"How could I forget about you? You're the only person I know."
I've decided that my reviews, opinions, analysis, etc of a film is only ever appropriate for people who have seen the film. Spoiler-free on the podcasts, everything else is going to be spoilt on the blog. Chances are most people have seen this, so lets get stuck straight in.
Right. Lets do this. These Bourne movies have been haunting me for a while. Seriously, I have watched this at least three times and every time it never gives me a purpose to watch the second one (alas, inevitably I did - but we'll cover that in the future...). Why? I don't know. I think all the Paris stuff bothered me and the whole deconstruction of the Bond-like character - though interesting - wasn't the most neccessary thing in the world. I feel like the whole concept of James Bond is unrealistic so why do we have to make it realistic? The shitty mini - can it really do all those stunts? No. So the films not realistic. But wait, Bourne and girl discuss how frustrated he is at not knowing who he is. Wow - deep.
I haven't read the Robert Ludlum its based upon - maybe thats a problem - and again, Ludlum openly said how it was inspired by James Bond. Again, why watch 'realistic' James Bond when you still have James Bond? Fact is, this film, in turn, inspired the incredible reboot of James Bond with Casino Royale so maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it isn't as bad as I am saying. Maybe, deep down, I am well aware of how much Graham, the Bangor Represetative, loves the film whilst I am ultimately denying it any credibility purely on that basis. Same reason Muse are rubbish.
So, Jason Bourne wakes up. In the sea. We know nothing and, just like him, we begin to realise what is going on. Its not long until we are clued into Chris Coopers character who believes Bourne is after him and his "Treadstone" team - when in fact Bourne is just defending himself against all the killers Cooper is sending to kill him - one of which is none other that considered-at-the-time-to-be-a-potential-007 Clive Owen. Obviously, akin to Jon Voight and the NSA in Enemy of the State, "Treadstone" is government run - and has every resource at its whim to get Bourne. And like Will Smith in Enemy of the State, again, Bourne has no idea why they are after him - but unlike Smith - he also has no memory of what happened when he woke up in the sea.
After this set-up, it changes direction as the love-interest - akin to Bourne himself - is, by chance, found on the street. Turns out, she is greedy and will take Bourne to Paris. If I was her, I would think that if I was to be offered that amount of money for a car ride ... something is up. Will he kill me upon arrival? Why not? Take the trip and then leg-it. Or, maybe the guy has already killed someone or robbed a bank or ... some illegal activity, and he is expecting me to help him? help an armed felon? Personally, I'd leg it. But turns out, straight off Run Lola Run, love-interest Marie (Potente), is greedy and takes the money and - along the journey falls for Bourne. As he does for her. But then again, in his memory, this is the first love interest he has ever had so of course he'll take it. Think of your first crush - you never forget it.
Upon this third viewing I'll admit, its got good points. The soundtrack is interesting with great music from Moby - 'Extreme Ways' becoming a staple of the franchise - whilst the Paul Oakenfold track 'Ready, Steady, Go!' simply reminds me of Collateral - a far superior film. John Powell was the man behind these choices so well done to him. This range of dance and, as itunes says, "electronica" works exceptionally well but then again, Powell is also the man behidn the music choices in Shrek and - believe me, I'm not a fan - but I can vividly recall plonkers singing to that bloody Eels track from the film. So judging songs to mix into a certain type of film is clearly a talent, and he - by choosing 'Extreme Ways' knows how to choose memorable music that is firmly attached to a film. Then again, I watched Collateral after The Bourne Identity and Paul Oakenfolds 'Ready, Steady, Go!' reminds me more of Tom Cruise, with a gun, in a club rather than a mini. In Paris.
So, to finish. The film is, pretty much, completely set in Paris, giving it a very Europeon flavour. Again, I only recently heard that the James Bond films that have often bombed were set in America. Except Live and Let Die. Then again. That film is racist so ... peak and troughs. Nevertheless, this only adds to the fact that, by being set in Paris, the exotic location reeks more of Bond again rather than a cultured-tone which I assume it was going for. The film ends as the "treadstone" project is terminated in Washington D.C. We watched a film that was ultimately pointless - 'Conklin', aka Chris Cooper, was stupid while everyone else was just following orders from him. The fact that Bourne was merely defends himelf I don't think stands - he can do loads of things, he just can't remember anything. I mean, come on! thats a specific memory. Think Memento - he had a serious problem. Bourne should count his lucky stars in terms of memory-loss.
Fact is, there are a lot of good things - and more importantly - these things set-up a great parrallel and support for Supremacy. Its not as 'incredible' as people say - but I appreciate the different angle on a genre already owned by Bond and Bauer and delivering this successfully. But as 'influential' as this is, The Bourne Identity was influenced by more films that preceded it and, if we're honest, these films were better.
And Matt Damon's "I-don't-know-who-I-am" acting grates after a while. Luckily, by The Bourne Supremacy he knows enough about himself to keep me interested.