Thoughts on: The Bourne Supremacy

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The Bourne Supremacy is the second instalment in the Bourne Franchise and, funnily enough, the second I’ll be reviewing in the run up to the latest release – which I will get round to seeing soon, promise.

Oh, and there are spoilers ahead.

Narrative

Supremacy picks up quite some time after Identity. Bourne and Marie have moved to India, and are living a nice, (relatively) normal life. But of course, the Bourne films aren’t romcoms. So naturally, something has to give.

And something gives, alright. Within the first 15 minutes Marie is shot in the head and killed Russian agent Kirill (Karl Urban). Not only does this shocker afford the film a huge twist early on, but it also sets up the main narrative – which is essentially a better, stronger Bourne hellbent on revenge. Oh and answers, too… Bourne’s always looking for answers.

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Supremacy’s ending is probably the most poignant of the series

Direction

Despite having a different director at the helm in Paul Greengrass, Supremacy continues to follow Identity’s gritty, realistic feel. However, this second instalment sometimes takes it too far. I mean, both films utilise handheld cam, which does add to the natural feel of the films, but it’s just used too much in Supremacy. The final car chase, although good, really is case in point: an erratic shaky cam combined with uber fast editing ultimately leaves you wondering what the bloody hell is going on.

Other than that, it’s all good.

Performances

Like it’s predecessor, Supremacy pulls in top-notch performances all round. Damon does great as the revenge-motivated Bourne, who is now well-acclimated to the spectrum of skills he was still getting used to in Identity. It’s also great to see Joan Allen’s newly-promoted Pamela Landy and Brian Cox’s Ward Abbott butt heads as they continue to go back and forth on how best to deal with their rogue assassin.

But really, Supremacy is all about the action. So, while the performances are good, they’re not the main focus of this film.

In a few words…

Although not superior to Identity (pun intended), Supremacy is a very competent sequel that does well to increase anticipation for the final instalment.

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