“The Bourne Identity” is the second entry into the blockbuster “Bourne Trilogy” that was launched in 2002 with Doug Liman’s “The Bourne Identity.” Now, director Paul Greengrass takes over the director’s chair and assembles star Matt Damon, along with most of the previous cast, to adapt the screenplay, “The Bourne Supremacy,” which was written, once again, by Tony Gilroy.
I won’t get into the plot of the film, because it’s only the continuation of Jason Bourne’s hunt to discover who he is and what has happened to him. But even though that may sound yawning, it’s actually a thrill ride, and a fun one at that. Matt Damon, who was magnificant in “Identity,” steps up his game, adding more to the Jason Bourne character, whether it be action packed chases or heartfelt drama. Brian Cox, once again, furthers his menacing antagonist character and does it extremely well. Franka Potente delivers again, Julia Stiles’ role is advanced, thankfully, and I really, really liked Joan Allen’s character in the film. The film’s “villian” is portrayed by Karl Urban, and even though he rarely speaks, he is a quietly disturbing villian, and commits an act that changes Bourne’s life forever, and this is the turning point of the trilogy for the better.
Once again, Tony Gilroy’s script offers some good dialogue, though not as memorable as it was in “Identity,” and he takes the characters in places that I really bought into. But the biggest controversial aspect of the film is the usage of “shaky-cam” by director Paul Greengrass. Greengrass, who has directed great movies such as “United 93” and “Green Zone,” (which, coincidentally also has Matt Damon), is a very talented director, and even though I personally don’t like shaky-cam, I love it in these films. Greengrass manages to captivate me with every shot in this film, and it was really effective when used during chase scenes; speaking of which, this film has a GREAT chase scene toward the ending, and the fights are better and more intense than the fights in the first film.
The film does have a few problems, though. The script, while very good for the most part, really slowed down toward the middle, and often times became a bit boring. Not that I have anything against dialogue in movies, (I actual prefer a movie that 100% dialogue if the dialogue is written right), but it was just uninteresting sometimes.
Overall I say this is a great entry into the “Bourne Trilogy” and even though the fights are better, the chases are better, and the performances are better, the middle of the script make this film, although great, not quite as good as the other two.
Run Time: 109 mins
Rated: PG-13 for violence and intense action, and brief language