A lot of sequels follow the formula of basically correcting the mistakes of earlier films. Here, we’ve got two corrections: Charles Bronson’s Paul Kersey is back on the mean streets of New York, not the milquetoast sunny Los Angeles of Death Wish 2. And gone is the moral ambiguity of that first film: now Kersey’s a damned superhero. Having lost his old war buddy to a gang hit, Kersey and Chief Shriker (the late Ed Lauter) take to the streets to erase all ambiguity and blow the crap out of all the city’s scum. The final moments are practically a shoot-‘em-up side-scroller.

Doug Liman’s first film in the series is a siwft and entertaining espionage thriller. But it’s the sequel that cements director Paul Greengrass’ shaky-cam aesthetic. Here, Bourne is finally gaining an awareness of his status not as a spy, but as a weapon. And while the political sensibility results in a deeper film, this is also the movie where Matt Damon lets loose and creates an absolute martial arts monster. Worth it alone for the sequence where he beats a villain up with a rolled-up magazine before sticking it in a toaster to blow up a building.

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