Starring Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper and Clive Owen. Rated M:
More than 20 years
after Robert Ludlum penned the classic spy thriller with a twist, Universal
Pictures digs it up, dusts it off and gives it the big-budget, seat-of-the-pants
treatment it deserves.
Yes, it has been
brought to life before and, while the Richard Chamberlain/Jaclyn Smith tele-movie
of 1988 wasn't a bad effort, it took the money and technology of 2002 Hollywood
to really deliver.
Matt Damon, while
probably just a little young for the part, was none-the-less well cast as the
undercover CIA agent fished from the Mediterranean after barely surviving a
very sensitive, but failed, black-ops assassination of a central African political
two bullets from his back and a strange little laser torch from his thigh, his
French-fishermen saviours deliver him back to France two weeks later, to begin
piecing the rest of his life together.
Having no recollection
of who or -- more importantly - what he is, Jason Bourne eventually finds his
identity - in fact, several identities - in a Swiss-bank deposit box.
Upon visiting the
local US Embassy, Bourne, with the awareness and guile of a master spy, begins
to realise he is being watched.
When Embassy staff
- the kind with little curly wires in their ears - try to detain him, all hell
breaks loose and Jason Bourne, without knowing how or why, automatically, calmly
and expertly fights his way out of a now locked down, high-security sovereign
Buying the loyalty
and assistance of pretty girl with a bit of bottle, Bourne heads for Paris,
his next and only clue to who he is, where he comes from, and why he can do
the things he does with such ease and confidence.
Although the Embassy
scene warms us up for action, to this point The Bourne Identity seems to be
taking us down the road to intrigue rather than excitement. But that's about
to change. Get ready for some of the best fight scenes you'll see in a long
The Bourne Identity
is set in Europe and, although it is a Hollywood-moneyed film, it still manages
to exude all the atmosphere, feel, tension and credibility of classic European
greats from similar stables - The Professional, Ronin or even Frantic for example.
I rarely notice or remember soundtracks, but this one stood out for me -- it was very quiet/subdued or even, for the most part, absent -- which made for a very eerie atmosphere that kept my heart in my throat and my arse on the edge of the seat.