When I first saw the Bourne Supremacy, I must admit that I was a bit shaken by its jerky filming. I even came out of it with a bit of headache, an event I particularly remember because when I exited the theater, they were handing out free samples of Advil. Coincidence?
This time around, I barely even noticed it. A friend of mine told me the film made her a bit nauseous, but, perhaps due to the current prevalence of handheld-style filmmaking, I found the style more exciting and engaging than anything else. If you find that style difficult to watch however, you might want to skip this latest installment.
You’ve gotta hand it to the team behind the Bourne movies. They somehow consistently manage to put out interesting, quality action thrillers – and, in my opinion, that is no humble feat. Personally, I love action movies (and yes, I know I said I’m an Austen junkie as well. What can I say? I’m half tomboy, half closeted 19th century society girl). I still get choked up when Harrison Ford yells “Get off my plane!” and I can’t avoid a gleeful grin watching Brendan Frasier save Rachel Weisz from the Mummy for the fourth time (okay, ninth or tenth time…okay, maybe more, I’m not sure). However, as any action junkie can tell you, it’s not easy to consistently make action blockbusters that continue to thrill (see: The Mummy 2).
This installment of the Bourne franchise starts off where the last movie ended, and I mean that literally. Remember when Matt Damon’s Bourne visited that Russian girl and then limped away into the snow-covered horizon? Well, at the start of this movie, he’s a few limps further down the road. This serves to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Bourne visited the girl to help atone for past sins and The Bourne Ultimatum is all about delving deeper into Bourne’s troubled past – who is Bourne really? what’s with all the flashbacks? does he get tired of brooding?
But let’s face it, what we really want to see from this movie is more of Bourne’s cool-handed a**-kicking. And there’s plenty of it here. The movie is essentially one long decathalon, comprising car and motorcycle chases, rooftop long jumps, fancy walking maneuvers, swimming, and sprinting through the streets of Moscow, London, Madrid, Tangiers, and New York (leading to one particular, and unfortunately somewhat incorrect, New York address, as The Gothamist pointedly observes. Note that this link contains spoilers, so don’t go here if you don’t want to get details on the movie’s plot.).
In other words, go for the heart-stopping action. Go back again for the solid acting, good characters, conspiracy-laced plot, and yes, just to watch Matt Damon pull that nifty “the call is coming from inside the house” trick again.