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When The Bourne Identity was released two years ago many where surprised by the success of the film mainly based on the fact that no one believed Matt Damon could be an action hero. Yet, Damon’s portrayal of Jason Bourne wasn’t one of one man looking to take down an opposing army with a barrage of bullets and super-human strength, it was an amnesiac looking for answers about his past and coming up with some troubling facts. I doubted Damon as much as the next critic, but after viewing the film, and seeing how well he fit into the character, I was instantly proved wrong. Not only did Damon’s acting build the critical acclaim of the film the smart script, excellent fight scenes, and oh-my-god-how-is-he-going-to-get-out-of-this moments paid for the ticket ten times over

Now, fast forward to present day where Jason Bourne is once again back in the spotlight of a CIA investigation and it is time for the second book in Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series to take flight on the big screen and come up big as one of the best films of a lackluster summer. The Bourne Supremacy finds Jason Bourne hiding “off-the-grid” in India and trying to make a life for himself and Marie (Franka Potente), but, when assassins once again set their sights on him, he targets the organization that he once worked for to get answers once and for all.

Truth be told, the film is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, but where it lacks believability at some parts, it makes up for them in others. The movie, like its predecessor, is a smartly crafted spy tale about one fallen agent looking for a door way into his past while also looking into the future. Damon’s Bourne is a man who is troubled with his past actions, shown beautifully and emotionally near the end of the film, but his training makes him and wanted man and in order to survive his pursuers must face the consequences. The underlying story of the film is the assassination of a Russian diplomat nearly a decade before the events of the film, but new information turns up and a mission to retrieve this intelligence is cut short when two men are shot dead. All evidence points to Bourne, but in a movie filled with turncoat CIA agents, could there be a deeper conspiracy.

Like The Bourne Identity and The Sum of all Fears, Supremacy is an intriguing picture to watch. The lure of the intelligence agencies and the “in-the-shadows” atmosphere brings in moviegoers by the hundreds merely to get a glimpse into something we are never meant to see in real life. Maybe that is part of the appeal of the film. The fact that we know stuff like this must go on all the time, throughout the world, but the common man will never ever see it.

With that being said, you do have to suspend disbelief at times as situations always seem to work out a bit too perfectly for Bourne, but don’t they always for the good guy? British director Paul Greengrass’ penance for using a handheld shaky camera during most of the film’s fight scenes, similar to the foot-chase seen in Narc, and leaves the audience with a disoriented feeling as it is hard to grasp what exactly is going on. Luckily the sound effects are more than adequate to equate the situation for moviegoers. As I stated before, the good more than outweighs the bad, and after the audience is treated to another killer car chase sequence at the climax of the film, you will completely forget about its faults.

The supporting players have a very important role in the film as they add layers to an already deep narrative. Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), a senior member of the CIA, provides an intriguing antagonist to both Bourne and Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), who is vying for his desk and looking to make up for the botched operation. The folds to the story that each one adds tie into the original film and fleshes out the back-story to the series itself. Kirill (Karl Urban) is more or less a hired assassin sent to kill Bourne, and while the character is not as deep as the others, he also provides a worthy nemesis to the crafty Bourne.

After everything is said and done Universal managed to make up for the bomb that was Van Helsing and deliver a truly intelligent, yet fun, summer movie that will have James Bond and Matt Damon fans both clamoring for more from the series. With a generally modest budget and a bank-filling opening weekend, we can only hope the third film is already in the cards.