Slick spy thriller

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 12:00am

Given Hollywood's obsession with 'America versus the bad guys' action movies, a spy drama that centres on an ex-CIA assassin bringing down a corrupt boss makes a refreshing change.

That is essentially the plot of the Bourne Supremacy, a follow-up to 2002's The Bourne Identity. The film continues the story of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), a trained CIA assassin suffering from partial amnesia. Bourne is forced back to action after his sweetheart Marie is killed by a Russian assassin, and he is hunted by both the CIA and a Russian oil mogul.

Directed by Paul Greengrass, the film relies on some slick editing and neat story-telling rather than eye-popping special effects or silly gadgets to keep us hooked to the screen.

Unlike other spy action dramas such as the Mission: Impossible series and James Bond movies, the action scenes are pulsating and realistic. Greengrass cleverly switches between handheld-camera shots of Bourne and other characters in action and occasional panoramic shots of the scenery.

Damon's performance is also brilliant. His icy features exude a profound sadness that suits perfectly his role as the loneliest spy on the planet.