This 2004 spy-thriller, based on the Robert Ludlum books, is a sequel to The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne, who's forced to take up his former life as a trained assassin when a CIA operation to purchase classified Russian documents goes wrong.
Director Paul Greengrass, who replaced Doug Liman at the helm, faced a difficult task in continuing a franchise that had not only delivered huge box-office receipts, but had also received unanimous critical acclaim and had re-invigorated the dying spy-thriller genre. Despite the huge expectations and pressure to deliver, Greengrass (and returning writer Tony Gilroy) managed to achieve the nigh-impossible task of making a sequel that's better than its predecessor.
The now trademark shaky, handheld camera style that has underpinned the Bourne movies is in full force, with Greengrass upping the stakes as the fight scenes become even more brutal. The action sequences are vastly improved from the first instalment, a vicious fight scene - in which Bourne takes out a rival assassin with a rolled-up magazine - and a havoc-filled car chase through the streets of Moscow being the two stand-out highlights.
The casting continues to be another strong asset, with Joan Allen as the CIA officer trying to apprehend Bourne and Karl Urban as the Russian hitman trying to eliminate him, both giving good performances. But it's Damon who steals the show as he continues to grow into the Bourne role with increasing ease and believability.
Overall an excellent sequel that manages to both top its predecessor and set the scene brilliantly for its successor The Bourne Ultimatum. Highly recommended.