The Bourne Supremacy

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, using only the name of the Robert Ludlum novel, sprinted into 2004 to continue the globe-hopping mayhem mission of ‘Jason Bourne’ (Matt Damon), this time starting his melees in ostensibly tranquil Goa, India. When his adamantly anti-Jason pursuers dispatch the series warmest character, the perpetually dour but demonically determined hero commences strewing bashed vehicles and battered bodies through Moscow, Berlin, Naples and Manhattan.

Returning are Brian Cox, Julia Styles and (too briefly) the electric current of Franka Potente. New crew include Joan Allen (excellent), Karl Urban, Tomas Arana and Martin Csokas. Somewhere in a control room you’ll spot Michelle Monaghan and Oksana Akinshina has an effective bit as the daughter of one of Bourne’s regrettable deeds. Everyone’s on high-tension alert, lightness is missing in action, but said action is full throttle, witness the vicious brawls and perilous pursuits.

Directed this time by Paul Greengrass, who certainly keeps it moving, but too often in a blur, overusing the jittery camera to the point of irritation. I can’t remember whether it was this, or the next one (The Bourne Ultimatum) where I actually walked out of the theater in disgust over the editing and that damned camera nonsense. Eye-crossing quibble aside, the furious battling is impressive, the actors are rock solid and once again John Powell gives it an edge with his score, ending with the hot “Extreme Ways” performed by Moby (used in each film in the series). As in the first installment, Tony Gilroy wrote the screenplay.

The 108 minutes took $75,000,000 to mount, then reaped $290,600,000 internationally.

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