The Bourne Supremacy ★★★★½

Get some rest Pam. You look tired.

The Bourne Supremacy starts with our titular hero relaxing in Goa. As the ocean waves lap at the coastline, everything feels serene. Yet, we know, like Bourne, that it won't - and can't - last. Surely enough in a wonderful first act twist Marie is killed off and Bourne is out for revenge. Sure, the story is a bit cliché, but it's so well-paced and impressively acted, that it hardly matters how rote all of the beats are.

So many people lob the "it's incomprehensible" insult at the Bourne films' action scenes. I've always found this critique invalid as, though many movies use shaky cam as a crutch, the Bourne films (particularly the Greengrass ones) have lengthy establishing shots prior to each hectic battle. The geography is firmly established, so that when the action does start, we know exactly where that knife came from and how he got it. Furthermore, Greengrass directs the action as a sort of rhythmic ballet of death. Individual shots aren't so much meant to convey exactly what is going on at any given time, but rather, each shot conveys one idea/image succinctly and simply. Magazine is rolled up, used to block, enemy punched, and so on and so forth. It's certainly atypical, but to call it lazy or uncoordinated would be a severe misjudgment of the masterful planning going on.

Though only the second best of the trilogy, Supremacy vastly improves on the original and remains one of the finest action films ever produced twelve years on. I give it a 4.5/5.

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