More Supreme, Less Identity

The Bourne Supremacy is nearly a perfectly designed sequel. The primary idea behind such things, generally, is to recapture those elements that kept people in their seats for the first movie. Hardly a moment goes by where we aren't one-upping the action.

In the first installment, Jason Bourne wakes up with amnesia and an uncanny killer instinct. He tries to find out who he is - a highly trained American agent - and what happened to him, while staying a step ahead of those who wanted to kill him. This time around, he is trying to live a sedate life with his girlfriend Marie (Franka Potente) from the first movie, when he gets dragged back into his former life by a frame-up.

Now, I didn't like the first one that much, for plot reasons mainly. Supremacy does better, building on the foundation of the first film, but what made the difference for me was that it was possible to actually care. The consequences this time around are more real than abstract. Everything is that much more personal.

The cast of characters is as big, maybe more so, as the original. Matt Damon, Brian Cox, and Julia Stiles - as well as Potente - all return in their same roles. We also meet Joan Allen as an upstart Agency official, pressing hard into business that many would rather she not. Even though I didn't like her character in the first movie, Stiles' return has more personality, making that annoying quality which put me off actually make sense in the larger scheme of things.

The action elements are outstanding, and there's probably a bump from having seen this installment on the big screen instead of over cable, but I do have a feeling they went all out this time around. The shaky camera will probably annoy a few, but it worked for me, mainly by keeping the action from being too slick to be real (which, well, almost any action movie really has that problem).

The plot is better, and creates more complicated relationships between the characters. We have the occasional moment where the intention of the story shines through, but altogether it's a much better job than in the Bourne Identity.

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Review: I'm still hung up on the title... star6/10 SillyconJester

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