Bourne to Win

The Bourne Supremacy

I liked 2002’s The Bourne Identity a lot, but I didn’t think the character/premise could sustain itself over a series. Identity’s biggest strength was that amnesiac spy Jason Bourne was figuring himself out over the course of the movie, making everything uncertain. By film’s end, of course, Bourne doesn’t have all the answers about his past, but he knows he’s a badass who will destroy anybody who tries to fuck with him. This past summer’s The Bourne Supremacy isn’t transcendent like its forebear, but it’s a superior action thriller, in the league of 1993’s The Fugitive (and, as a bonus, without that damned dam jump or its too-incredible equivalent). Adapted by Tony Gilroy and directed by Paul Greengrass, Supremacy is a master class in tense action directing, efficient storytelling, and professional performance, with perfect turns from Matt Damon, Joan Allen, and Brian Cox. In this installment, Bourne is still fighting for his life, but he’s also out to make amends in a small way. The final scene could have blown it, but Gilroy, Greengrass, and Damon underplay the material, letting the emotion come naturally from what’s happening. It’s a beautifully done grace note.

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