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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Karl Urban
Tomas Arana
Brian Cox
Julia Stiles.
Directors
Paul Greengrass.
Screenwriters
Tony Gilroy.
Running Time
0 minutes

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The Bourne Supremacy
Jason Bourne returns in one of the finest big-budget thrillers in years.


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Plot
Since the events of The Bourne Identity, amnesiac former CIA hit man Jason Bourne has been living under the radar and off the map. But, his violent, covert past catches up with him, so, instead of running, he decides to take the fight to them.


Review
Who'd have thought it? While James Bond was undergoing constant reinvention, little Tommy Cruise was gallivanting about on Missions: Impossible, and Vin Diesel was boasting that xXx was da bomb, the spy franchise to beat them all went about its business quietly - rather like its hero.

The Bourne Identity was a welcome surprise, a captivating, twisting thriller with (gasp) an interesting lead character. And we're glad to report that The Bourne Supremacy builds on and exceeds the original, delivering, quite simply, one of the finest big-budget thrillers in years.

Not that you'd ever notice the budget - this is in many ways an anti-blockbuster. There are stunts here, fight scenes and car crashes there (with the final crunching pursuit through and under the streets of Moscow vying for a spot in the cinematic auto-wreck Top Ten), but no glib one-liners, no pat love interests and none of the CG-augmented new laws of physics that Hollywood loves so much.

There's never a sense that director Paul Greengrass and returning screenwriter Tony Gilroy are ticking off boxes; instead, Greengrass, building on both the promise and aesthetic of Bloody Sunday, revitalises standard action licks with Tommy-gun editing and constantly whipping cameras. Fans of 24 will love it.

Storywise, we're not in corkscrewing, M:I territory here. In fact, the plot runs out of steam well before the end, allowing Greengrass to explore - and inflict - the emotional trauma suffered by Bourne. And so we end as we began, not with a bang, but with a quiet moment of vulnerable, and genuinely touching, reflection for an already exposed hero.

It's a risky strategy for an "action" movie, but happily it works thanks to Matt Damon's astute, underplayed performance, through which he totally eschews movie star vanity (and that toothy grin) to stand close-cropped head and shoulders above a strong cast. Damon's Bourne is cold yet not emotionless, lethal yet not invincible - a very human hero, racked by emotional and physical pain. It's a brave performance and, by the end, there will be few who won't want to see Bourne on the run again soon.


Verdict
Exciting, emotionally layered and brimming with invention. The brains behind Bond should take note, for the Bourne series has proved itself the smartest spy franchise around.


Reviewed by

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Bourne Supremacy
Empire Star Rating

RE: The Bourne Supremacy

The movie is utterly synthetic. ... More

Posted by chang at 12:17, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


The definition of exhilarating

Personally, this is my favourite of the Bourne trilogy. Main reasons are as follows... (SPOILERS) There's that ballsy and shocking move to kill off Marie within the first 15 minutes ...and as a result, this is the only instalment where Bourne is truly alone. It introduces Joan Allen, who is superb as Landy, and certainly brings considerable weight to proceedings. Brian Cox is given a lot more to chew on (always a good thing). I loved Karl Urban as Kirill. Second best hitman o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr Gittes at 01:17, 18 August 2013 | Report This Post


Maybe not as good as Identity or Ultimatum but it still has great additions to the franchise. And there's a great car-chase at the end. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by samzucca at 16:58, 15 April 2013 | Report This Post


The Bourne Supremacy Review

The Bourne Supremacy is a well-made sequel that delivers the thrills. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 17:15, 15 January 2012 | Report This Post


Exciting In Places.

The Bourne Supremacy is more exicting, lots of heart-stopping chases and a great villain by Karl Urban. Matt Damon is good as Bourne, I can't see anyone else playing the character. Though it's got lots of thrills, the story can be confusing and the camera work is shifty.But it's worth seeing if you have seen the Bourne Idenity. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 17:59, 16 November 2010 | Report This Post


Exciting In Places.

The Bourne Supremacy is more exicting, lots of heart-stopping chases and a great villain by Karl Urban. Matt Damon is good as Bourne, I can't see anyone else playing the character. Though it's got lots of thrills, the story can be confusing and the camera work is shifty.But it's worth seeing if you have seen the Bourne Idenity. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 17:59, 16 November 2010 | Report This Post


Bourne Supremacy Reigns Supreme

Okay, lets just establish the most important difference between the Bourne Identity and the sequel. Gone is Doug Liman from the director's seat, to be replaced by Paul Greengrass. But, if anything, this has proved to be an improvement. Unlike Identity, Supremacy goes with the thriller cliché of ridiculously shaky cinematography, and to be honest, it couldn't have been put to better use, jacking up the tension and making the action scenes look even more awesome. And, believe me, they don'... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by COLO at 19:23, 13 July 2010 | Report This Post


Basically, the plot.....

Only really works on reflection. I think while watching a Bourne film (especially the Greengrass pair) the handheld photography makes it feel like anything could happen at any time. It WORKS, only too well. But the basic premise is...We (Brian, Karel, Karl) will, like kill these guys who have evidence of the robbery. And we'll pin it on Bourne, because he don't know who the hell he actually killed. And then we'll just kill him anyway for our own satisfaction and they'll be chasing his ghost f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by darkraven28 at 19:27, 28 April 2010 | Report This Post


My favourite of all Bournes!

This thoroughly intelligent thriller just manages to better the other two instalments for me and I think that dgribble is totally wrong but I do agree with him about how awesome Karl Urban was, though I think Damon and Cox are the stand-outs and they more than manage to fill up that big Chris Cooper-shaped hole. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by !xHoTRoDx! at 16:38, 21 March 2010 | Report This Post


I still can't think of a title

See that review under this one,that's me a year or so ago.I wrote such crap reviews didn't I.But anyway,I think this is a great action film.I really love Paul's style of creating an action scene,and Matt Damon is brilliant as an action hero.'Extreme Ways' by Moby is perfect at the end of each Bourne,especially this one.God,I'm probably gonna look at this next year and laugh and write another crap review ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JohnPaul1996 at 15:34, 21 March 2010 | Report This Post


I honestly can"t think of a title.

It"s a lot better than the 1st one.They should put more action in there though.The ending rocked! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JohnPaul1996 at 21:57, 01 July 2008 | Report This Post


Pure excitement

No idea why it wasn't nominated at the oscars because this is a truly exciting film. Plus a big improvement upon the first which was good but that lost itself halfway in. The action scenes are hugly impressive and stand out amongst other films for its gritty realism. Didn't like it first time round but after a second viewing it starts to sink in. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ricorodrigeuz at 20:31, 02 March 2008 | Report This Post


This is a step down from the first one, if there was a step, again its just fast pace action. which is more Nauseating than exciting, and the plot just seems like an excuse to a second one, although Karl Urban was a great villian though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 17:48, 28 February 2008 | Report This Post


The Bourne Supremacy

Brilliant film, possibly better than the original, can't wait to see The Bourne Ultimatum! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jncorbett at 00:18, 31 August 2007 | Report This Post


sorry

wtf was going on in the film... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BlueDragon21120 at 23:04, 21 August 2007 | Report This Post


sorry

wtf was going on in the film... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BlueDragon21120 at 23:04, 21 August 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Supremacy

Quality films cant wait for ultimatum, hope they dont fuk it up!! ... More

Posted by Muiraina666 at 21:52, 07 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Supremacy

This is something I wrote at the time that I thought I might as well re-post.   To call The Bourne Supremacy a "summer flick" does it a  great disservice. The plot is complex, probably to the point most will struggle to follow (myself included, at least till I get to see it again which I'm certainly going to be doing), but it doesn't really matter, because Bourne is a strong enough character to drive the movie forward. This is Bourne's story, his personal tragedy is pres... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Axel Foley at 20:19, 06 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Supremacy

Good movie, but i think it could have been a great one if they had based their script on the actual book rather than make up their own and add a few key points here and there, ie being in moscow rather than hong kong. ... More

Posted by rickyracoon at 12:27, 06 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

Great story, solid performances, jaw-dropping stunts...and crap camerawork. Can we all chip in and buy Mr.Greengrass a nice Manfrotto fluid-head tripod? He cheated himself (and the audience!) out of some really good action scenes by utilising the confusing, nausea-inducing hand-held shots. Anybody got any Dramamine? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Peter A. Quinn at 02:07, 16 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

Thoroughly enjoyable movie, and a nice change from Bond movies - seeing someone improvising, using everyday objects etc. Some terrific set-pieces, and a particularly spectacular car chase through Moscow. The one thing that irked me was the way some of the action was presented. They were obviously going for the documentary-style handheld camera, slightly improvised kind of feel, aided by the editing. The problem being that sometimes a combination of the way it was shot, lit, and edited made it b... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by svgbdgr at 01:50, 15 July 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

The Bourne Identity and Supremacy are both superb. They both shit all over Bonds recent 'efforts'. No fucking invisible car's or totally unconvincing CG men surfing here. This is about Supremacy though so here's my thoughts: It is truly captivating and i found myself getting so wrapped up in the story. It's very tense and it has an amazing car chase (as did the first film). Matt Damon totally owns the Jason Bourne role. He IS Jason Bourne. If the next film lives up to the standard set by t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PedroSanchez at 10:54, 19 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

Matt Damon kicks ass in these films. I was a huge fan of the 1st installment and couldnt wait for this one( and the forthcoming 3rd). I liked this so much so that I even went out and bought all the Jason Bourne books to read too(I havent managed it yet). A very clever and excellent film which can get you on the edge of your seat. I didnt think anything special of Matt Damon before but do now for sure.(I cant however think of Matt Damon without saying his name like its said in Team America!) ... More

Posted by Dready at 17:59, 17 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

Good film but the shakey cam shots ruined the action sequences and ruined the tension. ... More

Posted by libertine at 09:23, 04 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Saw it, Loved it, Bought it

not as good as the first but still amazing, bring on part 3 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Zaphod121 at 20:40, 03 June 2006 | Report This Post


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