Thoughts: I had previously watched The Bourne Trilogy for the first time about this time last year and I very much enjoyed them. The Borune Identity is a refreshing smart take on the action movie genre, with more intrigue and mystery than most other action movies. Also the tone and direction is darker and more realistic than other movies yet never sacrificing it for well filmed action scenes. At this point in Matt Damon's career he was not known as action movie star and many believed that he could not play the role but it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Because Bourne does not know who he is, it adds a slight mystery element to the movie. There have been so many other films trying to copy the direction style of the Borune movies with the shaky-cam and overall tone but little to none have actually succeeded. Although The Bourne Identity does not have quite the amount of action than the sequels have, Doug Liman's style was perfect to set the stage for bigger louder sequels. Like most action movies, there are some unrealistic scenes that draw you out of the movie more because of how real the rest of the feels.
Directed by: Doug Liman
Genre: Action, Espionage, Thriller, Suspense, Spy,
Release date: June 14, 2002
Running Time: 118 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Redefined action movies, Excellent action scenes, Original concept, Great tone and direction, Unique compared to other action movies,
Plot: The following plot summery is copied from Wikipedia.com. An Italian fishing boat crew working off the coast of Marseille, France finds an unconscious man (Matt Damon) adrift in the Mediterranean with two gunshot wounds in his back. When he wakes up, the man comes to realize he suffers from retrograde amnesia, having only one clue to his identity: the account number to a safe deposit box provided by a tiny laser projector surgically implanted in his hip. He then travels to Zürich, Switzerland to find the corresponding bank account, the man discovers he is skilled in advanced hand-to-hand combat, and fluent in German, when he instinctively defends himself from two policemen questioning him for loitering in a closed park at night.
The man arrives at the bank the next morning and finds the deposit box contains a significant amount of cash in differing currencies and several passports with his photo, but with numerous aliases. He assumes the identity on the topmost passport, "Jason Bourne," and leaves as a bank employee notifies a CIA Special Activities Division group, "Operation Treadstone," about his visit. Bourne evades the Zürich police and flees to the embassy, where he is accosted by the officials there but once again manages to elude capture. A few blocks away, he approaches Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) and offers her US$20,000 to take him to Paris to the address on his "Bourne" passport.
Meanwhile, back at CIA headquarters Alexander Conklin (Chris Cooper), the head of Treadstone, reveals to his supervisor, Deputy Director Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), that Bourne was the covert operative responsible for a failed assassination attempt on African dictator Nykwana Wombosi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Intending to sever all connections between the CIA and Wombosi, Conklin sends three highly-trained "assets" (assassins) to eliminate Bourne. Bourne and Marie arrive at the apartment in Paris, where he finds that one of his aliases, "John Michael Kane," was supposedly killed two weeks ago. The first asset, code-named "Castel" (Nicky Naude), ambushes them but Bourne subdues him after a brief fight. Marie checks Castel's bag and panics when she discovers a hit list package with photos of CCTV footage of her and Bourne at the embassy the day before. As Bourne tries to calm her down Castel escapes and jumps out the window to his death before Bourne can learn anything else. Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 9.0/10- The movie is intriguing right from the start, and watching Bourne try to discover his true identity is very entertaining. Although most anytime it’s cut to the CIA, it is not near as interesting or well acted as watching Bourne. The only real cliché is that he just happens to meet a woman so they can have a romance story thrown in but it was handled well.
Action: 8.9/10- The action is intense and this is one of the few movies that actually use shaky-cam to great effect. The speed of the fight choreography is amazing and how everything just works so well and fluently is amazing. Also the car chase was very impressive although a little unrealistic.
Acting: 8.4/10- Matt Damon gave an excellent believable performance but Franka Potente was a little annoying at times and it did not match Damon's acting skills. Although of the other actors gave solid performances.
Special effects: N/A-
Soundtrack: 8.5/10- The score compliments the action and espionage very well and the faster pace tracks added to the action scenes.
Would I Watch This Again: Most definitely, although I had already known the mystery on this second viewing of the movie. It was still very entertaining to watch and pick up on hints that I had previous not noticed.
Overall: 9.0/10- The Bourne Identity is a perfect starting point for the franchise with enough set-ups and thrills to make a top notch action thriller.
Closing comments: The Bourne Identity is an intense and original thrill ride full of intrigue that would influence action movies for years to come.
Recommended for: Spy movie fans, Matt Damon fans, Action movie fans, Espionage fans, Thriller fans, Suspense fans,