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Identity crisis

  • Dec 19, 2002
  • by
Rating:
-1
The Bourne Identity is a perfectly watchable European spy-on-the-lam jaunt, best watched (as I did) as a captive audience, imprisoned on a long-haul plane trip. It certainly appeals when the alternative is studying the emergency procedures card.

Matt Damon is credible, Robert Ludlum's plot is zippy, the central performances are solid enough (though the supporting cast is flakey, and the usually reliable Chris Cooper is plain ludicrous as Captain Trunk of the FBI).

However, any pretensions the film has to be anything more than a rehash of number of typical seventies euro-thrillers is bogus.

For one thing, the suggestions in the media that the Bourne Identity is "novel", "imaginative" or "refreshingly free of cliches" are way off the mark. I could barely see anything but retreaded cinematic technique: balaclava clad commandos abseiling through closed windows; the surgical removal of bullets, dropped clanking from forceps into tin dish, maniacal car-chases - clattering down stone staircases in Mini Coopers, if you will - cloak and dagger intrigue in the streets of old Europe: it all harks respectfully back to a time when for a film to have true class, it had to have Roger Moore or Sophia Loren in it. This is all good fun, of course, but shouldn't be confused with high concept cinema.

So if James Bond's your idea of an intelligent political thriller, the Bourne Identity is certainly a step up to the big league.

But other viewers may find it a little routine.

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This is a very different thriller, with one of the most intriguing characters I have seen in a thriller. A body is pulled from the ocean with a couple of bullet holes in the back. Amazingly, the man is still alive. He is treated by the ship's physician and slowly brought back to health. The only problem is that he lost his memory. The physician finds a metal nugget in the man that projects a bank safety deposit box number.     With no clue as to who he is, the man goes to the …
review by . January 27, 2006
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First I'm just reviewing this movie and I have never read the Bourne Novels nor have I seen the old Miniseries from 1988 so I am comparing this movie to nothing. My one and only problem with this film is the leading female actress Franka Potente (Marie), I don't know if it was her character that was annoying or just her in general. She was constantly in the way and almost making you want something to happen to her character.     It almost seems like the producers thought if they …
review by . August 26, 2004
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This is a very different thriller, with one of the most intriguing characters I have seen in a thriller. A body is pulled from the ocean with a couple of bullet holes in the back. Amazingly, the man is still alive. He is treated by the ship's physician and slowly brought back to health. The only problem is that he lost his memory. The physician finds a metal nugget in the man that projects a bank safety deposit box number.     With no clue as to who he is, the man goes to the …
review by . January 26, 2004
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I first happened to watch part of THE BOURNE IDENTITY on cable. I watched the first twenty minutes of the film before I had to leave. What I saw intrigued me enough that a few weeks later I rented the DVD. Overall, the movie wasn't too shabby. It's got some good action sequences (especially the car chase) and a few unexpected surprises. Still, the ending of the movie was a little bit of a let down, almost too cliched. The audience knew from the beginning who Jason Bourne was almost from the beginning …
review by . January 26, 2003
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THE BOURNE IDENTITY is a tightly conceived, well directed, well photographed and particularly well acted suspense thriller loosely based on the Robert Ludlum best seller. True, many liberties have been taken from the novel, but when you take the time to note that Ludlum himself is the producer, then all arguments are off. Matt Damon and Franka Potente are terrific as the amnesiac agent and his 'only friend' who helps him escape a mad and endless chase from multiple groups of would be assassins. …
review by . November 27, 2002
What can I say? I was enormously disappointed. I've been a fan of Robert Ludlum for probably 15 years. This movie was a resonably decent "action/adventure" -- but it bore little resemblence to the novel I loved.And Matt Damon? As Jason Bourne? I don't THINK so!If you want to see a somewhat entertaining example of this genre, rent -- don't buy. But if you are a purist (or at least like your book to movie translations to be recognizable) you won't care much for this one.
review by . June 14, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Good Drama and Damon is good.     Cons: Some plot holes, does not tie up all the threads.     The Bottom Line: A solid well crafted thriller.     Who am I and why am I here? These are not the questions asked of a person pondering the nature of the universe and existence, rather they are the questions asked by Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in the new thriller “The Bourne Identity” as he attempts to unravel the deadly mystery in which he …
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Olly Buxton ()
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As THE BOURNE IDENTITY begins, a man who may or may not be Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea and is hauled onto a fishing boat. When the ship's doctor examines the unconscious castaway, he discovers two bullet wounds and an implanted device that displays a Swiss bank account number. With nothing but this code, the amnesiac Bourne travels to Zurich and gains access to a safe-deposit box containing a gun, thousands of dollars in various currencies, and valid passports from numerous countries--each listing a different identity. Within minutes, Bourne is on the run from a seemingly ever-present agency, relying on language and fighting skills he didn't even know he possessed. Offering $20,000 for a ride to Paris, Bourne gains the reluctant help of the nomadic Marie (Franka Potente). Meanwhile, the shadowy organization, headed by a tough-talking bureaucrat (Chris Cooper), sends numerous assassins (including the Professor, played by Clive Owen) after Bourne and Marie.
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Details

Director: Doug Liman
Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 14, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 58min
Studio: Universal Studios
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