Monday, July 26, 2004

Notes on The Bourne Supremacy 

I probably write more about movies I don't like, or consider flawed, so I'll try to be short and sweet about it: This movie is superb.

I'll say a little more, but I warn you, I don't do the gushing thing very well. I wouldn't change a thing, and actually feel that rare drive to experience it again in the theater.

The movie is easily better than its predecessor (which was already pretty damn good). I think this is largely to do with the change in director (the writer and cast are the same). Doug Liman is a good director, and I really enjoyed the first movie (and Go), but Paul Greengrass took this movie to the next level. Greengrass takes that close-up, hand-held, documentary-like style that made Bloody Sunday so intense, and applies it to great effect here. The fight scenes feel raw and unchoreographed, and your face is pressed right into the action until you're going "Please, just let me back away a little bit." My fists were clenched in suspense for much of the movie. When he's running, or a car chase is on, you're slamming the pavement along side him, or scanning the fast-moving metal, trying to react fast enough. Somehow, it all reads, and I never found myself lost in the action, unable to follow what exactly was happening.

Even though it's primarily an action/suspense movie, The Bourne Supremacy shows how great this genre can be. The Bourne Supremacy takes a genre where silliness is the norm (and I'm not talking about purposely funny spy movies like True Lies) and executes it like it's actually set in our world. No invisible cars, disguises, or other high tech gadgets, and no hoards of generic henchmen charging around spraying machine guns and grenades everywhere with no concern for their own safety. The Bourne movies feel more like, say, Heat. The action is continuous and tense, and never gets over the top. There is no love plot to bog things down/make you roll your eyes. Attention is paid to the cinematography.

It all feels so right.

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