The Bourne Supremacy
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A Note about Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Bourne Supremacy can be found here.

After laying low for two years with girlfriend Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) in the small seaside village of Goa, India and attempting to piece together his memory from flashbacks in his dreams, ex-Treadstone operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is forced to go on the run again when he is targeted for death by Russian assassin Kirill (Karl Urban). At the same time, in Berlin, CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) and CIA Chief Ward Abbott (Brian Cox) also set out to capture him...hopefully alive.

Yes. The Bourne Supremacy (1980) is a 1987 novel by American author Robert Ludlum [1927-2001]. It was adapted for the screen by screenwriter Tony Gilroy. The Bourne Supremacy is a sequel to The Bourne Identity (2002) and is followed by The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and The Bourne Legacy (2012).

Landy was investigating the theft of $20 million from the CIA that happened seven years before. She had learned that the CIA agent who stole the money was named by Russian journalist/politician Vladimir Neski in the "Neski Files," and Neski himself was probably assassinated over this, so she wanted to get her hands on the files. She offered $3 million for them and sent an agent to complete the exchange in an office building in Berlin. During the exchange, an assassin planted Bourne's fingerprint on a bomb in the building's basement, killing the agent and the source, along with stealing the files and the $3 million. Consequently, Landy switched her investigation to Jason Bourne.

Abbott and Russian oil millionaire Gretkov (Karel Roden) conspired to make money out of Russian oil by buying 'drilling rights' in the Caspian Sea using the CIA $20 million that went missing (actually stolen by Abbott). Neski was in the way by opposing the privatization of oil and was about to reveal the identity of the thief, so Abbott called in newly-trained Bourne to kill him. Mrs Neski was simply in the way. This was Bourne's first hit.

It is not entirely explained in the movie, other than Jason Bourne stating to Marie that they probably got careless. It could mean that they were too exposed in their communications. We know from the previous movie that Marie was a drifter with many contacts and from the next movie that she has a brother. It is possible that her communications with friends or family were monitored by Threadstone, who learned where she was and naturally assumed Bourne was with her. We also see Bourne burning most of his documents, which may mean that Threadstone knew about some of their assumed identities and knew how to trace those to India. Abbott could then simply relay this information to Gretkov, who hired Kirill and send him there. Kirill later shows papers which identify him as a member of the Russian Secret Service (unless these are fake), so he may also have had access to databases and agencies that could help trace Bourne and Marie.

Kirill didn't know that Jason and Marie had switched places in the car. He thought that Bourne was still driving, so that's where he aimed.

Abbott's name was mentioned in the Neski file as a traitor, which is the reason why he had Bourne assassinate Neski seven years earlier. When the Neski file resurfaced and nearly came into Pamela Landy's possession, Abbott had to try and keep it out of her hands and keep her from digging into the Treadstone project. He tried to shift suspicion to Alexander Conklin (Chris Cooper) who was already dead and could not defend himself. Abbott set up Bourne as the one who had killed Landy's agents and stolen the file. Abbott also asked his partner Gretkov to hire an assassin to get rid of Bourne in India because, with Bourne out of the way, it would be a dead end for Landy's investigation. Bourne was the ideal scapegoat anyway, as he was the one who silenced Neski, so it made some sense that Bourne would try to finish his mission and get rid of Neski's surviving testimony. The big flaw in the plan was that Bourne was supposed to die in India, which did not happen. On the contrary, this only caused Bourne to become personally involved in the plot.

In an earlier scene, when Bourne was talking to Landy on her cellphone, he tells her that he wants Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), who is standing next to Landy, to meet him in the Alexanderplatz and that Landy should give her cellphone to Nicky. When Bourne calls Nicky, he is calling her on Landy's cell.

How does the movie end?

After apologizing to Irena Neski (Oksana Akinshina) for killing her parents, Bourne returns to New York City and telephones Landy to ask why the CIA is still looking for him. She replies that she just wanted to apologize (off the record) and thank him for sending her the tape on which Abbott admitted his involvement in the theft of the $20 million. In return, she tells him that his real name is David Webb and that he was born on 15 April 1971 in Nixa, Missouri. She suggests that he come in so that they can talk about it, but Bourne looks out the window and replies 'Get some rest, Pam. You look tired,' startling her when she realizes that, once again, he's watching her. In the final scene, Bourne walks down the street and disappears into the bustling crowd.

Those who have both seen the movie and read the book say that the two stories are very different. In the book, David Webb is forced back into the violent cloak and dagger world of Jason Bourne when Marie is kidnapped, and he soon finds himself knee-deep in a CIA conspiracy that also involves a mysterious assassin who has carried out a number of kills using his name. Although it follows the book's basic storyline, the film makes some major changes in the details, in particular, the locations (China versus Europe) and Marie's fate.The story in the book has nothing much to do with Treadstone except some flashback scenes and references to it. More information about the novel can be obtained here.

Of course, see The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Ultimatum, the other two movies in the Bourne series. For other movies that feature special agents facing deadly complications, try xXx (2002), in which an athlete is recruited by the government to infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring. In The Transporter (2002) , an ex-special forces operator, now working as a goods transporter who asks no questions, breaks the rules and peeks at his latest cargo. There's Three Days of the Condor (1975), in which a CIA researcher must outwit hit men bent on killing him. In The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), lost memories of herself as a top-secret agent begin to surface in an ordinary housewife. In Bullitt (1968), a cop searches for the killers of a witness that he was supposed to be protecting. Two cops attempt to intercept a big heroin shipment coming from France in The French Connection (1971). Also recommended by those who have seen The Bourne Identity are the Jackal movies -- The Day of the Jackal (1973) and The Jackal (1997) -- in which a professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" is sent on secret missions. Also consider the Ocean movies -- Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's Thirteen (2007) -- in which Danny Ocean and his team of gangsters attempt to pull off major heists, and any of the James Bond films. Finally, you can check out Taken (2009), another thriller which involves an ex-CIA operative tracking down his daughter's kidnappers in Europe.

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