient killing machine.

The film is well acted, and I appreciated the little humanizing touches like showing Bourne sitting in his car perusing a map as he plans a getaway, something one never sees James Bond do. Overall, however, the plot just wasn’t interesting enough to involve me, and although the action sequences were intelligently done (rather than just being a series of staged set pieces and explosions), most were shot in a hyper-frenetic, blurry, way-too-close-up manner that made them nothing more than blurs of color punctuated by flashes of barely discernible detail.

So, The Bourne Supremacy is an entertaining film, well worth a standard evening ticket price, but also quickly forgotten by me with no desire to ever see it again. This puts it in the top third of recent films, but I’m grading on a big curve.