Continuing the beloved Jason Bourne storyline in the same style as James Bond or Mission Impossible, the second instalment in most films like this, will always improve on the original or fail to impress the fans. For any franchise, it can always go both ways. It was proven after the release of this sequel that Jason Bourne was here to stay a while and the fan base would keep coming back. Twelve years after its release, The Bourne Supremacy is still one of the fan favourites in the franchise. Do I personally feel that it holds up to film standards today? To celebrate this exciting new film, Jason Bourne, lets take a look back on the joys this franchise has already brought us.
Part 2: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Continuing The Franchise
Picking up not too far after the original film, audiences found Jason Bourne settling down his life with Marie, just as he is then found once again and hunted down. Having to turn to whatever he remembers of his past life, he uses his skill set to take down the criminals at hand. While also gaining new insight on his past life, this film does the job of continuing the franchise perfectly. Matt Damon once again proves himself as a worthy action star and the action sequences (although spread out) are flat-out awesome. With a running time of an hour and forty-eight minutes, this film feels much shorter than its predecessor, and rightfully so. The first film felt its length at times when it took its time in between action sequences, where as this film builds to them. I enjoyed that aspect quite a bit more this time around. The man to get the thanks for that should be director Paul Greengrass.
The Significantly Improved Direction/Editing
While Doug Liman did a very commendable job in directing The Bourne Identity, bringing Paul Greengrass in to helm the sequels felt like the right move. With a much quicker pace and visual style, The Bourne Supremacy improves on every technical aspect that felt slightly weaker in the first film. Where the story sort of lags in my opinion, is that the overall story of hunting down another bad guy in the organization felt like a retread of the first. That being said, it was a very effective story, made even better by the performances that Greengrass was able to pull from the stellar cast.
Every technical aspect in this film made it that much better. My biggest compliment toward this film has to be in the editing department. Whether it was an action sequence or a back and forth cut of Matt Damon running on the beach, everything always felt intense and like it was never going to stop moving. Choosing shaky scenes when necessary and still ones when drama needed to happen, these editors should be highly commended. While all of these elements are great, the one thing that bogged the film down was the character of Marie once again.
The Biggest Flaw
While I am not one to commemorate the acting chops of Franka Potente, the chemistry her and Matt Damon shared in the first film was very well handled and I bought into everything said to each other. All of their character moments felt earned and her character added the missing layer of Bourne that he had lost. In this film, her character feels wasted in the first act, leaving a huge gaping hole for the rest of the picture. They could have chosen to give Bourne motivation in so many different ways, but the route they chose here was awful in my opinion. It may seem like that hurts the film as a whole, but it is able to get back on track pretty fast, making for a very exciting film.
My Final Thoughts
Overall, The Bourne Supremacy is a supreme sequel (pun intended) that delivers on ever level that fans were hoping for. Having more interaction with the organization he has been running from this whole time, this is where the secrets of his past begin to surface, through flashbacks and visions. Although this film retreads quite a few plot devices from the first, it does find a way of feeling fresh and being an absolute blast in the end. I am sure you have seen this franchise by now, but if for some reason you stopped after the original, I highly recommend continuing. The third instalment has yet to arrive. As I resist this franchise, I am remembering just how great it really is, and I can't wait for the release of Jason Bourne this Friday.
Review By: KJ Proulx