The Bourne Supremacy

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Bourne Supremacy Movie Poster Image
Second in trilogy is a smooth but violent thriller.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 90 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 39 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Good ultimately triumphs over evil, but not necessarily before leaving tragedy in its wake. Despite the enormity of sorrow and anger generated by his enemies, the hero's actions prove that a human being can stay true to his values even in the worst circumstances.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jason Bourne has set very high standards for himself, so in spite of the violence inherent in his pursuit of the villains, he is honorable, fair, and in control. He's an admirable action hero: clever, courageous, moral, and unwavering in his quest for justice. Some members of government agencies (both U.S. and foreign) are portrayed as corrupt and ruthless; others are models of public service: devoted to duty, honesty, and fairness.

Violence

The frequent hard-edged action results in multiple deaths: by gunfire, drowning, strangling, explosion, and savage hand-to-hand combat. The bloody aftermath of several of the deaths is clearly visible and disturbing. Likable characters are repeatedly at risk throughout, narrowly escaping assault rifles, knives, bombs, and deadly extended car chases/crashes. There's one suicide.

Sex

One revealing bikini top is seen, along with one brief shot of a pole dancer.

 

Language

Scattered swearing and harsh language: "crap," "hell," "damn," "for Christ's sake," son-of-a-bitch," "s--t," "a--hole," and one use of "f--k."

Consumerism

Westin Hotels, Bosch, Lays Potato Chips, and lots of Russian and German signage for shops, products, etc.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcoholic beverages are consumed in a few scenes: one in which the hero pretends to be drunk; another in which a character takes a strong drink just before he kills himself.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bourne Supremacy, the second entry in the Matt Damon Bourne trilogy is filled with the same intense, dark, life-and-death struggles as the others. Gunfire, explosions, tense chases, bloody fights, narrow escapes, and disturbing flashbacks contribute to the steady suspense and action. Its fast pace and pulsing music keep the viewer on edge from beginning to end. The filmmakers keep the emotional stakes high as well, so there are some profoundly sad moments. There is occasional, mostly mild, cursing, and a brief scene shows a partially clothed pole dancer in a club.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byfivebewe April 9, 2008

The first one is better

Matt Damon plays the part well, again. But the first "Bourne" story was much more nerve-wracking and twist-y. I liked it better than this one.My husba... Continue reading
Adult Written bywahoosigma April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old September 8, 2010

Great for older kids but not for young kids

This movie is a lot like the first one. It is pretty good, but the death scene might be a little scary for children. In the death scene, the person Bourne loves... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 26, 2010

Great Movie

Matt Damon is great in this action packed c.i.a. story. P.S. Bourne's got amnisia

What's the story?

In the first film, The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) was rescued from the ocean, suffering from a gunshot wound and amnesia. He eventually learned that he's a spy, but he couldn't remember who was after him. Or why. He ended up with a girl he loved and the guarantee of being left alone to try to recover the rest of his lost memories and make some new and better ones. But in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, someone's after him again. The CIA believes he was behind a recent assassination of two agents. CIA big shots Pamela Landry (Joan Allen) and Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), who knows more than he wants to tell, both try to track him down, though perhaps they have different purposes and goals. Bourne still remembers very little of what went on before he was fished out of the water. But now finding out is a matter of life or death.

Is it any good?

The Bourne Supremacy is a smooth thriller for grown-ups with lots of chase scenes and action scenes, but the mood is dark, even grim. The dialogue is smart but not smart-alecky. Instead of flashy fights where one dazzling kick to the throat knocks the bad guy out, the battles are messy and breathless and brutal. The chase scenes are like extreme bumper cars. And the primary pleasure is not some big triumph, just the fun of seeing smart people outsmarted.

Allen strides around in long, cool, black Matrix-style coats and Damon is nicely inexorable and relentless. Julia Stiles adds punch as Bourne's former liaison. She explains how the special operatives worked: "They don't make mistakes. They don't do random." When asked who is assigning Bourne's targets, she says, "Scary version? He is." Damon gets to do more action than acting, but delivers a good performance. And the last exchange of dialogue tops it all off nicely.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Bourne Supremacy compares with the first film in the triolgy, The Bourne Identity. Is it as thrilling? How does Bourne grow or change from the first film to the second?

  • Abbott says, "Conklin had these guys wound so tight they had to bust." What are the risks of training an operative like Bourne? Or of not having one? What is the impact of stress on people?

  • Does the violence inThe Bourne Supremacy ever feel over the top? Is it exciting or gruesome? Which do you think it's intended to be? Why?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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