Based very loosely on Robert Ludlum's novel, the Bourne Identity is the story of a man whose wounded body is discovered by fishermen who nurse him back to health. He can remember nothing and begins to try to rebuild his memory based on clues such as the Swiss bank account, the number of which, is implanted in his hip. He soon realizes that he is being hunted and takes off with Marie on a search to find out who he is and why he is being hunted. Written by
James Bond and Ethan Hunt take notice. "The Bourne Identity" is my new standard for contemporary spy thrillers. Gone (or almost gone) are the special effects that James and Ethan rely on all too heavily. Hell, in those franchises the special effects have virtually replaced story and characters. "The Bourne Identity" has a very straightforward story to tell, a mystery that slowly unravels. Spycraft is not all about technical gizmos, but requires human brains and human brawn (and a fair amount of gunplay and car chases).
Set in various locales in Switzerland and France during the winter much of the visuals for "The Bourne Identity" are gray and damp. That's a plus, Monte Carlo and like locales can get boring. Mat Damon is great as Jason Bourne, fished from the Mediterranean mostly dead by gunshot wounds. A total amnesiac, he slowly realizes that he possesses the deadly skills of a well-trained assassin, and that someone is out to kill him. Franka Potente is equally good as the young woman swept up in his life and forced to run with him. Run or be killed.
I can't say enough good things about this movie. Doug Limon, thanks, you did a great job.
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