The Bourne Supremacy: Running Rings Around The CIA

The Bourne Supremacy continues the story of Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin suffering from psychogenic amnesia; based on the Robert Ludlum novel. After getting his life back on track, from the mental and physical pain he previously encountered, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and Marie (Franka Potente) are trying to lead their lives peacefully far from the ghosts of their past. When an assassination attempt on Jason goes wrong, he must re-enter the life he previously ran away from in order to find the truth and the reasons why they are still after him.

Jason has left his old life behind and has been off the grid. Bourne is plagued by very real dreams and disturbing memories of his days as a government killer. He’s uncertain how many of his dreams are accurate and how much is a fabric of his imagination. When Bourne is flushed out of hiding, he must reconnect with his past as he fights to keep Marie safe and stop an international incident. The Bourne Supremacy also features Joan Allen (Room) as Pam Landy, from the last film. She starts off as an adversary, but becomes as an ally as the agency isn’t the place she thought it was. The film also stars Brian Cox (War & Peace) and Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook) as Nicky Parsons.

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne
(The Bourne Supremacy, Universal Pictures)

This movie begins where The Bourne Identity left off. The Robert Ludlum adaptation goes through the paces with great cinematography and fight scenes, as well as being a very stylish spy flick. Matt Damon is Jason Bourne and Jason Bourne is Matt Damon. The role is his, and his alone. That is Damon’s career-defining role and there’s nothing he or anyone can do to change that. He could do a thousand movies but his career-defining role will always be Jason Bourne. Period. Akin to its predecessor, this movie carries on 1960s-esque filming style as well as the emotional quest for identity, Jason’s persisting amnesia leads him to find out more clues about his previous life. The film starts in the dry terrain and blistering heat of India. Jason and Marie are living a solitary life, hoping the CIA won’t find them. This is a Bourne movie, how could they be so hopeful?

The common consensus with sequels are that they are not as good as the orignal first movie. The tradition is broken here. The Bourne Identity is a great movie but its sequel is even better. It has recycled the same formula from Bourne Identity but it’s still a quality flick. Director Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) brings more bravado to the action sequences, something that couldn’t be replicated in today’s action movies. The only other movie I have seen with action choreography and cinematography that rivals this trilogy of films is the highway scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The editing in these movies is first class, especially in Supremacy and Ultimatum, both directed by Paul Greengrass. Fast cutting in the fight scenes keeps viewers on the edge of their seat, always wanting to see what happens next. The Bourne movies make creating epic fight scenes look so easy.

Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles)
(The Bourne Supremacy, Universal Pictures)

This thriller is very much a film for grown-ups. It has lots of chase scenes and the mood is dark and gritty. The writing is smart but not cringeworthy. Also, the fights are savage, brutal and can really dismiss you. Many of the chase scenes are like watching a Mario Kart race. The chase in Berlin reminded very much of the Mario Kart course, Deflino Square. The chase scenes are amazing, despite comparing them to cult followed video game. What I find most amusing is how Bourne is consistently two steps ahead of the CIA. The CIA have all the resources at their fingertips yet their incompetency is bliss. He’s constantly running rings around them. It’s wonderful to watch. They have all the tech and manpower but they can’t even catch one guy when he’s across the street from their office. They consistently underestimate him and no matter how hard they try, Bourne is unkillable.

Joan Allen is a great talent and gives a great performance, quickly turning from CIA loyalist to whistleblower in the blink of an eye. Damon is ruthless and unstoppable as Jason Bourne. Julia Stiles is awesome as Nicky and she’s very pragmatic and down to the point, something that the CIA isn’t used to, such as when she says “They don’t make mistakes. They don’t do random” in relation to the programme Jason was part of. She makes people understand the gravity of the situation when asked who is giving Bourne orders and she says “scary version? He is.” The CIA then realise that they actually have to start taking this seriously. And that one man can be a big nuisance. This is no ordinary man. This is Jason Bourne.

The pragmatic Pam Landy (Joan Allen) (The Bourne Supremacy, Universal Pictures)

The pragmatic Pam Landy (Joan Allen)
(The Bourne Supremacy, Universal Pictures)

The Bourne Supremacy is a quality spy thriller in its own right as well a great sequel. It’s filled with engaging acting performances, skillful editing, jaw-dropping fight choreography and chases that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The writers of Spectre should take note and they might find some inspiration from the Bourne franchise for the next Bond movie. It’s punchy, glamorous and thrilling with scenes that leave your heart racing from sheer adrenaline. There’s never a dull moment, from beginning to end.

Bloody excellent, I tell you