DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

The Bourne Supremacy - DVD Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}Matt Damon just may be up to the challenge of becoming Jason Bourne. He's filled the role out between two movies, adding depth and pathos to a character fairly well stocked in cliché. True to the spy-genre format, Bourne is both conflicted and unencumbered, lending him a certain amount of emotional sway with the audience, whilst giving him the liberty to perform adequately as his job's needs arise. With Supremacy, Damon relies almost solely on his troubled and cornered face to convey the truth of Bourne's character (rumours that Damon â"let himself go" may have had something to do with the almost claustrophobic style of filming used here).

Whilst Damon's appropriateness as Bourne may be unquestioned, the helming of director Paul Greengrass is another thing altogether. His first American film, Greengrass creates Supremacy through the painful lens of an epileptic whose occasional lucid, shake-free moments are obsessively and almost painfully filmed in close-up or zoom-in, or even a combination of the two. The result is a nearly incomprehensible visual narrative, replete with shots so badly composed one wonders if they even bothered using Hollywood's stock-in-trade, the steadicam.

With most films, we do not consider the fact that the actors probably are not overly concerned or even aware of how they are being filmed—typical methods ensure the camera remains unobtrusive. Here, the camera work is so shoddy, even amateurish, that I constantly wondered if the actors knew what the result would be like when they finished shooting.

Don't get me wrong: I completely understand why the filmmakers chose to film in Shake-o-vision. Bourne's feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia, as well as his disturbing dreams and horrible feelings of unknown guilt follow him like a cloud, precipitating in the form of extreme close-ups—the picture of a man consumed with questions. The other slice of the pie, the immeasurable, rattletrap precariousness of each shot, is the attempt to give the viewer a more realistic portrayal of the tension and the accelerated nature of action. The intentions are admirable, yet when all is said and done, the result is still a film that looks as if it was shot by a crazed, rabid weasel with an espresso addiction.

Supremacy picks up where Identify left off. Bourne and girlfriend Marie (Franka Potente) are now living in India, hiding from the agency that attempted to kill him before. Bourne suffers from horrible nightmares, flashes into his past; even writing them down leaves a trail of meaningless symbols. Before long, he spots an operative who has come to kill him, and they attempt to escape. In the chaos, Marie is shot.

Bourne migrates westward, into Europe, where he attempts to track down the remaining members of Operation Treadstone, the government assassin program which had been shut down upon rogue agent Conklin's (Chris Cooper) death. Bourne is looking for answers about who he is, what he's done in the past, and who to make pay for what's been done to him.

Meanwhile, the ambitious CIA agent Landy (Joan Allen) believes Bourne is responsible for a failed mission in which two agents are killed. She begins to dig into Operation Treadstone's history, discovering that the truth of Jason Bourne may be more convoluted than she thinks.

The rest of the cast is filled adequately, if not enthusiastically, including a goutish Brian Cox and somnambulant Julia Stiles reprising their roles from The Bourne Identity, and a Eurotrashy, modish Karl Urban as the assassin Kirill. Everyone seems mildly upset at finding themselves part of this film, as if they're all late for a more important meeting, and though the acting is passable, it isn't enthusiastic, and rarely enjoyable to watch.

The Bourne Supremacy is a nicely paced film that doesn't break new ground in either story, writing, or direction, though it does slightly nauseate during moments of fast-paced action. It is part of a pattern of spy movies that seem to employ more realistic expectations of spookdom, yet without the expressions of uniquness that have made other spy movies more enjoyable. Hampered by its camerawork and direction, it fails to engage, and ultimately makes one think that too much realism, at least when it comes to spy flicks, may not be such a great thing.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen 2.35:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish; French.

Language and Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - Spanish; Dolby Digital 5.1 - French

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; commentaries; trailers; featurettes; interactive features.

Featurettes:

* Matching Identities: Casting
* Making it Real: The Look of Supremacy
* Things That Go Boom: Special Effects
* On the Move With Jason Bourne
* The World as Your Set
* Fight: The Martial Arts
* Crash Cam: The Moscow Tunnel Chase
* The Go-Mobile
* Anatomy of A Scene: Bridge, Barge Scene
* Scoring With John Powell

Region: 1
Packaging: Snap Case

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