The Bourne Supremacy (2004) – Paul Greengrass

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Paul Greengrass appears on the 101 Action Movies as the director of the sequel to the successful The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon reprises his role as the amnesic assassin, this time drawn out in a cat and mouse game that leaves his girlfriend, Marie (Franka Potente) dead, and has him framed for a murder, as he’s haunted by a mission in Berlin.

Using Robert Ludlum’s creation, and the first film as a jumping off point, Greengrass has crafted a taut action thriller that races along as Bourne travels the globe from Goa to Russia, piecing together his shattered past as Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) leads the agency’s hunt for him.

The sequences with Landy are fantastic as it not only has the techno side of the thriller but also political repercussions as she deals with Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), who has a different agenda altogether.

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Chasing after Bourne is another assassin, Kirill (Karl Urban) who is being run by Gretkov (Karl Roden), and the last full-on chase is intense, brutal and incredibly awesome.

Also appearing again is Nicky (Julia Stiles) who, in a brilliant sequence is lost by Landy and interrogated by Bourne.

This film is smart, sharp, well-put together, and completely captivating. Knowing this one was coming up on my list, I have caught myself humming John Powell’s score as I walk the streets of my neighborhood, like I’m in my own little spy movie.

Damon is really quite good as Bourne, he’s believable, he’s in shape, and he totally rocks the roll, that added to the handheld style Greengrass uses, particularly in the fight sequences makes for an intense ride.

The film is littered with protracted chase sequences, and all of them are top-notch, from the first full on action sequence in Goa, when Bourne makes Kirill, to the final showdown between the two, just a fantastically well made film.

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You can see it’s influence on the next film on the list, Casino Royale, which introduced a new type of James Bond to the world with Daniel Craig (one of my favorite Bonds, and definitely one of my favorite Bond films!), but happily as similar as the two films are, action thrillers, they are both very much their own animal, and Bourne, as played by Damon is a pretty well-realized character.

Despite that, I’m actually more partial to Karl Urban, Kirill is a man of few words, but Urban’s physicality in the role simply conveys a dangerous threat – this is not someone you would want to mess with. It’s a smaller role, especially in speaking terms, but it’s step up from Clive Owen’s role as The Professor in The Bourne Identity, but both men brought a threat to the role which makes them both extremely memorable in their performances.

Matt Damon returns to the role one more time, in The Bourne Ultimatum, which is set up nicely in the last scenes of Supremacy, also directed by Greengrass and also coming up on the 101 Action Movies list. I’m quite looking forward to watching that one again as it has one of my favorite sequences in the entire Bourne series in it… Stay tuned!

What’s your favorite Bourne film, and have you seen the original miniseries with Richard Chamberlain or read the books?

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