When a body is recovered at sea still alive, the mystery man (Damon) seems to have forgotten everything in life, including who he was. Eventually he begins to remember smaller details in life and soon finds out that his name was Jason Bourne. What he doesn't like is the gun and fake passports belonging to him. Now Bourne, and his new friend, Marie Helena Kreutz (Potente) travel from country to country in search of his new identity. But someone is not happy to see him alive, and is frantically trying to track him down.Written by
The birth dates on the passports are cover details for the different identities (e.g., the Bourne identity). They would never list his real birthday. See more »
When Jason is briefing Marie, before she goes into the hotel lobby, he asks her what the number for the payphone is. She responds, "616-2468" (a 7 digit number). In Paris, pay phones and fixed phones have number 01XXXXXXXX (10 digits), usually given in pairs. See more »
He went out the window... why would someone do that?
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A thunderstorm sounds in the background of the Universal logo. See more »
According to Doug Liman's audio commentary on the American DVD, the European version of the film contains an additional 1:00 scene, which was cut to make the film shorter in the US. It is included among the bonus features on the American DVD and involves Jason and Marie eating with Eamon and his children at their farmhouse. In the scene, Jason makes a connection with Eamon's young son, setting up the scene a few minutes later when Marie finds Jason looking down at the sleeping children. See more »
Written by Moby
Performed by Moby
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc. / Mute Records Ltd. See more »
Hooray for decent, more realistic spy films!
I have grown extremely tired of the typical formula spy film like Bond, or the juvenile stunt exhibition "Triple X." There have been a bare handful of spy films that feature relatively realistic spy thrillers, especially recently with a concentration on spectacular movies that have less substance than cotton candy.
Besides "The Bourne Identity," "Ronin" is the only other recent spy movie I can think of that didn't feature skydiving, bungie jumping, skiing downhill while shooting innumerable bad guys, laser pens, cars with ejection seats, or silicone breasted women with names you'd be vaguely embarrassed to say in front of your mother. Most of the crap that passes for an espionage film has no plot or reason for existing other than to meet a quota of explosions and cleavage in order to draw the summer action film crowd.
While "Bourne" does not have a particularly deep plot, it is consistent and focused. The focus is entirely upon Bourne and how he is to deal with having no memory of his past, being hunted without knowing why. Some people have complained about being confused by the movie. I for one, do not need to have everything spelled out since in many cases this smacks of unreality in the first place; the essence of espionage is drawing conclusions from very sketchy information. If you can't handle a little of that, you probably should stick to Disney films or TV's Scooby Doo where everything is explained in the end. We never find out about what is in the case in "Ronin" and I can live without some information being filled in about Bourne's past.
To those who have moaned about the incompatibility of the book and the movie, seek help. There are probably several things that work in the book that would either be boring and take too much screen time to explain, or would be viewed as cliche to modern screen audiences. As I remember, I liked the book, and I definitely like this movie. I view any movie adaptation as an interpretation of the book rather than a translation from words to pictures anyway.
As for realism, most of the action scenes are believable, no super-gadgets are to be seen, no incredibly lovely models fall madly in bed with Bourne, and the hero shows definite signs of physical vulnerability despite a very high level of training and competance. As someone who has trained in martial arts for over 10 years, unrealistic fight scenes are a pet peeve. The fights in "Bourne" are fast, nasty, and very realistic while still being entertaining for the layman. (And yes, taking a gun away from some idiot who is standing well within your striking radius without getting shot is definitely doable, though I had serious doubts until we tested it for ourselves with plastic dart guns in the dojo several years ago).
While not being perfect, "The Bourne Identity" is, simply put, several grades above the typical spy film. Being focused on an individual level rather than involving itself huge political ramifications lends it another layer of respectability rather than detracting from it as some comments have implied since it remains a human problem on a comprehensible scale. The mysteries that are left are bigger mysteries for Bourne than us, and I think should be viewed as intentional omissions rather than loose ends. The implausibilities are kept to a minimum and the realism to as high a level as possible while still being spectacular enough to meet the expectations of the genre.
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