action, movie, movie review, thriller

Flashback Review: June 1st, 2014 Movie – The Bourne Supremacy

the bourne supremacy

Well, I just have one month of flashback reviews to go, then the couple of movies I have bought this year and I will be able to take my break. Now for the matter at hand, this was yet another movie whose trailers had piqued my interest but I did not see in theaters. In fact, I didn’t see The Bourne Supremacy until I rented it along with The Bourne Identity several years after they had come out on video. Now obviously I wanted to watch it, and my buying the movie not withstanding, but the question remains as to just how good of a movie this actually was.

The plot: Two years after the events in Paris, Jason Bourne is living in Goa, India with his girlfriend Marie. Bourne still can’t remember everything about his past with Treadstone but sometimes, he has flashbacks of things when he dreams and has taken to writing them down in a notebook. Elsewhere, CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy is in Berlin overseeing a $3 million payoff to a Russian source who has with him the “Neski” files, details about a $20 million theft several years ago. As the source arrives at the building and makes contact with Pamela’s buyer, Kirill, a member of Russia’s Federal Security Service, plants some explosives on the power junction box, planting a fingerprint on one of them. Kirill then sets off the explosives, with the one that has the fingerprint planted on it failing to detonate, then heads up to the now darkened room, where he kills the source and everyone there, then takes the money and files. The next morning, Kirill meets with Russian oligarch Yuri Gretkov, who gives him his payment for the files, then tells Kirill he will get the rest when he finishes his job, passing him the information on his next target. Some time later, Kirill arrives in Goa and asks the manager of the telegraph office if he has seen Bourne, but Bourne spots him and, figuring that Kirill is after him, quickly heads back to his home to get his jeep. Driving into town, he sees Marie at a diner and honks his horn to pick her up, telling her that their blown, and spots Kirill on the nearby beach. Believing Treadstone is after them, Bourne drives off with Marie and after he manages to lose Kirill, he has Marie switch places so she is driving. They head for a nearby bridge, where Bourne plans on jumping out so that he can ambush Kirill when he follows after Marie but Kirill had gone to a nearby hill and fires at the car, hitting Marie and causing the jeep to crash off the bridge and into the river below. Bourne survives the crash and after getting Marie’s body out of the car, he kisses her goodbye before letting her float to the surface while he swims off in another direction. Back in Berlin, the investigation team finds the fingerprint on the explosive and when Landy’s team goes to match it, they find themselves blocked by a demand for clearance due to the print being flagged by Treadstone so she orders her team to head back to Langley. Kirill heads back to Russia and meets with Yuri to tell him Bourne is dead and Yuri gives him the rest of his money, telling him he will contact him in a month. Back in Goa, Bourne watches as Marie’s body is fished out of the river, then heads home, grabbing all of the weapons and supplies he stashed there, burning several of his fake passports and pictures, then leaves India. In Langley, Landy tells the director that she needs level 5 clearance so she can follow up on their lead and he gives it to her, allowing her to match the fingerprint to Jason Bourne. After reading up on the files, Landy meets with Deputy Director Ward Abbott and talks to him about Treadstone, Bourne, and Conklin but he doesn’t say much to her. Landy is attending a meeting with the Director and the other Deputy Directors, where she tells them about the theft of $20 million and how a Russian politician named Neski had contacted them and said it was an inside job but before he could give them the information, he was killed. The case had gone cold until their recent contact but he was apparently killed by Bourne, whom Landy believes was working with Conklin and had stolen the money, then killed anyone that could prove it. Meanwhile, Bourne is picked up and detained in Naples and when Landy hears this, she asks what assets they have there and rushes to contact the local police to let them know who they are holding. In Naples, Bourne is being interrogated by the local CIA agent when Landy’s assistant calls him to tell him about Bourne but when the agent hangs up, Bourne quickly knocks out the agent and the guard watching him. Bourne then takes the agent’s phone and copies the sim card before grabbing his stuff and leaving, blocking the door so they can’t follow him. As Bourne gets in the agent’s car, Landy calls the agent and Bourne is able to listen in, learning about his being blamed for the deaths in Berlin and that Landy is the one looking for him now. Landy is heading back to Berlin, and the Director orders Ward to accompany her so they can finally capture Bourne. Bourne heads to Berlin and as he does, he has another flashback from an assignment Conklin gave him. Meanwhile, Ward heads to the Netherlands to pick up Nicky Parsons, Bourne’s Treadstone handler in Paris, and Landy questions her about Bourne and Treadstone. Elsewhere, Bourne heads to Munich, where Jarda, another former Treadstone operative, lives. Bourne subdues Jarda and questions him about Conklin and Treadstone and learns that Conklin is dead and Treadstone has been shut down. When Jarda apologizes, Bourne realizes that he must have somehow contacted the CIA and goes to leave when Jarda attacks him. Bourne manages to kill Jarda, then rigs the house to explode just as the CIA show up. Bourne then heads to the Berlin Airport and after placing some of his items in a storage locker, he calls several hotels until he finds the one that Landy is staying in, then figures out who she is and follows her to the Berlin office. As Landy, is speaking with her team about Bourne, Bourne heads to a nearby rooftop so he can observe Landy and her team, then calls Landy. As he talks with Landy, Landy’s comments prompt another flashback, causing him to hesitate. As Bourne recovers, he notices Nicky standing next to Landy and tells Landy he wants to come in but wants someone he can trust to bring him in. When Landy asks who, Bourne tells her Nicky and where to meet and when Landy asks what will happen if she can’t find Nicky that quickly, Bourne tells her that she is standing right next to her, revealing to all of them that he was watching them. Landy and her team work to figure out a plan for the meeting but Ward wants to use the opportunity to kill Bourne, prompting an argument between Landy and Ward. Nicky heads to the meeting spot and as the CIA agents keep track of her, a crowd shows up just as Bourne calls and tells Nicky to get onto an approaching tram. As the tram approaches it’s next stop, Bourne grabs Nicky and forces her off the train before Landy can have her men get her out of there, then starts questioning her about Landy.  When Nicky tells him about the matter in Berlin, Bourne tells her that he was in India watching Marie die when that happened. Bourne asks her what Landy was buying and when Nicky says information about Conklin and a Russian politician, Bourne recalls Neski’s name and asks Nicky when was he on assignment in Berlin but she tells him that he was never on a job here or if he was, it wasn’t in his file, and Bourne threatens to shoot her but then leaves, leaving her frightened in a bathroom stall. Landy, who had overheard everything Bourne had said due to Nicky’s wire, begins checking to see if what Bourne said is true, though Ward argues against it. Ward’s assistant, Danny Zorn, then has Ward follow him to where they botched buy occurred and tells him that he believes Bourne was set up to cover for someone else’s crime and Ward ends up killing him. Meanwhile, Bourne looks up the information on Neski’s murder, then heads to the hotel where the death occurred, remembering everything that occurred and how he killed both Neski and his wife. As Bourne is in the room Neski died in, the hotel manager had gotten the report to hold Bourne for questioning and calls the police, which alerts the CIA to where he is. Bourne makes his way to the roof and manages to get away from the hotel but when a patrol officer spots him, he is forced to make a run for it, eventually managing to get away by jumping onto a passing barge, then using a boat hook to grab onto the underside of a bridge as it passes underneath it, then climbing up the bridge and boarding a train. Landy and her team investigate the hotel when they learn about Danny Zorn’s death and Landy tells her assistant to stay on Bourne while she goes to see Ward. Meanwhile, Ward calls Yuri and tells him that the CIA is onto the Neski murder and that he needs to kill Bourne but Yuri says that he doesn’t need him anymore and then hangs up. As Ward hangs up the phone, he senses Bourne behind him as Bourne asks him why he killed Marie. Ward tells him it was an accident as he was supposed to be killed so that when the files went missing and he was blamed, the CIA would be chasing a ghost for years without learning his involvement. Bourne moves to kill him but then stops, saying that Marie wouldn’t want him to kill him, then stops the recording of their conversation and leaves. Later, Landy goes to Ward’s room to confront him about Zorn’s death and Ward tells her he isn’t sorry for what happened, then kills himself. Later, Landy is listening to the recording Bourne had made, as he had left it at the hotel addressed for her, and her assistant tells her that Langley wants to know what the update on Bourne is when her team sees Bourne boarding a train for Moscow and LAndy contacts the Russian Interior. In Moscow, Yuri approaches Kirill outside the club he had been in and tells him Bourne is alive. Bourne takes a taxi to an address just as the police arrive at the train station and start questioning people about Bourne, eventually learning where he went. Bourne arrives at the address he wanted and as he asks where the Neski’s daughter is, he learns that she had moved out of the city. When his taxi suddenly takes off, Bourne realizes the police are close by and he rushes off before they can get there. Kirill is driving to the location when he spots Bourne and he quickly gets out of his car and shoots at him, hitting him in the shoulder, but the police show up and detain Kirill, allowing Bourne to get away. Bourne tries to evade the police but then ends up in a brief altercation before stealing a cab and driving off. As he works on stopping the bleeding in his shoulder, Bourne drives through traffic and manages to elude his pursuers until Kirill catches up to him but Bourne manages to shoot out Kirill’s tire, then force him to crash into a barricade. An injured Bourne gets out of his car and approaches Kirill only to find him near death and he quickly leaves the scene. As Landy arrives in Moscow and helps the FSB arrest Yuri, Bourne heads to where Neski’s daughter lives and breaks into her apartment to wait for her. When she arrives home, Bourne tells her that her mother didn’t kill her father and then kill herself like the papers said, but that he killed them and staged the scene, then apologizes for the pain he caused her as he leaves. Some time later, Landy is in her office in New York City when she receives a call from Bourne, asking her why she is still looking for him. Landy thanks him for the tape that he sent her that closed the case on the Neski files and Bourne goes to leave when Landy stops him. Landy then tells him his real name is David Webb and gives him his birth date and hometown and asks him to come in but Bourne doesn’t respond for a while, then tells Landy to get some rest as she looks tired, revealing he had been watching her when he made the call.

The Bourne Supremacy met with mostly favorable reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A well-made sequel that delivers the thrills.” To give this movie its gritty, documentary-style appearance, director Paul Greengrass used mostly handheld cameras, and a muted color palette. Greengrass also made sure to avoid computer graphics at all costs, and all of the stunts shown in the movie were achieved practically.The movie was a box office success, earning $288.5 million off of a $75 million budget.

I have to say, I honestly liked this movie a little better than the first one. I thought the acting was good, with Matt Damon doing a great job reprising his role as Jason Bourne. I also thought Brian Cox (Ward) and Julia Stiles (Nicky) were good as well, while Joan Allen made a great new foil for Bourne, though she seemed to also be somewhat of an ally at the end. Though it differed from the book that it was titled after, the plot was actually pretty good. The only problem I had with it is that they seriously had this set up as the middle part of a trilogy, without really announcing that there was going to be a trilogy. Everything in the movie seemed to be set up to give more background into Bourne’s past with Treadstone, while the ending was a total set up for a future movie. The action scenes were incredible and definite some of the best coordinated stuff I had seen in a while, at that point in time. The fact that they didn’t use any CGI in the movie really made them seem that much more impressive. A great movie and definitely an outstanding follow up to the original movie.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

Flashback Review: May 31st, 2014 Movie – The Bourne Identity

the bourne identity

So when I first hear about this movie, I did the thing I normally do when a movie based on a book comes out, I went to read the book first. Unfortunately, it took me forever to read the book. I don’t know why, but every time I tried to read it it would put me to sleep. Putting my efforts to read the book to the side, I didn’t get a chance to see The Bourne Identity when it was in theaters nor did I immediately rent it when it came out on DVD. My first time watching it was actually watching about a third of it on TV one day. This prompted me to end up renting it and eventually, buy a box set containing the first three movies in the set.

The plot: In the Mediterranean Sea, a n Italian fishing boat is out at sea during a storm when they see an unconscious man floating in the water and rescue him. As they bring him into the cabin, the ship’s captain discovers two bullet wounds in the man and as he tends to the wounds, he finds a strange capsule in the man’s hip and removes that as well, discovering that it contains an account number for a bank in Zurich. Suddenly, the man regains consciousness and attacks the doctor but as the doctor explains that they found him and asks his name, the man can’t remember who he is. Elsewhere, a CIA agent working for a black ops program  known as Operation Treadstone, tells the program’s director, Alexander Conklin, that their mission had failed. Back on the boat, the amnesiac man finds that he can remember how to do some things, like tie knots and speak several languages, but still doesn’t remember who he is. When the boat arrives in Italy, the captain gives the amnesiac some money that will enable him to get to Switzerland and wishes him luck on his journey. When he gets to Switzerland, the amnesiac ends up being harassed by some police when he is found sleeping in a park but when they go to arrest him, he instinctively grabs their batons and knocks them out, then gets freaked out by what he did and quickly runs away. Meanwhile, Nykwana Wombosi, an exiled African dictator, is giving an interview in Paris, France claiming to have survived an assassination attempts. In CIA Headquarters in Langley, the director is telling his deputy directors about Wombosi’s claim and that he wants them to put him back into power or else he will tell the world that they were behind the attempt. After the meeting is dispersed, Deputy Director Ward Abbott meets with Conklin to find out what happened and is upset that he didn’t tell him that their asset has disappeared until now. Back in Switzerland, the amnesiac heads to the bank when it opens and after giving them the account number listed in the chip, he is led to a high security safety deposit box. After the box is taken to a secure viewing room, the man finds a passport with the name Jason Bourne on it, as well as several other items. Noticing a second layer to the box, he pulls out the top part and finds a large quantity of money, several more passports with different names on them, and a gun. Deciding to take the passport saying he is Jason Bourne, Bourne, grabs all the money and everything else in the safety deposit box, leaving the gun inside, then leaves the bank, unaware that the bank manager is making a phone call to Treadstone about Bourne. Bourne makes a phone call to Paris, trying to ensure that he does live at the address listed on the passport but when he notices that the police seem to be taking an interest in him, he hangs up and quickly leaves, with some police officers following him. Bourne uses his passport to head into the American consulate but when he changes his mind about his plan and goes to leave, he is detained by the guards. Bourne quickly subdues the three guards that try to capture him, then attempts to leave the building, grabbing a guards radio so he can keep tabs on their attempts at capturing him. Bourne makes his way up to the roof  and after avoiding being detected, he climbs down the wall and grabs the bag that he dropped. Bourne heads down an alley and notices Marie Kreutz, a German woman that had been at the consulate when Bourne was there, and offers her $10,000 to drive him to Paris and she refuses initially but, needing the money, she agrees to drive him. Meanwhile, Treadstone is busy confirming that Bourne is still alive and when they see the picture from a video camera and hear the report about the consulate, Conklin orders several of their assets, Castel, Manheim, and the Professor, to be activated and sent after Bourne. They eventually spot where Bourne had met up with Marie in the alley and after getting Marie’s information, they send that to Nicky Parsons, a handler in Paris, so she can send their pictures to the authorities so they can be detained. Back in Europe, Bourne tells Marie about his amnesia and the weird things he does know and she doesn’t quite believe him but continues to drive him to Paris. When they arrive at the address on Bourne’s passport, Bourne pays her the rest of the money he promised but Marie, having become interested in Bourne, doesn’t want to leave just yet and Bourne invites her inside. When they ring the doorbell, the housekeeper for the building happily greets Bourne and lets him in and they head upstairs to his unit. Inside, they both look around his place before Marie asks to use the bathroom. As she is gone, Bourne hits the redial on his phone and when he gets the hotel, asks for Jason Bourne and when they have no record of him, he asks for John Michael Kane, one of the names that was on another passport. He is told that Kane had died 2 weeks ago and he starts to get paranoid, searching the house after grabbing a knife from the kitchen. When Marie exits the bathroom, he drops the knife behind a doorway, out of her sight, but as they talk, they are suddenly attacked by Castel. Bourne defends himself and manages to disable Castel and he throws Marie Castel’s bag and has her go through it while he questions Castel. When Marie finds pictures of them from the consulate, she freaks out and starts yelling at Castel about how he got her picture and as Bourne tends to her, Castel jumps out the window, killing himself. Bourne helps Marie outside, as she has gone into shock, and after driving away from the scene, they head to the bus station, where Bourne heads inside to hide the bulk of the money. When he returns to the car, he finds Marie had left but soon sees her returning from the shop she had gone into. As he tries to tell her to go to the police and get away from him, as it would be safer for her to get away from him, he notices the police approaching them and asks her one more time to leave but she buckles her seatbelt, choosing to stay with him. Bourne begins driving and after causing several cops to crash, manages to eventually lose the police, then they quickly leave the car. Meanwhile, Wombosi goes to the Paris morgue to look at the body of Kane, who was the person that had attempted to assassinate him, but when he examines the body, he says it is not the same person as the body was not shot. Later, Nicky contacts Conklin and tells him that Wombosi wasn’t fooled so Conklin orders the Professor to kill Wombosi. Later, Abbott confronts Conklin about Wombosi’s murder but Conklin blames Bourne for the assassination and says that with the mission completed, he should be checking in within 24 hours, Meanwhile, Bourne helps Marie to dye her hair and afterwards, they end up having sex. The next day, Bourne has Marie help him get some information from the hotel that Kane was staying at and after she gets him the phone records, he begins calling people that Kane had called, eventually getting a meeting at one of the companies. When he goes to the meeting, Bourne is shocked to find that they know him as Kane. As Bourne tells Marie what he learned, she tells him that she found Kane in the morgue and they head there to examine the body only to find that it has been taken already, claimed by Kane’s “brother”. Bourne grabs the register and learns that Wombosi had gone to see the body but when they go to Wombosi’s place, theylearn about his assassination. Bourne and Marie head back to their hotel but when Bourne notices the police heading towards them, he has the cab driver pull over and tells Marie that they have to leave. Learning that the police are looking for them, Marie wants to get away from Bourne but he tells her he will take her wherever she wants to go and she won’t have to see him again but for now, they have to stick together. Back in Langley, Abbott confronts Conklin about Bourne’s not coming in yet and Conklin tells him he will take of things. Conklin then decides to have his men search Marie’s past and figure out anyone she might go to for help in the hopes of finding Bourne. Marie tries contacting an old friend of hers but when she gets no answer, she has Bourne drive her there, thinking it would be empty and they could hide there. When they get there, they find evidence that her friend is there and Bourne wants to leave but her friend shows up and they are forced to bluff and stay the night. Meanwhile, Conklin’s men are able to trace Marie’s call and figure out where she is going and give the information to the Professor so he can kill Bourne. The next day, Bourne and Marie are getting ready to leave but when her friend’s kids say their dog is missing, Bourne realizes that an assassin is there for them and tells everyone to hide in the basement. Bourne grabs a shotgun from a shelf and heads out, shooting a fuel supply in order to mask his movements from the Professor. Bourne is able to get the drop on the Professor and starts questioning him, learning about Treadstone before the Professor dies. Marie’s friend is getting ready to leave and Bourne give Marie some money so she can leave with them and start a new life somewhere where she will be safe. After they leave, Bourne goes through the Professor’s things and when he finds a phone, he calls the number programmed in it, eventually getting connected to Conklin. Conklin tells Bourne to come in but Bourne knows he will try to kill him again and instead tells him to meet him in Paris that afternoon and to come alone. Bourne heads to the meeting point early and observes it from a nearby rooftop. He sees Conklin arrive but since he sees Conklin’s team with him, he calls Conklin and tells him that since he didn’t come alone, he was leaving, then places a tracking device on Conklin’s car. Conklin tells Nicky to begin deleting all the files and computers at the office and heads over there. As they finish cleaning out the place, Bourne creates a distraction that allows him to sneak in, disabling their security systems as he does. Conklin grabs a gun and starts looking for Bourne but Bourne gets the drop on him and has him drop his gun. As Bourne tries to get answers from Conklin about what Treadstone is, Conklin tries to find out what happened with the mission involving Wombosi. As Conlin lists what Bourne had told him about his plan, Bourne suddenly remembers his attempt on Wombosi and how he couldn’t bring himself to kill him as his kids where there with him. Bourne tells Conklin that Jason Bourne is dead and if he sees anyone coming after him, he will bring everything about Treadstone to light. Suddenly, Bourne notices that Conklin’s radio was live and he knocks Conklin out, then takes out the guards before walking away. Conklin leaves the building shortly after Bourne and ends up being gunned down by Manheim, who had been ordered to kill Conklin by Abbott, then Abbott orders Treadstone to be shut down. Some time later, Abbott is testifying before a Congressional panel about Treadstone and after successfully telling them that it had been shut down, he then starts telling them about a new project called Black Briar. Elsewhere, Marie has opened up a scooter rental shop on Mykonos and when Bourne shows up at her shop, she smiles before rushing over and hugging him.

The Bourne Identity met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers — and then some.” The movie was a box office success, earning $214 million off of a $60 million budget and would go on to spawn 4 sequels. While it is not the only movie to share plot points with the Bourne series of books, The Bourne Identity is the only movie in the series to remotely resemble the plot of the book of which it was named, as 2016’s Jason Bourne shared some plot points with “The Bourne Supremacy”.

Yes, it differs from the book but this is still a good movie on it’s own merit. The acting was good, with Matt Damon doing a great job as Jason Bourne. Franka Potente and Chris Cooper did great jobs in their roles as Marie and Conklin respectively and I also liked Brian Cox (Abbott), Julia Stiles (Nicky), and Clive Owen (The Professor), though their roles were limited. The story was pretty good, with the differences in the plot between the movie and the book making for a more straightforward story without dealing with the somewhat complex plot point involving “The Jackal”. The action scenes, such as the fights and the chase scene in Paris, were very well done and definitely added to the excitement without detracting away from the suspense of the story. All in all, this was a great movie and definitely helped introduce a new action hero to the silver screen.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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