CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

2002 Review "The Bourne Identity"

The Bourne Identity
When Ben Affleck and Matt Damon attended the academy
awards for "Good Will Hunting," they brought their
respective moms as their dates. Given these actors
paraell success in other movies like "Pearl Harbor"
and "Saving Private Ryan," one can imagine the
telephone conversation these two woman must have
while wearing their bathrobes and sipping coffee -
Mrs. Affleck would say, "Oh Benny will be working in
the Tom Clancy franchise." "Oh that's wonderful!"
would reply Mrs. Damon, "My Marky is going to be in
his own spy franchise, based on Robert Ludlums only
franchise character, Mr. Bourne." If there is a
friendly rival between these old friends, then Mark
Damon may have taken this round with "The Bourne
Identity," it's the better of the two espionage
franchises recently released. The film opens with an
bullet riddled body (Mark Damon) floating alone in
Mediterranean Sea. He is rescued by a fishing boat
in Marseilles. Among his return to land, the
individual discovers a safe deposit box with credit
cards and several passports with multiple names and
a six shooter. Through the process of elimination,
the individual assumes that his name is Jason Bourne,
American Spy. The benefit of seeing this movie is not
to know that much about the plot. As Bourne begins to
unravel his personal web of deceit, the Central
Intelligence Agency tries to reel-in their spook. It
is the many character's fuzzy motivations that drive
the narrative forward. "The Bourne Identity"
contains some smart action sequences based on the
survival reflex. While learning his identity, Damon
is assaulted by various people. After dispatching
these bad guys for the first time, Damon captures the
bewildered look of "How did I do that?" Director Doug
Liman must be commended for making a modern spy
thriller that does not rely on continuous
explosions. The ensemble appears to be appropriately
cast. Creepy Chris Cooper heads a section of the CIA
intent on bringing in his renegade spook. Bedeviled
Brian Cox portrays Cooper's political supervisor.
Julia Stiles undertakes a supporting role as
Cooper's loyal aide. While the movie is a
success because of Damon's sincere performance, Famke
Potente gives an interesting performance. Heroine or
villainous? You are not quite sure what her
characters' motivations are. Having portrayed Johnny
Dept's lost love in "Blow," this German actress is
proving herself a capable character actress. When
Robert Ludlum finished "The Bourne Identity," he
realized that there was much more story to tell, so
he wrote "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne
Ultimatum." Hopefully if studio executives do not get
in the way, Universal Studios will have a good
franchise for Mark Damon and Jason Bourne.
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