The Bourne Supremacy

Directed By: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Matt Damon, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, and Karl Urban

The Bourne Identity cemented Matt Damon's status as a viable action star.  Damon was no longer just a dramatic actor who could play genius janitors or fallen angels.  He was a badass spy who could handle himself.  By the time The Bourne Supremacy came rolling into theaters, we were ready for the next chapter in the Jason Bourne saga.  Happily, I can say that Matt Damon delivered the goods one more time as the super spy afflicted with amnesia.

Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) is quarterbacking an operation in Berlin where she hopes to learn the identity of a mole in the upper echelons of the CIA.  Instead, an unknown assailant kills everyone at the rendezvous point.  Landy has only one clue to finding this assailant, a fingerprint belonging to Treadstone operative Jason Bourne.  Bourne (Damon) and his girlfriend Marie Helena Kreutz (Franka Potente), who have settled in Goa, India where they think they're off the grid, soon find themselves embroiled in more spy drama.

When assassin Kirill (Karl Urban) tries to take Bourne out in Goa and kills Marie instead, vengeance takes hold of Bourne's heart.  He makes the choice to do what he promised to do if the CIA didn't leave him alone.  He travels to Naples using an alias given to him during his time in Treadstone.  When this triggers a security alert at the consulate in Naples, the CIA has been effectively informed that Bourne is coming for them.  In response, Pam Landy and Deputy Director Ward Abbott travel with a team to Europe to take out the man whom they believe has spent years destroying their agency.  However, neither Bourne nor the CIA realizes that something else is happening altogether and that the mole in the agency has a stake in how everything plays out.

Paul Greengrass does something different with The Bourne Supremacy than what Doug Liman did with The Bourne IdentityThe Bourne Supremacy is a brilliant exercise in layered storytelling.  We've got three main storylines.  There's Landy and her relentless search for a mole in the agency.  There's Jason Bourne, the frame job on him, and his quest to be left alone.  Finally, there are flashbacks to Bourne's very first mission with Conklin (Chris Cooper) that took place in Berlin.  Somehow, director Paul Greengrass weaves all these storylines from Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name into a giant web of corruption and deceit.  That's the mark of a great spy movie.

The actors all deliver strong performances.  Matt Damon returns as the title character and is opening up a serious can of whoopass on anyone who gets in his way.  While Damon delivers another great performance as Jason Bourne, what I love about his character this time around is that he can use anything as a weapon.  For me, the item that comes to mind is a magazine that he uses to beat the hell out of Marton Csokas's Jarda.  This man is kicking ass and taking names with a magazine.  That's just badass right there.

I also really enjoyed Joan Allen's performance as Pamela Landy.  As the deputy director heading up the investigation, Allen gives a fierce performance.  She makes Landy everything she needs to be — a smart, adaptable woman with thick skin.  Her character is one tough lady who has no problem showing who the boss is.  I also thoroughly enjoyed Brian Cox's reprisal of his role as Deputy Director Ward Abbott.  You can always tell that he's on his own side.

The Bourne Supremacy gets a lot bloodier than its predecessor.  It's a visceral, fast-paced action flick with plenty of brutal fights and explosive car chases.  Director Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon, and the supporting cast have crafted a truly captivating spy thriller.  The Bourne Supremacy gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.