4/24/09

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Matt Damon (Bourne), Brian Cox (Abbott), Joan Allen (Landry)

Directed by Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday)

IMDB: When Jason Bourne is framed for a botched CIA operation he is forced to take up his former life as a trained assassin to survive.

Second verse, same as the first!

OK, not really. Joan Allen was a lovely addition to the cast, one part newbie and one part savvy player. Julia Stiles' part was considerably smaller than I'd expected, thinking she's the natural love interest to replace poor, dead Franka.

What I dearly, truly loved about this film--which was, essentially, a straight-up who-done-it set across about 85 countries--was the realism. The fistfight with the French operative in his flat proved that Greengrass had no stomach for cartoon action. The windows didn't shatter as they flailed against them, and the table didn't flatten into lumber when they crashed down together. Instead, they bounced. Coz damn, wood is hard. And when Bourne jumped onto a barge, he hurt his leg. Damon limped through the rest of the film. It's like they were positing him as the anti-Bond or anti-Wolverine.

All of this accumulated realism helped ease me, as a viewer, into a very calm sense of suspended reality. So by the time the Holy! Crap! Awesome! car chase through Moscow rolled around, I was completely on board with everything they did. Rip through this alley! Jump into that line of traffic! Tires still working, axles not cracked! Of course not! It's like Greengrass saved his entire "suspend your disbelief" wad for the final ten minutes, with absolutely fantastic results.

I've no clue how they keep going onto the third movie. This one was quite tidy. I'm getting to see how it could become, as Damon said, "The Bourne Redundancy," in that every time they want to make a new film, they simply concoct a new way to draw him back. But whatever. Bring on Ultimatum!

1 comment:

RG said...

What intelligent commentary! attractively expressed! Just out of the blue (while thinking about the mathematical differences between stochatic and Bayseian processes) the image of Bourne [it was a stuntman] jumping down onto the barge flashed through my mind as an example of the realistic realism Greengrass delivers, especially (I was thinking) the actual period of acceleration under gravity is a mere 10 feet or less......... but it hurts! Whereas in lotsa these CGI movies, the hero jumps down 100 feet or so and might do a tumble or something to distract us from the impact, but then bounds off smoothly. Well said, your comment.

Supremacy was the best of the three. And I can't imagine improvement without Greengrass. But, to paraphrase you, bring on Legacy!