Efficiency, sarcasm, and natty fur!

This monkey and this robot once had a system: three blogs for three subjects. But it was complicated and vague and usually ended in feces throwing. So we have combined all three into a melange of media reviews and links and excessive blather, so as to reduce the burden on your short attention span.

In the right column, Monkey + Robot have compiled for you a compendium of sassy, savvy and in the know media reviews and tidbits, for your time-wasting pleasure. And lest you poke at us with sticks or cut off our power supply, the reviews are now selectable through those perky drop-down menus. Monkey + Robot Film and TV reviews, Wrongrobot's Comic Stash, and more.

Grab a chunk of melon and some Demoral, because in the left column, we have accumulated for you every snappy link we found amusing, entertaining, provocatively witty, or frankly, just colorful, with easy to understand small words so monkeybites can follow along. Such is Robotic Root!

Entertainment Media Ratings System:

Wrongrobot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clicks, more indicating a happier robot!

Monkeybites' Monkey Rating: 1-10 Ooks! More indicating a mouthful of rotting simian teeth and lips curled in monkey pleasure!

IronLung's Robot Rating: 1-10 Clanks! More indicating a red-eyed, slack-jawed, blissed-out, ride-pimped dizzy droid! [this is good]

Vicbot's Robot Rating: 1-10 Whirrs! More indicating data that computes well with others.

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WWW http://monkey-plus-robot-reviews.blogspot.com
Wrongrobot's Fantasy Film Casting:
Casting Batman: Year One
Casting The Losers
Casting Richard Zach's Pirate Hunter

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Film Reviews [M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks]

Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 8 Clicks
Aliens Vs. Predator: 1 Clank
Bad Santa: 9 Clicks
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever: 2 Clicks
Bend it Like Beckham: 8 Clicks
Bourne Supremacy: 10 Clicks
Bowling for Columbine: 8 Clicks
Bubba Ho-Tep: 8 Clanks
Cirque du Soleil- Allegria [stage]: 10 Clicks
Cold Mountain: 7 Clicks
Cutthroat Island: 2 Clicks
Elf: 8 Clicks
Equilibrium: 6 Clicks
Escape From Alcatraz: 7 Clicks
Finding Nemo: 10 Clicks
Girl With a Pearl Earring: 7 Clicks
The Graduate [stage]: 7 Clicks
Hero: 7 Clanks
House of 1000 Corpses: 5 Clanks
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 5 Clicks
Hudson Hawk: 6 Clanks
The Hulk: 7 Clicks
Identity: 3 Clicks
Igby Goes Down: 5 Clicks
Intolerable Cruelty: 6 Clicks
I, Robot [trailer commentary][IronLung]
I, Robot [trailer commentary][Wrongrobot]
Kill Bill Vol.1: 10 Clicks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [IronLung]: 9 Clanks
Kill Bill Vol.2 [Wrongrobot]: 10 Clicks
The Last Samurai: 8 Clicks
LotR: Return of the King: 7 Clicks
My Architect: 9 Clicks
Original Kings of Comedy: 7 Clicks
The Phantom: 1 Click
Pirates of the Caribbean: 9 Clicks
The Punisher: 5 Clanks
Secretary: 9 Clicks
Shanghai Knights: 4 Clicks
Spellbound: 7 Clicks
Spider-Man 2: 8 Clanks/ 8 Clicks
Starsky & Hutch: 8 Clicks
Star Trek- Nemesis: 6.5 Clicks
Terminator 3: 5 Clicks, 2 Ooks
The Thin Red Line: 7 Clicks
To Live and Die in LA: 10 Clicks
Troy: n/a
Van Helsing: 4 Clicks, 0 Clanks!
Whale Rider: 8 Clicks

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Comic Film Adaptations News [Film and TV]:

Appleseed OAV 2004 6/18/04
Aeon Flux: 2/27/04
9/1/04
9/10/04
Akira Live-Action Film 9/29/04
Animated Batman 2004 9/2/04
Batman Begins: 2/12/04 2/19/04 2/24/04 3/02/04 3/03/04 3/04/04 3/08/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 3/19/04 3/31/04 TRDL Concept Illustration 4/3/04 4/5/04 4/12/04 TRDL Concept Illustration Part 2 4/12/04 4/21/04 4/22/04 4/23/04 4/23/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 Costume Critique 5/4/04 Script Excerpts 5/7/04 6/01/04 6/04/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/15/04 6/16/04 7/6/04 7/13/04 7/20/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 Trailer 7/29/04 7/31/04 8/2/04 8/3/04 8/4/04 8/5/04 8/8/04 8/10/04 8/12/04 8/17/04 8/20/04 8/24/04 8/30/04 10/19/04
Battle Angel Alita: 9/10/04
Black Widow 4/29/04
Blade 3: Trinity: 5/4/04 6/11/04
Catwoman: 2/18/04 5/21/04 Game Concept Art 5/21/04 6/11/04 Suckage! 7/29/04
Comic Adaptations 10/13/03
Constantine: 3/08/04 5/14/04
Dazzler?!? 7/7/04
Elektra: 2/19/04 3/29/04 4/23/04 5/14/04 4/29/04 5/4/04 6/10/04 6/18/04 7/1/04 7/2/04 7/6/04 7/29/04 9/20/04 10/13/04
Fantastic Four: 6/16/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 8/3/04 9/20/04
Ghost in the Shell 2: 9/18/04
Global Frequency: 6/15/04 7/16/04 8/17/04
Good Time For Comic Films! 5/14/04
Green Lantern?!?: 7/24/04 Koboshed 8/8/04
Hawaiian Dick: 4/21/04 Interview 4/22/04
He-Man: 10/11/04
Hellboy: 2/12/04 Interview: Del Toro 2/20/04
3/03/04 3/9/04 3/17/04 Personality Test 3/17/04 Figures Released 3/29/04 Toys Addendum 3/30/04 Choose the Next Figures! 4/21/04 Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04 Interview: Selma Blair 3/30/04
Interview: Spectral Motion 4/5/04 Caught On Film in '62! 4/21/04 Interview: Selma Blair, CafeFX 4/28/04 Hellboy Collaborator Medical Fund Auction! 5/4/04 DVDs 7/7/04 7/28/04 8/3/04 8/5/04 8/25/04 8/31/04 Hellboy 2: 3/29/04 4/8/04 6/03/04 8/27/04 9/1/04
9/14/04
Hulk 2? 5/4/04 9/7/04

Hulk Op-Ed 7/14/04
Iron Man: 3/03/04 4/23/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 9/14/04
8/2/04 8/10/04
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 9/8/04
Preacher FX 4/29/04
Sin City: 3/19/04 4/04/21 4/04/29 4/05/19 5/21/04 6/01/04 6/11/04 7/1/04 7/26/04 7/28/04 7/20/04 8/11/04 9/15/04
Spider-Man 2: 2/18/04 3/29/04
Spider-Man 3: 5/4/04 5/14/04 6/10/04 7/13/04 Spider-Man 2 Game Screenshots 6/8/04 Spider-Man 2 [trailer commentary]
Superman: 5/21/04 6/03/04 6/09/04 6/10/04 6/28/04 7/1/04 7/13/04 7/14/04 7/20/04 8/5/04 8/10/04 8/27/04 8/31/04 9/10/04 9/15/04 10/19/04 [2] 10/19/04
Transformers: 9/10/04
Wanted 3/03/04
Watchmen: 4/4/23 4/7/24 7/24/24 8/12/04 9/10/04
Wolverine: 10/13/04
X-Men 3: 7/20/04 5/4/04 6/18/04 7/7/04 7/8/04 7/14/04 7/15/04 7/20/04 8/27/04 Aborted Sentinel? 9/2/04 9/7/04 9/15/04

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Film News, General:

A Scanner Darkly Film Adaptation
Akira: Kaneda's Bike in Production? 8/28/04
Aliens Vs. Predator: 6/2/04 Chess Set 5/26/04 6/8/04 Trailor 6/11/04 6/28/04 7/8/04 [trailer commentary] 8/5/04 8/8/04 7/15/04 8/12/04
Anchorman 7/13/04
Big Lebowski Day! 5/5/04
Bloodrayne 8/10/04
Bond? Who Bond? 8/3/04
Bourne Supremacy: 1/6/04 Trailer: 5/4/04 7/8/04
Cage Deserves Happiness 7/31/04
Clooney/ Tarantino in the News 10/15/03
Dodgeball 6/01/04
Domino 8/3/04
HEAT vs. R:HD: Dialog Analysis 10/22/03
Heat/ GTA III: Lawsuits Imitate Life 10/23/03
Incredibles 8/23/04
Jim White Documentary 3/23/04
Kill Bill 2 Poster 2/18/04
Kill Bill Interview: Uma Thurman 4/8/04
Kill Bill Vol. 3?! 4/12/04
The Life Aquatic 1/15/04
Matrix Explained? 8/31/04
National Treasure 8/4/04
Nowhere Man 7/26/04
Pierce is Bond No More 7/27/04
Sky Captain 7/15/04
Sky High 8/17/04
Soderberg Joins Che 4/5/04
Speed Racer: Vince Vaughn 6/25/04
Stealth 7/8/04
Summer 04 Films to Watch 4/22/04
Team America Puppet Porn 8/25/04
Transporter 2 6/16/04
Van Helsing: Van Helsing WHO? 3/16/04 Interview: ILM 5/5/04 Penny Arcade 5/18/04
Underworld 2 9/7/04
WB Kills ESC F/X 8/18/04
Will Smith Lexicon 5/18/04
Zatoichi: Blind Swordsman 6/25/04
No Mas James Bond
Miami Vice on the Big Screen

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TV Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

24 Season 3: 10/29/03: 8 Whirrs 11/5/03: 6 Whirrs 2/08/04: 7 Whirrs 2/12/04: 8 Whirrs 2/18/04: 8 Whirrs 2/24/04: 9 Whirrs 4/06/04: 7 Whirrs 4/26/04: 6 Whirrs 5/03/04: 3 Whirrs 5/11/04: 9 Whirrs 5/18/04: 8 Whirrs Finale 7/8/04: 3 Whirrs
Apprentice: Robin and Carolyn 4/16/04
ATHF and Space Ghost Links 2/25/04
ATHF: Revenge of the Trees 10/13/03: 8 Clicks The Shaving 10/27/03: 7 Clicks Super Trivia 9/22/03: 8 Clicks Battlestar Galactica 1/13/04: 3 Clicks
Carnivale: 9/22/03: 10 Clicks 9/30/03: 9 Clicks
Christopher Columbus: Secrets From the Grave: 3 Clicks
CSI: 8/11/03: 1 Ook 9/26/03: 5 Clicks CSI: Miami: 7/30/03: 1 Ook 7/31/03: 6 Clicks 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Deadwood 3/24/04: 8 Clicks
Dinner for Five: 9/26/03: 7 Clicks 9/30/03: 7 Clicks
Ed: 9/26/03: 3 Clicks Series Finale 2/12/04: 7 Clicks
Emmy Nominations 04 7/15/04: 7 Clicks
Enterprise 10/13/03: 6 Clicks
Everybody Loves Raymond 9/26/03: 6 Clicks
Friends 9/26/03: 7 Clicks
Grammys: Outkast's Andre 3000 2/9/04: 10 Clicks
Law and Order Family: 9/30/03: 8 Clicks
Law and Order: 10/13/03
Law and Order: CI: 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Marvel Comics Guide to NYC: 10 Clicks
Method and Red: 9 Clicks
MI-5 10/28/03: 10 Clicks
Mix It Up 1/12/04: 8 Clicks
Mr. Show: What to Think 9/10/03: 10 Clicks
Penn & Teller's Bullshit: 9 Clanks
Reno 911!: 9 Clicks 9/7/03
Space Ghost C2C: Baffler Meal: 11 Clicks! Flipmode 2/25/04:20 Clicks Survivor 7 9/19/03: 8 Clicks
Survivor All-Stars: 2/12/04: 8 Clicks 2/13/04: 7 Clicks Tour de France 2003 8/4/03: 8 Clicks
Will & Grace 9/26/03: 7 Clicks

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TV News

24/Law and Order/CSI "That Guy" Character Actor Tracker
24: Comic Adaption 3/25/04 Season 4 Casting 8/9/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Cigarette Smoking Man Action Figure 5/26/04
CSI: CSI in Comedy Culture 6/24/04 CSI's Peterson 2/18/04 Sick outs Everywhere 7/27/04
CSI: Miami Drinking Game 2/27/04 No Mas Rory Cochrane 8/9/04
CSI:NY: 3/8/04 3/16/04 Drawn Together 8/20/04
HDTV ScreenCap Archive 8/25/04
Jessica Simpson 10/21/03
Mastershake Speaks 9/7/04
Nike's Lance Commercial: Magnet 8/18/04
Law and Order: Trial by Jury Casting 6/04/04
NBC Hijacks TiVo 1/15/04
Simpsons' Shearer Balks 8/12/04
Survivor All-Stars Cast 1/12/04
Survivor 9 8/18/04
Robbery: Homicide Division Music 9/30/03

French Connection Made for TV


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Wrongrobot's Comics Stash- Comics and Sequential Art Reviews

Comic Reviews, and the M+R Review Rating, out of 10 Possible Clicks, or Clanks, or Ooks

Comics Reviews Intro
100 Bullets: 48: 7 Clicks
52, 53: 8 Clicks
9-11, Artists Respond Collections
Alias: 24-25: 10 Clicks 26-27: 10 Clicks 28: 9 Clicks
Astonishing X-Men: 2: 8 Clicks 3,4: 9,10 Clicks
Avengers: 500: 8 Clicks 502: 7 Clicks
Batgirl Year One TPB: 10 Clicks
Batman: 620: 5 Clicks 621: 7 Clicks
Batman: Long Halloween: 7 Clanks
Bloodstream 1: 1 Click
BPRD One Shots: 9/7 Clicks
Cla$$War: 4: 8 Clicks 5: 10 Clicks
Daredevil: 50-52: 9/3/5 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56: 9 Clicks 57: 7 Clicks
65: 6 Clicks
Domino:Perfect Weapon: 8 Clicks
Exiles: 30-33: 6/4/4 Clicks 36-37: 3/6 Clicks
Ex Machina: 2, 3: 7 Clicks
Global Frequency 11: 10 Clicks
Gotham Central: 10-11: 9 Clicks 13: 9 Clicks 16-18: 9 Clicks
Hellhounds 1-3: 7 Clicks
Human Target: 4: 9 Clicks 5-6: 8 Clicks 7: 8 Clicks
12, 13: 9 Clicks
Iron Man: 73-75: 8 Clicks 76: 2 Clicks 77: 5 Clicks 86: 9 Clicks
JSA: 51-52: 7/8 Clicks 53: 8 Clicks 54: 4 Clicks 56-57: 7 Clicks 58: 3 Clicks
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2: 3 Clanks, 8 Clicks
The Losers: Ante Up TPB: 9 Clanks 6: 10 Clicks 10-11: 8/10 Clicks
16: 10 Clicks
New Invaders 0: 3 Clicks
New X-Men: 144-146: 5 Clicks 149: 3 Clicks 151-152: 2 Clicks 153: 3 Clicks
[Renamed X-Men] 159-162: 4 Clicks
Paradise X: A: 9 Clicks
Planetary: TPBs (1-12): 8 Clicks 16: 5 Clicks : 8 Clicks 18: 9 Clicks
Powers: 33: 8 Clicks 36: 9 Clicks 37: 10 Clicks V2, 1: 10 Clicks
2-4: 10 Clicks
Pulse: 5: 7 Clicks
Queen and Country: 20: 10 Clicks 21: 10 Clicks 25: 8 Clicks
The Ride 1: 9 Clicks
Secret War 1: 8 Clicks
Sleeper: 8: 10 Clicks 11: 10 Clicks 12: 10 Clicks Sleeper Season Two: 1: 10 Clicks
Supreme Power: 1-2: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 7: 10 Clicks 8: 9 Clicks 11: 8 Clicks
Tokyo Storm Warning TPB: 5 Clicks
Ultimates: 12: 10 Clicks 13: 10 Clicks
Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-2: 7 Clicks 3: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Nightmare: 1: 10 Clicks
2: 8 Clicks
Ultimate Six: 1: 10 Clicks 4: 10 Clicks 6: 9 Clicks Ultimate X-Men: 36-37: 2 Clicks
Ultra: 2: 9 Clicks
Uncanny X-Men: 429-431: 4 Clicks 433: 2 Clicks 437-441: 1 Click 444-445: 5 Clicks 446: 6 Clicks
Wanted 2: 10 Clicks
We3: 1: 10 Clicks
Wildcats 3.0: 13: 7 Clicks 16: 7 Clicks 18: 7 Clicks
X-Statix : 2: 4 Clicks 13-15: 6 Clicks 18: 4 Clicks 19: 3 Clicks

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Friends of Robot: Artists:

FoR: 36Oh.net FofR: Enrico Casarosa
FoR: Terra Major's Horns of Hattin
FoR: Losstarot
FoR: Prometheus
FoR: Studio Kosen

Comic News:

Check the Film News section for updates on comic-related film adaptations! 100 Bullets FPS Game 4/2/04
Ale Garza on Batgirl 8/5/04
Amazing Screw-On Head Cartoon 4/8/04
Apparat Line: Warren Ellis 8/25/04
The Atomic Revolution Comic 3/23/04
Authority: Nguyen Interview 5/14/04
Authority OGN 7/20/04
Avengers 500 Preview 7/1/04
Brent Anderson on Pulse, Astro City 3/25/04
Batman Begins Costume Illustration [Wrongrobot]4/3/04
Batman: War on Crime 8/31/04
Bullseye Origin Series 6/28/04
Comics For Intellectuals 9/1/04
Decompression and Pacing 9/23/03
Dillon on Bullseye 9/7/04
Doc Frankenstein by Burlyman 9/2/04
Doc Ock Year One 6/16/04
Earth's Mightiest Mini 9/3/04
Ellis and Granov on Iron Man 5/25/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Iron Man 7/31/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Explodo 8/2/04
Ellis Stream-a-Blog: Bad Kids 8/27/04
Fox Sued over LoEG Script 9/26/03
Hawaiian Dick Bk 2 8/23/04
Hack/Slash book 2 6/18/04
Hal Jordon and Copyrights 8/20/04
Hellboy: An Introduction 3/30/04
IDW's 24 Comic 3/25/04
Iron Man Facelift 9/12/03
Iron Man 87 Outtakes 8/27/04
Joss Whedon Interview: Astonishing X-Men 8/10/04
JSA vs. JSA 8/12/04
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 3 6/1/04
Marvel Vs. DC 8/31/04
Masamune Shirow 10/15/03
Micro-Heros Animated GIFs 4/6/04
Morrison on JLA: Hyperclan and Superman 6/1/04
Morrison's WE3 9/1/04
New Avengers 8/18/04
Nguyen Confirmed on Authority Vol.3 5/14/04
Nouvelle Manga Manifesto 6/11/03
Ocean 8/9/04
Orson Welles as Batman? 9/26/03
Phoenix Mini-Series 8/20/04
Poorly Drawn Animals 8/2/04
Remains: Niles/Dwyer Interview 3/12/04
Scurvy Dog: Yount Interview 1/15/04
SD Comicon Visual Oddities 7/31/04
Space Ghost 7/31/04
Spandex vs Leather 4/6/04
Steven Grant on 'Literature of Ethics'
The Losers: Diggle/Jock Interview 3/11/04
The Picture of Everything 1/15/04
The Question: Rick Veitch 9/1/04
The Question: Tommy Lee Edwards 9/2/04
Teddy Roosevelt From Mars 8/20/04
Tom Coker: Batman in Monolith 8/30/04
Tony Harris Pages from new Iron Man Arc
Ultimates: Bryan Hitch Interview 9/12/03
Ultra 8/18/04
Watchmen Remembered 8/12/04
WizardWorld LA Promo Art 3/22/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 8/13/04
WonderCon 2004 Buzz 2 8/17/04
WonderCon 2004 Dance-Off 8/18/04
Worlds Finest Film 7/26/04
World's Finest Interview 8/4/04
Young Avengers 8/20/04
Identity Crisis Covers
Honey Moon, The Ride, Rex Steele, Shirow, Megacity909
Comic Preview: Intimates, Iron Man
TSR Illustrator Terminally ill
Twinkie Comics, Avengers Dissembled Toy-style
Interview: Mark Millar of Ultimates
Interview: Cliff Chiang of Human Target
Star Trek Manga Anthology from Tokyopop
Pop Mahn to TokyoPop
Granov Iron Man Preview Pages
Image Comics Moves to Berkeley

Film Review: The Bourne Supremacy
8/06/2004



Bourne Supremacy: There is a scene in this summer's widescreen sequel to Doug Liman's stellar Bourne Identity, in which Matt Damon, as Jason Bourne, holds a pistol to the crown of a woman's head, screaming and wigging out with rage and frustration, as she cowers in wracking sobs. That one scene could act as a compressed 30 second summary of this film. Thanks to Paul Greengrass' darting, intense direction, Bourne Supremacy is a very different animal than it's predecessor, and this refreshing urgency makes the sequel it's own film, to great effect.

When we left Jason Bourne at the end of the first film, he had surfaced in the seaside scooter rental shop that film campanion Marie (Franke Potente) had established with his hand-me-down fortune. There was an exuberant, hopeful air to the scene, as they embraced, the Swiss banker's burlap bag now retrofitted into a flower vase behind them, as the camera panned back on a lush, exotic paradise, suggesting to those with no pre -existing knowledge of the character or the novels, that they might now have a chance at happiness and psychological health, as Chris Cooper's excellently gray Agent Conklin was dispatched by his own CIA thugs at the behest of his boss, greasy Ward Abbot (played with realistic squirminess by wet-lipped Brian Cox) in an effort to clean up loose ends on an embarrassing covert operation now unpopular in the current intelligence community climate. As Abbot intoned to a Congressional committee of Project Treadstone's closure (being a "training exercise," ) Liman had allowed us to witness that great final pan, the shot of geography and up-tempo music that suggested, at least to me, that somebody was in for a rude awakening. The quirky happy ending was so inconsistent with the rest of the film that it had to be either studio-coerced test marketing revisionist bullshit (seemingly unlikely given how much of Liman's career was already flushed half way through the production, if the buzz about his clashes with studio brass is to be believed) or the perfect set-up to the sequel already in pre-production, the false hope of a doomed man on the run.

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SPOILER TIME, CHILDREN!

Paul Greengrass, working from a script adaptation by Tony Gilroy, wastes no time in bringing the audience not only back to reality within the first five minutes of Supremacy, but sets the tone for the film before the end of the scene. In short order, we discover that the fantasy Mediterranean vista of the last film's end has been severely downgraded to hiding out in the farthest corner of the planet, in India's Goa, in sweltering heat and humidity and the most spartan living conditions that seemingly have been reduced to basic survival readiness: bags packed by the door, no possessions, and one eye open. Bourne is haunted by more disassembled memories, now of a more heinous past mission that appears to have actually been completed, and his patience is wearing thin with the whole amnesia thing.



It's clear from a few sparse exchanges that they have been on the run from assassins since, oh, about seventeen seconds after the last film ended, likely, we assume, sent by Abbot back at Central Intelligence. That cheeky Bastard! And within the first fifteen minutes of the movie, Bourne's run out of places to run, and his only tether to the life he can never have is floating away from him in those murky, very likely throughly virused waters. The rest of the film sees him taking the fight back to the CIA, mistakenly assuming that the hit that claims Marie's life was by the Company, while his recent framing of an ambush hit on a CIA operation in Berlin leads his opponents to the same wrong conclusion about him. It's a pretty simple plot device, and done quite well, because it's so simple. No elaborate Big Brother threads of false correspondence and traffic and evidence that might have been presented had, say, Tony Scott used such a device in Enemy of the State, that creepy film artifice that a conspiracy can be so utterly and completely woven such that the character has no hope of getting out from under the frame-up. In this case, it's more than plausible. Abbot's been sending guys after Bourne non-stop since the showdown in Paris, and it's easy enough to pit one antagonist against another by a clever fringe presence in the spook community. And if this set-up is to deflect the CIA from the real actions of their corrupt Russian politicial target, the resolution of this plot device is as casually dismissed as is warranted: the reason for Bourne's dogged pursuit has nothing really to do with the political aspirations or corrupt conspiracies or any of that business: it's all about Abbot's personality flaw, his fear of reprisal, that has kept him sending hit squads after Bourne, convinced the former agent is going to appear one day out of the shadows of his hotel room, which he ultimately does. The film, in a sense, is a tragedy play about Abbot's petty fear. If Bourne is the living (and pissed) manifestation of his knee-capped conscience, then one wonders if this was almost suicide by protagonist...clearly,on the surface, he's been doing everything possible to keep the Treadstone Project dead and his name off of any reports, and as Joan Allen's Pamela Landy begins to dig into Bourne's past, you can see Abbot slowly having a coronary. His fear is palatable, and we don't even need to know how deep he is with the Russians, and how he has been betrayed by his political co-conspirator, in order to understand that he was as dirty, and responsible, for the abuse mentally-unhinged agents like Bourne had suffered, as Conklin. It's actually kind of amusing watching him trying to piss on Landy's working theory that Concklin had been using Treadstone to reap benefits, like a CIA-funded private mercenary squad for hire on the black intelligence market. As she's floating this theory, you're thinking it's a plot device meant to allow her and her team to villify Bourne- he's a murdererous rogue agent, and a corrupt man as well, in cahoots with his enemy of the first film. I was distracted by this bait and switch, or what appeared to be one, that I didn't immediately realize that Conklin HAD been using Bourne that way, under Abbot's guidance, and the only one of them unaware of it was Bourne himself.



Anyway, the film is payback without the thrill of revenge. It isn't pleasant. It's often vulgar.
There's no grim satisfaction to Bourne's actions or the turn of events at the end of the movie. It's just a matter of inevitable fact: Bourne wants to be left the fuck alone, and if you won't let him (and you murder his hot German love interest) he's going to kill you in a blurringly fast little display of krav maga.

:::


The cast in Supremacy is pretty much without fault. I found I wanted to see Rade Serbedzija (Snatch's Boris the Blade) as the corrupt Russian politico, though admittedly he's played that role in one way or another in like eighty-five films (the least of which is the first to come to mind, in The Saint, which in my memory has somehow been distilled down to a melange of Boris the Blade pontificating in a theater, Elizabeth Shue sparking some serious erotic office fantasy imagery, and Val Kilmer lounging like he's on the Sistine ceiling in some hokey getup that screams HIPPY COSTUME! ONLY $9.95!) so maybe it's a good thing he wasn't in this film. Some old favorites are back, offering remarkable visual continuity despite a new production crew.



Julia Stiles does a mesmerising job here. Her role is small, but crucial. She completely owns her part, as a young agent, easily assumed to be inexperienced, who has the common sense and background to understand what Bourne is capable of, and the level- headedness and professionalism to allow herself to be the bait in their gambit to capture, or rather assassinate, the rogue hitman, and manages to do so without appearing to be the victim in this exchange. She knows when she's in over her head, and how serious the problem is, and doesn't even try to get out of it. It's remarkable how intense and suspenseful that subway toilet stall scene is, as mentioned above, because while you don't really sense that he's going to actually shoot her, you can tell HE doesn't know what he's going to do, and given that she was standing right there in
the last one, and was spared only by circumstance (I actually thought she was meant to have died in that scene, that he was looking off-screen at her fallen body, but that the footage was cut out of the theatrical release...) her fear is completely palatable.



Joan Allen commands her role with an interesting edginess and care, a woman ambitious but emotionally responsible for the deaths of her agents, who has built a career on cutting through the macho insider bullshit of Washington, but knows when to trust her people, such as her assistant Tom Cronin (Tom Gallop, from Zero Effect and of course Will & Grace) who refreshingly never betrays her or makes a serious judgment error or ends up kidney punctured in a basement mechanical room.



The same can't be said for Gabriel Mann's Danny Zorn, who's youthful dedication to Conklin in the first one I found interesting (Conklin surrounded himself with young, ambitious but devoted agents, like Mann and Stiles, and Bourne himself, all less likely to question what they are asked to do than a seasoned vet) and who's fate here is predictable at the end, but genuinely painful to watch.



Brian Cox turns in another picture-perfect performance, though here he isn't as brazenly confident as in the first film, as he is pretty much consistently behind the eight-ball here, and it's fun to watch him sweat (literally.)



Karl Urban, a Kiwi recognizable stateside for his prominant role in the Lord of the Rings, does an excellent, uderstated job as the Russian assassin pulling strings and firing ballistic weapons, and his creepy dead numbness is a perfect counterpoint to Bourne's emotional frustration. He plays an emotionless killer without bing robotic. Plus, I read that he had a bad case of 'Delhi Belly' the day he had to film his great Goa chase scene, so I wince just thinking about all that sloshing about. Of course Matt Damon owns Bourne so well that no one could replace him in the role. His brow is furrowed, his eyes tormented, his physicality raw but retrained. It seemed sometimes like the movie was comprised of eight or so action scenes interspersed with him shuffling tensely from place to place. I love that about this actor. He's never boring, in a role that would be disastrous in the hands of a showboater.



Finally, poor Marie: Franke Potente was such a huge part of the soul of the first film. Hers was the first romantic lead that was written, and performed, plausibly as someone who would follow a relative stranger around the world and into extreme peril, and despite being scared shitless, still found Matt Damon pretty damn hot in the lavatory. Her character is broadcasting weariness and helplessness in the bginning of Supremacy, and the change in tone is apparent, even before we see her floating into the underwater gloom. I actually really appreciated the suddenness with which she is dispatched, mid-sentence, as unfortunately, in reality, death often seems so unexpected and premature.

:::


The krav maga sequences are fewer and muddier, to my disappointment. The first one was memorable for the brilliant hand-to-hand combat on display that was dirty and efficient. We see a few quick disarms, and a long sequence of Damon beating the living shit out of the last known Treadstone agent, who was piercing and reminiscent of Clive Owen's turn in the first film, but overall Damon's action in this outing is either brilliantly cunning improvisation, or vehicular manslaughter. In several scenes, we are essesntially floored by Bourne's quick-thinking problem- solving: he swaps and copies a cell phone DID chip in like ten seconds, in order to ghost a consul's calls, plays cat-and-mouse at a Moscow train depot with legions of cops and assassins, builds a detonator out of that Treadstone guy's toaster, and manipulates the little details of the system in order to seekout an abstract target (Landy) by doing ground-level relearch and then some sneaky spy work at the hotel. It's all exhilarating in the detail, down to the subtlety in which we see him notice information and file it away for future use, like the protest rally posters en route to Berlin.



On the other hand, once he gets behind the wheel, this movie actually manages to provide a chase sequence that towers over the best in cinema history (The French Connection, To Live and Die in LA, etc) by offering such a kinetic, visceral sense of the impacts and the kinetic thrust of the vehicles, and how desperately instantaneous the shit flies when you're hurtling against the flow of traffic in a ravaged taxicab, chased by a bad-ass Kiwi in a bad-ass Mercedes SUV, slingshoting 3-valve econoboxes at one another that spin wildly away like flotsam. I don't think I breathed through that entire sequence, and I know I never stopped grinning. I even appreciated the fact that Urban's Kirill didn't try to drive his Peugot or whatever off road in pursuit of Bourne and Marie in the Jeep- he immediately ditched the car, and broe into a sprint through the field while simultaneously assembling a sniper rifle (which, had he not had the aforementioned unbecoming plumbing, we might have seen in one continuous take.)

:::

Greengrass has turned in that rare sequel that doesn't ask to be compared to it's predecessor, but stands on it's own, with a dark and urgent tone and a sense of realism that you could almost taste. It wasn't better or worse than the seminal Bourne Identity, but it was an excellent project on it's own.

10/10 Clicks
So says...Wrongrobot!












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