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8/10
Hooray for decent, more realistic spy films!
Sleel17 March 2003
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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9/10
What a Spy Movie Should Be Like These Days
gbheron11 December 2002
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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8/10
Don't watch this movie if you think James Bond is someone who you can meet in real life.
philip_vanderveken13 September 2004
Next to Ronin, this is one of the best action / spy movies that I've ever seen. I heard a lot of good critics, but didn't know what to think about it. I only saw it 2 years after it first appeared and I'm a little disappointed that I didn't go watch it in the cinema.

I'm not too keen on movies like James Bond and other stuff in this genre, but this one is a lot better. Normally you see the "super hero" using all kinds of weird gadgets, driving extremely fast sports cars and sleeping with ladies who look more like prostitutes than being normal women.

Jason Bourne however doesn't have all this things, which makes this movie a lot more realistic. The fights are fast and very realistic but still entertaining. The action scenes are believable, no super-gadgets, no incredibly willing women sharing his bed... Our hero even shows definite signs of physical vulnerability despite a very high level of training and competence. In the meanwhile he has to deal with amnesia, while being hunted without knowing why. In the end this is still a man which you can identify yourself with.

I would say: Go watch it when you are a fan of movies like Ronin, don't watch it if you think James Bond is a person who you can bump into on the streets when going out. Personally I would award this movie with an 8/10.
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8/10
One of the best spy films around
CAMACHO-423 October 2005
This story has been done several times in the past, most recently in "A Long Kiss Goodnight". It's also true that Doug Liman and the producers created their own Jason Bourne mythology,since this movie is different in many ways to the book. But the truth is Liman takes an old story and puts a new fast paced spin on it.

Matt Damon stars as the enigmatic assassin who just wants to figure out who he is. As he travels from city to city he's followed by CIA agents who want to dispose of him to save their own jobs. He's helped along the way by Marie played by the brilliant Franka Potente. Together they come face to face with the people that want them dead.

The cast is great and so is the story. This film should be on everyone's top ten list.
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9/10
Excellent
guinness19719 November 2005
I was pleasantly surprised with the Bourne Identity.Very rarely do I get to watch a movie that surpasses my expectations.First of all can I say that there are so many films out there that have the same regurgitated ideas and plot lines.Not many of which have any originality.

This however is one of the exceptions thankfully and pleasantly.Centred around a man who gets washed ashore and with no memory.( OK so this has been done before !!) but this movie was original.A selection box of mystery, action and great acting by all concerned.Haven't seen much of Mr Damion I have to admit but he was impressive.The photography ( can I use that term without sounding like a theatre studies student ?) was very good.In fact watching this movie was like watching one of those middle of the night foreign movies in a funny sort of way.However this was much more.

In a word this film was ORIGINAL.Well directed and well acted. Good to see a film that doesn't have to rely on spectacular special effects and painted backdrops.This film worked because it worked without any of that.( Now I am waffling)
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8/10
Realistic Spy Movie
mjw230527 December 2006
Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is a highly trained assassin, found left for dead at sea. He wakes to find he has no memory of who he is and he needs answers fast if he is to survive the attempts to erase his existence.

The Bourne Identity is excellently paced and brings a great deal of realism to the spy genre. The fight sequences are fast and believable, the car chases are accurately choreographed and the character of Jason Bourne is vulnerable and easy to identify with.

Matt Damon plays the role with apparent ease, he simply slips into the character and brings him to life. As spy thrillers go The Bourne identity one of the best around.

8/10
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10/10
Great movie, 1 very incorrect review
Chris2004T17 December 2004
This is a great movie. Unfortunately one reviewer has no knowledge towards the field of psychology. One reviewer states it's a good movie based on a completely false occurrence, that being amnesia in general. They say it doesn't exist and nobody loses their memory of their identity while retaining knowledge of everything else. This is untrue. I am currently studying to become a psychologist, it's called Dissociative Amnesia. -Dissociative Amnesia - formerly Psychogenic Amnesia, is a pervasive loss of memory of significant personal information. This disorder is characterized by a blocking out of critical personal information. Dissociative amnesia, unlike other types of amnesia, does not result from other medical trauma, such as a blow to the head. The predominant disturbance is one or more episodes of inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness - Just to prove, it's true, and does happen. So this movie is not based on something made up, similar losses of memory do happen to people. Especially people in a job such as that. So, concluding, this is a great action film, I truly enjoyed this movie along with the sequel, The Bourne Supremacy. Both are I think going to be a couple of the best movies we will see this decade (2000-2010)
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8/10
It's the little things that make this film work
Agent1014 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
While the action genre is as believable and formulaic as an NSync song, The Bourne Identity takes a much needed step to the side to watch oncoming traffic. Subtle, yet still holding true to multiple action formulas (lots of fighting, cool weaponry, and chase scenes), this film presents a new era of action film making which could be all the wave. Matt Damon, who has the unfortunate nature of watching his less talented friend Ben Affleck gain notoriety for trash movies, is an excellent choice as the CIA operative turned amnesiac Jason Bourne.

His presence is both believable and realistic, like he is some guy who looks like a bookworm. While the film's cinematography was rather average, there are moments in the film which presents actual anxiety. The viewer knows something is coming, yet the genuine far exhibited by the characters makes those moments so interesting. I thought this would be some average action, but I walked away amazed. Franka Potente played the role of Marie perfectly, even though some prettier and less talented actress could have been placed in this film. Kudos to the producers for the casting choice. 7.4/10
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9/10
An Excellent Non-Stop Action Movie
claudio_carvalho20 September 2003
The crew of a fishing vessel find a body floating in the middle of the ocean. They bring it on board and the improvised 'doctor' finds two bullets on the back and a Swiss bank account implanted in the hip of the body. The 'body' indeed is not dead but unconscious: he is Jason Bourne (Matt Dammon), a CIA secret and very well prepared agent with amnesia. During the period of fishing in the sea, he recovers his health. Once on shore, he decides to go to the Swiss bank and then to the American Consulate. There he meets Marie Helena Kreutz (Franka Potente, from 'Run Lola Run' and 'Anatomy') and they two together will pass to the most spectacular actions along the film. The great Matt Dammon and Franka Potente are perfect. This movie is everything that 'Tripple X' and 'Die Another Day' intended to be and did not offer to the viewer: a non-stop and excellent action film. Fortunately this screenplay was not in the hands of Tom Cruise, otherwise he would like to perform the role of Jason Bourne and spoil this film, as usual. It is amazing the filmography of Matt Dammon. This great actor knows how to select good screenplays. I am not familiarized with the filmography of Franka Potente ( I believe most of them has not been released on VHS or DVD in Brazil), but in 'Run Lola Run' and 'Anatomy' I liked her performance very much. One thing that called my attention along this movie was her perfect accent in English (with the exception of the 'sh....' expressions in German). The great Chris Cooper and Julia Stiles perform secondary roles along this outstanding action movie. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "A Identidade Bourne" ("The Bourne Identity")
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8/10
Fine little action flick
jadortmunder12 March 2006
I can sympathize with reviewers who had read the book and were disappointed by this film and the liberties it apparently took with the story. I've had that happen with books I've enjoyed and it can spoil a film you might otherwise have liked. I never read the book, so I was able to appreciate this film on its own merits - slick, tough, fast-paced and refreshingly devoid of the kind of nonsense that has made the Bond films harder and harder to sit through.

I'm especially impressed by the fights, which, as other reviewers have pointed out, are among the most believable martial-arts-based fight scenes ever seen. No big grand gestures or Olympian kicks - just fast, nasty moves designed to inflict maximum damage with minimum effort.

The cast is uniformly good - even Damon, who is no fave of mine, comes across believably as a man who's trained to hold it all in, but isn't sure what it all is that he's holding in. Cooper, Cox and Owen shine in their all-too-brief screen time. Potente is attractive in a real person sort of way (sigh of relief for this genre) and possesses an inner strength that makes her character's actions and reactions ring truer than what we'd get from the traditional Hollywood eye-candy girlfriend these films normally feature.

From the gritty bowels of the trawler, where Damon awakens to his situation, to the field where he confronts his most deadly assailant, the locations are the antithesis of the travel poster hotspots that Bond so frequently visits. Despite its breakneck pace (handled so well by Liman and so poorly in the sequel by his protégé), the film manages to convey a sense of melancholy that lifts it a bit above the average action thriller. Sorry book fans - it may not be your cup of Ludlum, but it's still a damn fine little action flick.
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8/10
Classy entertainment
Boyo-224 June 2002
Maybe its me, but it gives me a familiar feeling when I see a guy in a turtleneck sweater, an overcoat and a rifle. I know its a cliche, but why would this movie re-invent the medium anyway?

I also like car chases through foreign cities, passports and accents. So with all that intact, I liked 'The Bourne Identity' very much. It has all the elements of the genre. You know what you're getting and you get what you want.

There is no point in going over the plot. It gets confusing about 3/4 in but it does not matter that much. Its fun for two hours and that's it.

I have been a huge fan of Franka Potente since becoming mildly obsessed with 'Run Lola Run' and she does not disappoint. She has some real chemistry with Matt Damon and has a very sweet, inviting way about her. She is not traditional leading actress material, thank God, and I credit the producers for hiring her. Even more so when you realize that Julia Stiles has a small part in this movie. I am sure someone wanted a bigger 'name' to be Matt's female lead and it might have occured to more than one exec to switch Franka and Julia, but obviously I am glad that did not happen.

Clive Owen adds another strong performance to his resume. He has only one big scene, really, but makes the most of it. Chris Cooper and Brian Cox are known for their sturdy work and they also deliver here.

Excellent, summertime entertainment. 8/10.
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8/10
A marked difference from the original! Worth Seeing
hligy8 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Loved it (especially the pursuit through Europe).

I think Matt Damon is a strong actor with an as usual compelling performance. You know he is an assassin but you want him to succeed due to the way the story is set up.

I loved the solitary feel you have for Damon's character despite him nearly always being surrounded by random people. I also liked the down to earth fighting style used throughout the movie. Made it feel real and more grounded. Having watched the TVM original, I thought this would have to go some to enhance the story but it does it very well.

I recommend this as the solution to the incredulity of Bond films!
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8/10
Very good spy/action/thriller movie
destinylives5220 August 2016
Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne, a highly trained, U.S. spy whose wounded body is found floating in an ocean by a fishing boat. With no memory of who he is and what happened to him, he has to piece together how he came to be shot in the back and left for dead; and most importantly, who and what he is. But Damon must do it fast, as time is running out and the ones he worked for are sending assassins to find him. "The Bourne Identity" is top-notch spy movie, filled with action, suspense, and a mystery that is slowly explained as the movie goes on. Matt Damon is well suited for the role, and with the help of fancy editing, he comes off as a martial arts expert who can quickly dispatch multiple foes in a few seconds. The movie moves along very fast, making the near two hour running time feel like it's thirty minutes shorter than it is. Fast pacing and a likable hero (Damon) are two big strengths of this movie that fans of spy/thriller/suspense movies should not miss. My most memorable, movie moment of "The Bourne Identity" is the scene when Damon evades the police with an original Mini car! Hey, it's not the car, it's the driver that counts.

Mannysmemorablemoviemoment
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10/10
An Exciting Action Film
Aly2007 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
What if you had lost your memory and learned the CIA is out to terminate you because you know too much? That's the question Matt Damon's super-spy Jason Bourne wants to know and it could cost him his life.

In the starring role, Matt Damon is perfectly cast as the charming and lethal secret agent on the hunt to find out who he is. Mastering different martial arts styles and weapons training in addition to several foreign languages, Damon is a force when he takes the screen as Bourne.

The film's action is endless as Bourne is chased around Europe by assassins of the secret he is out to discover. From car chases in snowy Germany to hiding out in the lovely European countryside and ending finally in the City of Lights (Paris, France). The film's fight scene are just engrossing as Bourne gains the upper hand each time due to his special combat skills; he rarely uses a weapon unless it's needed to finish the job and incapacitate his opponent.

The story-line is solid though it heavily deviates from author Robert Ludlum's novel. However the premise is intact as the film covers Jason Bourne's start on the path to find out who he is.
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10/10
Penultimate Spy/Action/Testosterone Flick...
A_Different_Drummer10 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This review for latecomers to the movie, most likely younger viewers who consider anything prior to 2010 to be "dark ages." Wrong. Within its niche (loosely, action/spy/amnesia) it may end up being one of the greatest ever, watchable and entertaining over and over...

I think I have seen this more than 10 times, putting it up there with Fistful of Dollars and Godfather. The pedigree is astonishing. Ludlum was not "respected" in his lifetime but he sure sold a lot of books. Interestingly, Bourne had ALREADY emerged as the most popular of his works, long before the film adaption was attempted. While not breakthrough -- amnesia stories have been done to death, especially in the 1940s -- the combination of the memory issue and the assassin twist essentially put the story over the top. There were written sequels (rare for Ludlum) and posthumous attempts to revive the character in new novels (very rare!).

This 2002 film was serendipity. Gilroy, a veteran, did one of the leanest adaptations ever. His writing is genius. The film moves through progressive action arcs so eloquently the viewer does not even realize what is happening. Consider the arc where the Bourne character takes out Clive Owen's counter-assassin. It's almost brusque. On the news that the dog is not responding, Bourne goes into action like a tiny Terminator. Not a second of screen time is wasted. How many films can make the same claim? Damon is an excellent actor but the argument can be made that he did too good a job with Bourne (hence his refusal to appear in the last film). Arguably he was too young for the part "as written" but props to director Liman for going with him anyway. That decision made film history.

The supporting cast is brilliant. Cooper and Cox as supporting characters? R U Kidding me? Wow.

The criticism can be made (not by me, but it can be made) that Potente does not inject enough feminine energy (she mainly reacts, never acts) which probably explains the over-emphasis on the Pam Landy character in the two sequels. Which works well. But the truth is, this is a man's action film, and one of the best ever, so the director had latitude.

And poor Clive Owen. In of the great ironies of cinema, his action scene became a metaphor for his A-list career. At the time, the common wisdom was that he was "the next big thing." Didn't happen.

Highly recommended. The sequel is serviceable but not a standout. The final part of the trilogy is satisfying but lacks magic. Any future films without Damon are to be scrupulously avoided.
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10/10
Excellent Thriller
thebrenman14 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Bourne Identity is the beginning of a series of movies that should set the bar for all thriller to come.

It has a more than decent plot about an Agent's Experience in the CIA. Its action scenes are also excellent and are not too unrealistic. The romance is also proficient, and is kept to a minimum(I personally don't see that often in thrillers), so it keeps me more engaged in the film.

The Cast and soundtrack are beyond excellence. At first glance(post Good Will Hunting), Matt Damon doesn't seen like a person that is suitable to play Jason Bourne, but proved us wrong. Now, I can't watch a Bourne movie without him. The soundtrack was made by John Powell which did a good job. Its no Hans Zimmer, but it is better than most other thrillers.

Overall, this movie was extremely good. I highly recommend it.
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9/10
A great way to start of the Bourne trilogy.
DrSaintDDS10 July 2012
After seeing trailers and commercials for The Bourne Legacy (which comes out August 10th), I had to watch the trilogy as soon as it releases in theaters. I heard a lot of great things about the trilogy, especially with The Bourne Identity. So, I decided to get the trilogy for Christmas, and today, I sat down, watched The Bourne Identity, and I extremely enjoyed it. I thought it was a fantastic start to the Bourne trilogy.

STORY: A man's (Matt Damon) body has been recovered from the Mediterranean Sea by fishermen. When he is saved, however, he remembers absolutely nothing from his life, including his name. So, that means he has amnesia. When he starts to remember some details from his life, he finds out that his name is Jason Bourne. He, and his new friend, Marie (Franka Potente) go on the run from someone who's trying to hunt him down, so he could try to search for his identity.

MY THOUGHTS: The action/fight sequences were the main qualities that made this movie great. They were well-executed, well-choreographed, well-shot, well-paced, and all in all, very well-done. The direction by Doug Liman was excellent. He knows how to direct a scene that was fast-paced and it keeps people on the edge of their seat. This movie is full of twists and turns; so if you haven't seen the movie yet and feel like you need to, be prepared to pay attention.

THE ACTING: Matt Damon does an outstanding job playing the hero, Jason Bourne. I think he was more believable as a hero than Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible (although I liked Ethan Hunt). Damon's fighting choreography – which were basically martial arts fighting moves – they were pretty impressive, and make the movie worth watching. Bourne is very intelligent; he can speak in many different languages, whenever he's in a different country; and he's also violent, like many other action heroes. Franka Potente does great playing Marie, a woman who Bourne meets at a bank in Switzerland, and he decides to bring her so they could get away from the CIA.

The supporting cast features Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko from Lost). I think the best supporting actor in this movie is Chris Cooper as the head of Treadstone at the CIA headquarters who's tracking down Bourne.

IN CONCLUSION: I thought The Bourne Identity was a great start to the Bourne trilogy. It was intense, fast-paced, well-acted (especially from Matt Damon), and very entertaining.

10/10
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10/10
A triumph
csgowns2 May 2012
Having been a fan of the book, I was very impressed with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, in fact, the whole film was with great pace, brilliant camera work and directing.

I love films that are more than about the casting and the way they get made, this had a gripping approach throughout that aims to please the audience, not many films have this these days, so it's refreshing.

I know a good film is really good when I have to go back and watch it again and again, I saw this 4 times in 1 week, the only other film to do this with me was Peter Jacksons The Two Towers.

It's an outstanding film that will hold you to your seats until the end credits role
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10/10
Finally! A movie that can stand without excessive special effects.
sneads0121 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoy the great special effects of movies such as the Star Wars series and other action packed movies such as the Die Hard and James Bond films, but the special effects are just as much a part of the plot and story lines as the writing. It is refreshing to watch a film that does not rely on excessive special effects to tell its story. The Bourne Identity (2002) is one such film. The Bourne Identity stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man found shot and lying in the ocean by fisherman who has lost his memory. He struggles to regain his strength on the ship and he tries to piece his life back together. He hits a dead end and finds that he must leave the boat. Bourne has a bank account number that leads him to a safety deposit box filled with money and fake passports. Bourne realizes that he must be a secret agent for some country. He hooks up with Marie, played by Franka Potente. As it turns out, Jason Bourne was a secret agent who was shot because he did not fulfill his mission, to Assassinate Wombasi, an African Leader, played by Adewale Akinnouye-Abaje. There were agents who planned to kill Bourne because he has now been considered a rogue agent. One familiar face, Julia Stiles, plays Nicolette, an agent in an operator type position. There was also the agent played by Clive Owen, the Professor, who was one of the agents sent to hunt Borne down and kill him. Packed with action and suspense this film is wonderfully shot. There were flash cuts in certain action packed parts of the film. Also, during the action there was minimal music playing in the background to add to the realistic feel to the film. I can say that I enjoyed watching a film that did not need to blast techno or other type of music to express the action of the film. The use of less sound made the film enjoyable. You can concentrate on the action on the screen and not worry about who made the song and other things that can be distracting when watching a film. These flash cuts and the use of less music added a dramatic feel to the film because Borne can be a real person, this can happen to any agent who defies the government and choose not to follow orders. They can be hunted down!
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10/10
Excellent story makes an excellent movie
raybarber20 September 2004
Always seen the books but never read them - now I will. This is a great cloak and dagger spy story that really works in this format. Matt Damon is not the perfect Jason Bourne, as he just seems a bit 'young' to forfill the role of bond like super-spy. However is acting skills are classy enough that he carries it off well. The story is very fluid and the action is well-paced. Easy to follow and yet never boring, it really shows how a great story is the best place to start with a movie. Done in a very tasteful manner that makes it believable and engaging. I consider myself a 'fussy' movie viewer, but this really was entertaining, even the second and third times!
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Surprisingly Good - Fans of the Book Will Not Be Let Down!
MovieAddict201617 February 2003
Matt Damon is Jason Bourne in the 2002 film `The Bourne Identity,' based on the # 1 best selling novel by Robert Ludlum.

The plot goes something like this…

A man awakens on a small fishing boat outside France. Bullet-riddled and without memory, he finds himself pursued by mysterious assassins, all the while trying to gain back his memory.

I recall first reading `The Bourne Identity.' It was a well-written book. Like the book, the movie is also good. Perhaps it is the excellent cinematography of France – it captured the clichéd images I imagined when I read the book. The acting is surprisingly good, as well. Not many people know that `The Bourne Identity' is the second film to be based on Ludlum's novel (see the TV version starring Jaclyn Smith and Richard Chamberlain from 1988), but the newer 2002 version is much better, and definitely worth wasting your money on.

Matt Damon pulls off the character of Jason Bourne with ease, while Franka Potente does not disappoint. Chris Cooper has fun with his role, and a small role by Julia Stiles surprises.

There is a great car chase in this film. Fans of the Seventies and Eighties-type genres will love this movie. It has the feel of a classy thriller, and never resorts to stupidity instead smarts, or action instead of plot.

Of course many things had to be dropped from the book to make this film. That is only expected. But I'm glad they didn't `butcher' this movie up like some other book-to-film movies.

Overall, `The Bourne Identity' is not a great movie, but it sure is good, as well as surprising. Very much so, in fact.

4/5 stars -

John Ulmer
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10/10
Not your average action thriller!!
vishaal81124 September 2015
The Bourne Identity is a spy thriller which, on the surface, is strikingly similar in premise to the James Bond series. However, as the movie commences and gathers momentum, it becomes strikingly clear that the filmmakers have strived to make this movie a lot more focused on the characters and the plot. Even though there is enough action to satisfy the genre fans, the intelligent way in which the story is presented gives us a unique perspective on the life of the lead character.

Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, is a CIA agent who was sent to perform a certain task in Europe. At the beginning of the movie, Bourne is unable to recall his identity or the purpose of his mission. As the viewers are also unaware of this, it allows us to see the world from his point of view. I believe that this generates a much greater impact than knowing beforehand the identity of Jason Bourne.

For the majority of the movie, Jason Bourne struggles to remember anything about his past which is well executed by Matt Damon's acting. The CIA plan to capture him and the whole movie is essentially a battle between Jason Bourne and the CIA.

Technically, all aspects of the movie is quite impressive. A car chase sequence, in particular, is pulled off with consummate skill. Due to a run-time of just over two hours, the movie keeps you hooked and the strong writing enables the film to never lose traction.

I would highly recommend watching this movie as it is not a mere caricature of some other well-known spy thrillers. Instead, it is a unique story told by a talented director which has all the elements that are necessary for a timeless classic.
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10/10
Hoping for a 4th Bourne series.
hystaric14 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Realistic, thrilling, fast-paced, deadly, but on top of all, he needed luck to be on his side in order to solve his own puzzle, whoever wrote the script deserves praise just as much as Matt Damon.

This film/series should have its own genre, call it 'realistic thriller' if you'd like, because it just doesn't do it justice by putting it in the same category as films like James Bond, there's no unneeded characters in the whole series, no unneeded love scenes - which is the most unnecessary thing in a thriller/spy movie.

The thing I love the most about this film/series is that the background music is absolutely flawless, to maintain the same level of excitement(if not more) with that same tune in the theme music for 3 movies, is simply brilliant, it brings the movie to the next level.

People who are lazy to think, lazy to listen to every word, or simply just trying to watch some stuns or cool computer effects, will be disappointed because this movie is nothing like that. So don't watch it and call it bad just because you are not good enough for a movie that is a class above all the rest you've ever seen.
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10/10
The Start of a Masterpiece Trilogy
thesar-21 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As a fan of James Bond, but acknowledging its campiness, clichés and formulas, it was extremely refreshing to see a true spy/action movie with a movie star I already respected, but never thought could pull it off: Matt Damon. Damon did a superb job as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity as did the rest of the cast. You rooted for him, sympathized with him and despite the past you soon learn to question, you still wanted him to succeed. Bourne is found without a memory in the ocean by fishermen who attempt to help the young man by dropping him off, with a little bit of cash, near a place, Switzerland, where he might regain his identity. There he learns of extraordinary fighting skills he was unaware of and meets the soon-to-be (and obvious) love of his life, Marie. Both try and piece his past together, while formulating a future together, albeit on the run from a mysterious "Treadstone" organization. The action, when shown, is intense, the intrigue storyline is not only plausible, but on-the-edge of your seat exciting, and the cinematography is stunning – I must visit Paris, France soon. The only flaws I can find (though I didn't look for them) was the obvious pairing of Marie and Bourne, their inevitable sex scene, and Marie's accent (and languages) that jumped from one culture to the next. Other than those minor defects, this was a wonderful, suspenseful and crafty movie. I absolutely loved them reverting (as they did with the as-good sequels) from CGI and made me believe in action again and not the green screen. Also, despite knowing there was more than one book this was based upon and knowing sequels were in the works, I loved this was a completely stand alone feature and is absolutely recommended.
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10/10
Or is it the fact we, as Americans, think our government is capable of doing this?
fredericksmith195211 February 2012
Matt Damon comes off well as the celebrated Jason Bourne, and Franka Potente is marvelous as Marie. While loosely based on the character created by Robert Ludlum, The film keeps you drilled to the screen as it moves quickly from one scene to the next. Brian Cox and Chris Cooper are superb character actors and a fine addition to the film as the two CIA operatives in charge of Treadstone. Julia Stiles is particularly good in the role as "Nicki", the operative who coordinates the "assets". Excellent performances throughout the film are what makes this story so believable, or is it the fact we, as Americans, think our government is capable of doing this? Language and violence are the reasons for the R rating, so they little ones need to be away from the screen when you are watching. For the grownups, this is an entertaining action film with lots of "wow" moments that led Hollywood to make two more.
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