But, even if you missed Bourne I, if you’ve seen the ads, you know what you’re getting here: chilly European ambience, highly-trained fisticuffs, and Ronin-style car chases. The surprise here is how well everything’s executed — until the last fifteen minutes or so, when Bourne turns into R.E.M.’s The Apologist (the guy who insists on making everyone feel worse to make himself feel better), the film moves at a kinetic, captivating clip. Much credit goes to director Paul Greengrass (who also directed Bloody Sunday, which I’ve been meaning to see for awhile) for making each punch, kick, or crash provoke a shudder or a wince. (It’s nice to see a flick where the injuries actually take a toll on the hero for once…here Bourne hurts his leg two-thirds of the way through the movie and ends up limping the rest of the film.)
In sum, Her Majesty’s Secret Service should really take a gander at Treadstone…’cause while 007 was tooling around Iceland with Halle Berry last iteration, Bourne once again managed to deliver a quality cloak, dagger, and action payload.