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The Bourne Identity


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The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Identity
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Doug LimanChris Cooper, Brian Cox, Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles, Franka Potente

Synopsis: Set against dramatic European backdrops, The Bourne Identity is the story of a man (Matt Damon), salvaged, near death, from the ocean by the crew of an Italian fishing boat. When he recuperates, the man suffers from total amnesia. He is completely without identity or background...but does possess a range of extraordinary talents in fighting, linguistic skills and self-defense that speak of a dangerous past. He sets out on a desperate search—assisted by the initially rebellious Marie (Franka Potente) to discover who he really is, and why he is being pursued by assassins.

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Title
The Bourne Identity - Soundtrack
The Bourne Identity - Novel
The Bourne Supremacy - Novel
The Bourne Ultimatum - Novel
The Bourne Identity (Original VHS Version)
Bourne Identity - Widescreen DVD


The Bourne Identity Review

Review: I spent a lot of time yesterday in Paris. Well, in theory. Most of The Bourne Identity uses Paris as a backdrop as does the film CQ which I caught a few hours after Bourne. After watching both of these movies it made me think, I am surprised they don't shoot more movies there. It's a great backdrop for a romance film, for a period piece or comedy and it was perfect for The Bourne Identity, but I found so many things to be perfect about the Bourne Identity that this will be less a review than a handshake and slap on the back for the film.

Doug Liman made a great debut with Swingers, followed it up with the much praised but still under seen Go has now taken the helm and shown what he does with small character driven movies he can do with an action film and have it work on so many levels. The man is money...he's so money he's talent.

However, that is not to belittle the efforts of the two leads within the film. When I first perused the trailer I thought, Matt Damon? Super Spy. No way, no how. I don't buy it. Well, I not only bought it but can't wait until they bring the next Bourne film along. After all Robert Ludlum, who wrote the book that this film is based on, wrote two follow ups (The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) and after seeing all the packed theatre during the matinee I am sure that this is going to perform very well at the box-office. Matt Damon may very well have a little franchise on his hands.

As for Franka 'Run Lola Run' Potente...she is going to be a star. She is great, put this girl in a romantic comedy and she will excel. Put her in an action film, same thing. The girl has a modern look, a solid grasp of English with a cool German accent and can play, tough, sweet, naive all with a quick look. If I had a card like Ross on Friends has with five celebrities I could pick to sleep with...hello Miss Potente, even if she is international.

As for the story...oh, I love this stuff. We open out in the Mediterranean Sea, a man is floating out there and gets picked up by a fishing trawler. One of the men on board pulls two bullets out of his back and the coolest thing, a swiss bank account (in the form of a laser) implanted in his hip. That's a helluva way to meet Jason Bourne, a man who doesn't know who he is, how he got in the water, who shot him...but can recall all the instinctive aspects of his training to become a $30 million weapon. From that point on Bourne is trying to piece together his identity while we realize that the C.I.A. figures they have a rogue operator and wake all their sleeper agents to take the man out.

I love a good fast paced spy flick and recently we have been getting some good ones. We had Spy Game with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, The Sum of All Fears with Matt's buddy Ben Affleck...and now we can add The Bourne Identity to the pile...maybe to the top of the heap.

Director Liman adds little touches to the movie that make it excel over, say, your typical Bond film. No major whacky gadgets, character moments between Bourne and Marie (Potente) that are sweet and believable, and little spy things like taking the radio of a dead operative and grabbing a fire exit plan from the wall as his guide during a chase through an American Embassy. Smart, sensible and makes you wonder why you rarely see this kind of thing added to even run-of-the-mill spy flicks.

If I have one major beef about The Bourne Identity it was the stupid idea of casting Julia Stiles in a small, stick role. I have nothing against Stiles at all, but seriously, a small lump of coal could have played the role. She's supposed to be a C.I.A. operative in Paris but she's in the movie for about all of five minutes worth of screen time. She listens in on phone calls, and when it is mentioned she is professionally trained it comes moments after she is supposed to be sneaking through an apartment she has worked in for months and she walks into a small table making noise that she really doesn't want to be making. Unnecessary and one small glitch in an otherwise excellent little spy flick.

I give The Bourne Identity 4 stars out of 5.

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