Sunday, October 4, 2009

#454: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Matt Damon, Joan Allen & Brian Cox

After Jason Bourne awoke with no memory, he found himself with extraordinary skills, but doesn't know how he learned them. He also found a cache of passports with his picture in them, all under different names (one of which was Jason Bourne). After being dogged by spies and assassins in The Bourne Identity, he managed to settle with his girlfriend Marie in Goa, India, as far away from his enemies as can be. Unfortunately, he soon realizes that he is being followed, and is thrown back into the fray. This time, it seems that somebody is framing him for a murder that took place in Berlin.

This is an inventive, modern take on the super-hero genre of film. Jason Bourne is an enigma even unto himself, with skills that are extraordinary, albeit not unheard of. Everything he does is a realistic and logical (and crazy) way to survive in his situation, without any super-hero ability like Superman or Batman. His inventiveness in escapes are always plausible, and it's his ability to perform these stunts so quickly that astounds us.

There isn't much more needed to create a great movie, and thankfully Greengrass understood this. Nothing is overdone in this film (except for maybe a few car crashes), from the acting to the sets. Even the camerawork is done in a documentary-like style, often shaking as if filmed from a camcorder. This supports the idea that Bourne is no Marvel Comic super-hero, and this series doesn't need the magical elements to make it an exciting ride.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):

Unlike the James Bond franchise, all the devices that Bourne uses are real and can be purchased by the average citizen.
The film originally ended with the confession to Neski's daughter. Following previews, which found the ending too bleak, the New York postscript scene with Bourne and Landy was shot, just weeks before the film's release in the summer of 2004.

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