The Bourne Supremacy

My wife and I went to see The Bourne Supremacy two weekends ago and I’m just now getting a chance to jot down my thoughts on the movie.
I heartily enjoyed it and, as a genre film, it succeeds fairly well, however, I don’t think it’s worthy of the praise heaped upon it by other reviewers. It’s simply not as good, let alone better, than the first, as many have said.
Part of this may be due to a plot twist that occurs within the first 15 minutes of the film which, while necessary in many respects, definitely subtracts something from the film (pun not intended, for those who have seen it). Most of it, though, is related to choices made by the director, I think.
I was told by someone (and have yet to independently verify this) that the film crew was forced to keep all vehicles involved in the extensive car chase below 30 mph due to Moscovite regulations, which would go a long way towards explaining why so much of that critical scene was depicted from inside Bourne’s car itself. While exciting, the chase left me feeling confined. I desperately wanted a birds-eye-view of the proceedings, one that let me note the skill and speed with which the driving was handled. I could have let this go, had this effect been constrained to the car chase alone. Unfortunately, most of the action scenes, from gun fights to fist fights suffered from the same malady. I practically wanted to shout out “Let me see the whole bloody thing! Stop hiding the good stuff just off frame!”
I must note that it was comforting, in some small way, to have the “Russians as the Bad Guys” motif again portrayed on screen. In these days of global terrorism where our enemies are far more ephemeral, far harder to track and un-PC to explicitly identify, it’s nice to have the Russkies back. It’s almost too easy to fall back into my Cold War frame of mind: “He speaks with a Russian accent! He’s not to be trusted!” It almost seems quaint. In the end, though, Russian oil magnates and the FSB serve as poor stand-ins for the good old U.S.S.R. and the KGB. They’re just not capable of exuding the same “We’re evil, we’re powerful and we’re loving every minute of it!” je ne sais quoi as the komissars of old.
All in all, though, it was an enjoyable movie and of far higher quality than your average summer “blockbuster”. I heartily await the adaptation of The Bourne Ultimatum that I am certain is to follow.