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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 72:12)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English, Hebrew, Hungarian, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Commentary - English, Commentary - Dutch, Commentary - Norwegian, Commentary - Danish, Commentary - Finnish, Commentary - Swedish
  • Deleted scenes
  • 4 Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • 9 Featurette
  • DVD-ROM features
The Bourne Supremacy
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . M15+ . PAL


Adapted from Robert Ludlum’s novels, comes his second instalment in the trilogy, The Bourne Supremacy. We follow a young government-trained hitman, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), who was hit with a case of amnesia following an attempt upon his life. The Bourne Identity introduced us to his character, and his initial ‘freak out’ (and ensuing explosions) after realising who he was. His former employers, and his division known as Treadstone, realise he is still alive, and charge in a fury of more explosions.

Now, our favourite confused and conflicted hitman is again perused by his former agency. A very sneaky crim (with some very influential friends) framed him in a botched government job, and then kills his fantastic girlfriend (Franka Potente) – forcing Bourne to travel back to Europe in order to face his enemy. All the while, he remains awfully confused, but steadily manages to blow things up.

The mystery (and vehicle for explosions) is then why was he framed and who framed him; as well as the ever-present mystery surrounding his former life as Ghandi… er… I mean government hitman. Everything (well, almost everything) is wrapped up in the end, leaving just enough room for the final instalment, The Bourne Ultimatum, due out in 2007.

One of the fundamental reasons these types of films are made, and subsequently make money, is the allure of action, or more specifically – really big explosions. And, unfortunately for The Bourne Supremacy, audiences haven’t warmed to the fast-paced, innovative cinematography and editing found in the vast majority of action scenes; which is a shame. While this very tight editing can be distracting at first, it does fit with the film well, and perhaps isn’t as jarring as public opinion has led you to believe.

Fans of Ludlum’s original novels will probably be quite disappointed with this adaptation, as one very (very) important character has been omitted (who I simply refer to as ‘the jackal’). This will disappoint for a range of reasons – he was the most entertaining character of the entire series, and the fact that the third instalment of the trilogy is squarely an explosion-riddled battle between this hunter and Bourne. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

However, as an American action-thriller it’s certainly a success – and is far better than most idle trash released. Very solid acting from all bases, which considering Damon’s terrible efforts prior to The Bourne Supremacy, will be welcomed easily. The action scenes take some getting used to, but will end up pleasing those who are persistent. The soundtrack is excellent, from John Powell, adding a great dynamic edge to the film. Moby’s well-known ‘Extreme Ways’ stands as the credits track, and works very well.

For those who enjoy switching their mind off, watching people run and listening to those sweet sweet explosions – this is a film for you. A worthwhile sequel to The Bourne Identity, and a compelling film in its own right.


Universal’s transfer of The Bourne Supremacy is outstanding. Without going into huge detail, everything is essentially perfect – great detail, colours are reproduced very accurately, blacks remain solid, no film damage to speak of. The only drawback is the aliasing and shimmering that appears in a number of scenes, and proves distracting. Lately, Universal’s new DVD releases have been very similar in terms of video transfers (see The Chronicles of Riddick). Fantastic all-round, with some unfortunate aliasing.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that stands alongside The Bourne Supremacy is brilliant, and one that will really serve to boost the enjoyment you’ll get from the film.

All dialogue is perfectly audible and clear at all times, generally anchored in the front three channels. Sound effects and the score fill the surrounds and sub at all times, as well as general ambient noises. While there’s not always a distinct sound from an individual rear, there’s always pounding music and great ambience – providing a very immersive experience. When action does mount, and explosions ensue, the rears and sub roar to life.

This soundtrack isn’t as heavy on the rears as other action-thrillers have been in the past. However, this perfectly suits. The ‘less is more’ philosophy has been applied, and has proven extremely successful. You will probably run to something like The Fifth Element to demo your home theatre, but you’ll casually glide to this when The Fifth Element has been lent out!

I’d rarely label an audio-commentary terrible. It’s generally pretty interesting to listen to a filmmaker deconstruct their film, making comments on the side. However, Paul Greengrass’s efforts on this commentary are clearly terrible. He makes idle, boring comments on his film. Has no charisma or flair to speak of, sounding very monotonous and unenthusiastic. Recommended only to masochists who just happened to love the film.

A whole stack (or more accurately nine) featurettes are presented, ranging in content and interest. This is essentially a normal length making-of featurette, but now cut up into nine bite sized pieces to keep you awake. Some are informative and interesting, including the two on explosions, and others aren’t, including the various takes from the cast.

Some dull deleted scenes, and trailers for other Universal DVD releases finish off the extras.

This fantastic DVD is let down by a lazy bunch of extras. Brilliant video and audio to cater for the action fiend, and all for decent film to top it off. This would serve as something to rent out on a night home, for solid entertainment.

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  •   And I quote...
    "A film for those who enjoy switching their mind off, watching people run and listening to those sweet sweet explosions."
    - Nick Watts
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Onkyo DR-S2.0
    • TV:
          Samsung 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Onkyo HTP-2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Onkyo HTP-2
    • Surrounds:
          Onkyo HTP-2
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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