Film: The Bourne Identity

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Film:

The Bourne Identity

Director: Doug Liman
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Genres:
Distributor: Universal Studios

Freely adapted from Robert Ludlum’s 1980 bestseller, The Bourne Identity starts fast and never slows down. The twisting plot revs up in Zurich, where amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), with no memory of his name, profession, or recent activities, recruits a penniless German traveler (Run Lola Run’s Franka Potente) to assist in solving the puzzle of his missing identity. While his CIA superior (Chris Cooper) dispatches assassins to kill Bourne and thus cover up his failed mission, Bourne exercises his lethal training to leave a trail of…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Freely adapted from Robert Ludlum’s 1980 bestseller, The Bourne Identity starts fast and never slows down. The twisting plot revs up in Zurich, where amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), with no memory of his name, profession, or recent activities, recruits a penniless German traveler (Run Lola Run’s Franka Potente) to assist in solving the puzzle of his missing identity. While his CIA superior (Chris Cooper) dispatches assassins to kill Bourne and thus cover up his failed mission, Bourne exercises his lethal training to leave a trail of bodies from Switzerland to Paris. Director Doug Liman (Go) infuses Ludlum’s intricate plotting with a maverick’s eye for character detail, matching breathtaking action with the humorous, thrill-seeking chemistry of Damon and Potente. Previously made as a 1988 TV movie starring Richard Chamberlain, The Bourne Identity benefits from the sharp talent of rising stars, offering intelligent, crowd-pleasing excitement from start to finish. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

At first glance, boyish Matt Damon might strike you as unsuited to play a formidable secret agent, but he does remarkably well in the role in this intricate, action-packed, and well-crafted spy thriller. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity opens with the rescue of a badly wounded amnesiac (Damon), who carries beneath his skin a tiny capsule bearing the number of a Swiss bank account. Upon recovering, the befuddled young man claims a veritable fortune—and passports bearing several different names—from his safety deposit box. Understandably eager to find out which one of these identities is his real one, he hires a young Gypsy woman (Run Lola Run’s Franka Potente) to drive him to Paris. From this point, the script by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron gets incredibly complicated; the Damon character, who uses his “Jason Bourne” identity for the time being, becomes the object of repeated assassination attempts, which he foils by employing skills he never knew he had. Fine character actors Chris Cooper and Brian Cox are chillingly convincing as CIA bigwigs who decide that “Bourne” must be eliminated and assign their top assassin (Clive Owen) to do the job quickly and, if possible, quietly. Doug Liman (Swingers) directs with headlong single-mindedness, hurling his protagonist into one death trap after another and extricating him with dizzying speed. Wintry European exteriors and drab interior settings give the film a grayish cast, but The Bourne Identity isn’t about pretty pictures; it’s about international intrigue and one man’s refusal to be a pawn in some sinister, global chess game. Improbable but engrossing, The Bourne Identity will keep you poised on the edge of your chair. Ed Hulse

Related Works

Book:The Bourne Identity: A Novel

The Bourne Identity: A Novel

Robert Ludlum

Jason Bourne.

He has no past. And he may have no future. His memory is blank. He only knows that he was flushed out of the Mediterranean Sea, his body riddled with bullets.

There are a few clues. A frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the flesh of his hip. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face. Strange things that he says in his delirium—maybe code words. Initial: “J.B.” And a number on the film negative that leads to a Swiss bank account, a fortune of four million dollars, and, at last, a name: Jason Bourne.

But now he is marked for death, caught in a maddening puzzle, racing for survival through the deep layers of his buried past into a bizarre world of murderous conspirators—led by Carlos, the world’s most dangerous assassin. And no one can help Jason Bourne but the woman who once wanted to escape him.

Film:The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy

Paul Greengrass

Good enough to suggest long-term franchise potential, The Bourne Supremacy is a thriller fans will appreciate for its well-crafted suspense, and for its triumph of competence over logic (or lack thereof). Picking up where The Bourne Identity left off, the action begins when CIA assassin and partial amnesiac Jason Bourne (a role reprised with efficient intensity by Matt Damon) is framed for a murder in Berlin, setting off a chain reaction of pursuits involving CIA handlers (led by Joan Allen and the duplicitous Brian Cox, with Julia Stiles returning…

Film:The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum

Paul Greengrass

Matt Damon returns as highly trained assassin Jason Bourne, who is on the hunt for the agents who stole his memory and true identity. With a new generation of skilled CIA operatives tracking his every move, Bourne is in a non-stop race around the globe as he finally learns the truth behind his mysterious past. Loaded with incredible fight and chase sequences, it’s the exhilarating movie with “mind-blowing action” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) that you can’t afford to miss!

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