Friday, October 08, 2004


By Reymundo Salao
Oftentimes Disturbing
The Guardian, October 9, 2004

Hands down, I just love espionage movies. It is because these are the stories that actually happen in some parts of the world, especially in these times of terrorism and war. There is a sense of realism, and the secrecy and intrigue that goes with it.

In a TV interview, Matt Damon said there are only few sequels that stand out as classics to satisfy the excellence of the original, among them are the Godfather 2, The New Testament, and The Bourne Supremacy. I would agree to that. This film is one of the best espionage-suspense films that I have seen. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY is an adaptation of the book of the same title, written by Robert Ludlum. Although this isn't truly a faithful adaptation of the book, the tweaks and the alterations are well-done and have made this film a consistent sequel to the first movie/adaptation "Bourne Identity" for it answers many of the questions that the first movie posed.

In this sequel, Jason Bourne is now happily living the quiet life with the love of his life, Marie (played by Franka Potente) in Goa, India, away from the world of spies and conspiracies, away from the world of assassins. But Jason is still bothered by some nightmares of his past as a government assassin, a memory that was erased from his mind due to amnesia a few years back. Meanwhile, miles away, a CIA operation was botched and a couple of agents were murdered by a stealthy assassin who, in the process, planted Bourne's fingerprint on the scene of the incident. With such a frame-up successful, the CIA organized an operation to capture and bring Bourne to justice. Bourne, on the otherhand, knowing the hunt on his head has once again commenced, arms himself with his lethally brilliant skills in cloak and dagger, to turn the hunter into the hunted.

The movie is superbly brilliant, from the acting to its directing. this sequel is directed by Paul Greengrass, which meets up to his predecessor Doug Liman, who directed the first film with a certain modern-spy-thriller panache that is very lively and somewhat upbeat, and never misses on the action and the intriguing storyline. An example is that of an action scene, a fist-fight where the focus of the camera is closed-up on the characters and the intensity seen in their faces, and less-focused on the fighting techniques, since it is more interesting to feel the impact of the fight directly from the character's expressions. It may be contrasting the fact that there have already been so many action movies that focus on the martial arts and the stunts, and not so much on the acting that takes place during the fight scene. In so many aspects, acting on this movie is magnificent. When Matt Damon acts on this film, he really gets into his role, it is as if he really is a different person, as if he really is Jason Bourne. A character who is haunted by his past, a character that intends to pass through the gates of redemption and intends to, once and for all, end the haunting of the ghosts from his past. Recurring from the first film are the characters of Brian Cox, who always delivers an impressive performance, always playing a villainous character whose ruthlessness is as deep as it seems, and there's also the character played by Julia Stiles, who looks more pretty when she does not play a lead character as she is on this film. But the other main character, opposite Bourne, is the character played by Joan Allen, who also delivers a shining performance, especially at the scenes when she's having a conversation with Jason Bourne. Both their characters make a great clashing duo. And oh, in the end, there's this intense car-chase action sequence where we find Bourne against another assassin. In a typical action movie, the hero usually gets to fist-fight with the toughest bad guy. On this film, their duel takes place with their cars. Intense is the word, it stands up to, and even surpasses the chase scene of the first BOURNE movie.

Overall, BOURNE IDENTITY is one of the never-should-miss action movies of the year. Breathtaking action. Great intrigue. Brilliant action sequences. Triple-A acting. Brilliant dialogues. Superb storyline. Bourne Supremacy indeed has that SUPREMACY.

No comments: