The Bourne Identity was a surprise hit in 2002 when the popular Robert Ludlum novel was brought
to life on the big screen. More known as a pretty boy than an action star, Matt Damon was selected for the title
role in the gritty action film. While some scoffed at the thought of Damon as the lead, he had the perfect persona
for the role and made the amnesia-stricken Jason Bourne a real and believable character. It's two years later,
and The Bourne Supremacy is the latest adaptation in Ludlum's series. Apparently loosely based on the book,
Supremacy also takes place two years after the events in the first film where we find Bourne and Marie in
hiding in India. When a hitman shows up and tries to take out Bourne, it sets him back on the run, back in pursuit
of finding out who is after him and why. Corruption and deception once again follow...
After watching Bourne Identity again before seeing Supremacy, I found the overall feel of
the movie to be considerably different. This can be expected of course, as Doug Liman didn't return this time around
to direct the sequel. In that sense, I felt Paul Greengrass's approach to the Bourne series was less effective
than Liman's. His camera motions were considerably more jerky than Liman's and the editing a lot more choppy. While
some audience members have complained the film's direction made them somewhat queasy while watching it, others like myself,
found it to produce an overall confusing atmosphere. While that is the case for Jason Bourne and his world as he struggles
to remember who he is, it makes for a more dizzying viewing experience than anything.
If you haven't seen The Bourne Identity, there's no sense in seeing Supremacy. The sequel jumps
right into Bourne's life now without any kind of recap or anything. This is perfectly fine for people familiar
with the story, but others will be completely lost and won't be able to understand or appreciate anything in Supremacy.
What Identity had going for it that Supremacy is missing is more of the inner turmoil of Bourne's
character unfolding. Here, he's still visibly struggling with who he is and why the CIA won't leave him alone, but
he also spends most of the movie without much interaction with other people. And when he does, it's usually of the
Violence and language are still the film's major content downsides. The first film offered a little too much
by way of profanity and blasphemy while the violence would sometimes border on brutality. In Supremacy,
everything is still present but toned-down considerably. There are some very violent sequences but Greengrass
opts to keep much of it out of view of the camera (or the jerky editing makes a lot of it hard to follow).
There are still a handful of profanities, but much less than before. Bourne spits out an "f" word while interrogating
someone, but the rest of the language is much less frequent than in Identity. The film is still more aimed
at the adult crowd and there's nothing about it that's suitable for younger audiences (nor would they be able to
sit through much of the slower story-building moments). Violence also includes a suicide scene where we see a man
drinking alcohol before abruptly shooting himself (the sound effects aid in making it a more disturbing sequence).
All in all, The Bourne Supremacy is a good sequel, improving slightly on content issues the first suffered
from, but isn't nearly as strong a story or as strongly directed as its predecessor. A film not for the whole family
or a young audience, this is one that is still too intense for some people. Parents will definitely want to take
the violence and language into consideration before seeing this film.
If you have any questions or comments about the film before you see it (if you
decide to), feel free to
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: We see Marie and Jason in bed asleep together but
nothing sexual happens (they live together, but aren't married). We see various women wearing bikini's on a beach;
Marie's is somewhat see-through
Vulgarity/Language: 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 1 "g*dd*mn", 5 "h*ll" (1 written out in a subtitle), 2 "cr*p", 1 "*ssh*le" (written out in a subtitle),
1 "Chr-st", 1 "d*mn", 1 "S.O.B.", 1 "Swear to G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: A man has a drink before committing suicide; Bourne
steals a bottle of alcohol and takes a drink before spitting it in a man's face. Later, he douses a wound with it.
Blood/Gore: We see blood floating in the water after a person is
killed. We see a photo of a dead man with a small bullet hole in his forehead and some blood running from it.
During and after a brutal fight, Jason has some blood on his lip while the other man has blood on his face and hands.
A man shoots himself in the head and although we don't see anything, we hear the shot and a splatter sound as they quickly
cut away from the act.
In a flashback we see repeated in pieces, Bourne shoots a man and a woman but due to the fast-cuts of the scene,
we don't really see anything. Bourne is shot in the shoulder and we later see some blood on his hand after he touches
it. We see the wound very briefly as he splashes alcohol on it. After an accident, we see a man hunched over his
steering wheel with a great deal of blood on his head (with pieces of glass resting on top). Bourne has some bloody
scrapes on his neck and face.
Violence: A lot of action violence including people shot dead by
an assassin (we don't see anything graphic), a person is shot to death and we see their dead body under the water, a man kills another man by shooting him, Bourne strangles a man to death
and blows up their home, some hand-to-hand combat, people shot, violent car chases and crashes, etc.
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.