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The Bourne Supremacy

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Bourne Supremacy

Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente
Director: Paul Greengrass
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: July 2004
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Brian Cox, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles, Tomas Arana, Tom Gallop, Wanja Mues, Oliver Tautorat, Karl Urban, Karel Roden

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY is an exhilarating thriller that's a thriller really thrills for a change. Making a running time of close two hours feel almost too short since it flies by so fast, the movie is an adrenaline-pumping ride. And speaking of running, Matt Damon, again impressive as Jason Bourne, spends most of the movie running from those chasing him, while we're running right along with him the whole time. Don't be surprised if you leave the movie sweaty and exhausted from the workout.

The intelligent story is complex enough to engage our brains, but it's never so complicated that we get hopelessly lost. Aspects of the story include a mole in the CIA and a nefarious Russian oil baron who has a contract out on Bourne. After being framed, Bourne's ex-company -- The Company, a.k.a. the CIA -- is ready to kill him too, although they'd prefer to talk to him first about a crime that he didn't commit but they think he did. Don't worry -- you'll have no trouble following the plot or the action, of which there is plenty. In chases on foot and by car, the movie really delivers in its action sequences, which are uniformly stunning.

Damon's Bourne is the best character that he has ever done on screen. Both stoic and explosive, his Bourne is an agent that puts ersatz ones like James Bond to shame. Without an ounce of superhero blood in him, Bourne, nevertheless, accomplishes amazing feats by combining his physical skills with his keen mental abilities. His sense of timing is superb.

The rest of the cast, including Franka Potente and Brian Cox, are quite good again. Julia Stiles, given a little bit more to do this time, demonstrates that she is more than a pretty face in the film. She is especially impressive in a brief episode of intense fright. Joan Allen is on board for the first time as a senior level CIA executive. Allen, as always, is terrific.

I don't care which one of Robert Ludlum's many spy novels they choose to make next. I'm ready to see Jason Bourne again, regardless of the story.

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY runs a fast 1:49. It is rated PG-13 for "violence and intense action, and for brief language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 15, gave the film ****, saying that he liked it even better than the first one. He said that it had high energy and good laughs, and he thought Damon was great. His only complaint was that he thought Stiles was underutilized.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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