February 06, 2005
Movie Review: Bourne Supremacy
**If you haven't seen the movie and want to, you might skip this review.
Excerpt from The New York Times Movie Review
Plot and character ultimately don't matter much in a movie that's all about building and sustaining a mood in which visceral and emotional rhythms are blended into a high-gloss thrill ride in which every curve and dip is calculated. Where most Hollywood action movies, edited within an inch of their lives, use split-second leaps and flashes as visual jolts to camouflage holes, ''The Bourne Supremacy'' knows what it's doing. Its relentless speed not only puts you in Jason's shoes by suggesting the adrenaline rush of a fugitive who has no time to look around, but also suggests Jason's quick thinking. If you pay close attention, you won't get lost. And even if you do, it doesn't take away from the fun.
I like Matt Damon more and more. He's really a good actor and I predict he'll become a hot(ter) commodity in Hollywood. If you haven't seen Good Will Hunting then I highly recommend it. Matt does a great job in that movie as well.
The beginning took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting his girlfriend to die and in quite that manner. That was the most touching moment and Matt's facial expressions, underwater no less, was really convincing.
The action scenes (the car chase being by far one of the best I've seen in a while) were almost overwhelming. The camera shots were dizzying and choppy, which I suppose was the whole point, wanting the audience to feel as if they were fighting Jason's battles with him. But I had to close my eyes in a few places, I actually felt sick from all the motion. Once or twice would have been fine, but I felt they used that technique way too much and it distracted from the story.
Speaking of the story, though convoluted, was good. Bourne Supremacy took off where the first movie left off, yet the the way they put the movie together, it really wasn't necessary to have watched the first to get the second.
It's a classic story of man against man. He's being framed for a murder he didn't commit and given his mysterious past and the fact that people in the agency have no idea who he is or what his agenda is, naturally want to capture him. I thought the actress who played Pamela Laundry did a really good job. She lived amongst lions and had to act like one. She was tough without coming off too bitchy and yet at the end, when she reveals Jason's true identity to him, she shows a human side so that I ended up liking her.
The agency is frantically looking for him. He's eluded them time and time again. So it's poetic justice that he ends up in a building across the street from their headquarters, calls them and is able to startle them out of their bravado. This happens twice in the movie, both times to Pamela, and the camera shot is brilliant. It really makes an impact. This shows the audience how clever and elusive Jason really is.
Julia Stiles makes an appearance and it's an odd character for her. I'm used to seeing her in roles where she's strong and in a take charge role. The role she plays in this movie didn't seem to quite fit her and it felt awkward. I was glad to see she only had a minor role. Anything more would have taken away from the overall effect.
I was a little disappointed with the way the guy who killed Jason's girlfriend died. I would have liked to see them have a hand-to-hand combat, though the way he dies is satisfying - gruesome and with lots of pain. :-)
When Pamela reveals to Jason his true identity, complete with name and where he was born, Nixa, Missouri, I about fell out of my seat. Nixa is literally a hop, jump and skip away from Springfield and I couldn't help wondering if they purposefully picked a small town in hicksville to relay to the audience that Jason was a regular joe they "rescued" from the boonies and made into a killer. Perhaps that was the whole point, that it was possible to turn even the most backward of people into a killing machine. (Maybe I'm just sensitive).
If you like action flicks, you'll like this one.