Love the bourne movies. this is the last to round out my collection. Full of actiona as usual, and intense all the way through. Great Movie!!
Jason's not paranoid, he's just in a tough spot.
Anthony Hinde | Sydney, Australia | 04/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll be honest, I haven't read the Robert Ludlum novel, nor do I remember seeing the original film staring Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith. So I'm not able to point out differences or inconsistencies, if indeed there are any. Having said that, I can't imagine its predecessors topping Doug Liman's version of "The Bourne Identity." This is the sort of film I like to watch pretty often and each time I find something new to enjoy.
The plot, while nothing very original, provides a useful framework around which we get to enjoy some of the most believable action sequences I've seen. Let's face it, an assassin suffering from amnesia is not going to lead a dull life, particularly not after his "friends" decide he's gone rogue. There's only so many ways you can film stunts and action sequences like a car chase but Liman has managed to somehow make the many action scenes seem fresh. I particularly liked seeing what looked like a mini-minor out driving the police using skill and good planing, rather than a high-powered engine or death-defying jumps.
Most of the movie follows Jason Bourne, (Matt Damon), as he tries to reclaim his life and survive to see each new day. In this way, the audience is allowed to discover the pieces of the puzzle along with him. On the way he forms an unequal partnership with Marie Kreutz, (Franka Potente). It is good to see a female lead portrayed without either weakness or an unrealistic macho streak. Hopefully, this film will launch Franka's Hollywood career because she has more than earned her stripes in German cinema.
Jason and Marie inevitably bond but despite not taking a major part of the narrative, I felt their stop-start romance suited the film. Perhaps a woman with no home makes a good match for a man with no past. I also liked the several times the couple tried to split up, to get Marie out of Bourne's troubles but I especially liked the realism when they finally managed to part. The plot really doesn't need her but it seems Liman used Marie as a means of reminding Bourne that there is more to life than survival.
To some it would be nice to wake up one day and discover you were a sort of superman; able to speak half a dozen languages, had tens of thousands in a Swiss bank account and could out-fight Bruce Lee. His boss said it best when he described Jason as a $30,000,000 weapon. But more than advanced skills, Jason was gifted with intelligence and the experience of years of spy craft, even if he couldn't remember it. The thoughtful approach taken to achieve each objective, even on the spur of the moment, made the film almost educational. Hey, read a map before running from the police, use distraction and decoys to sidetrack you opponent, use the resources around you and think laterally. It's all good stuff for budding spies.
While Matt Damon played the part with little emotion, deliberately I assume, some of the smaller roles were outstanding. Each seemed to wring so much depth from so few minutes of screen time that I felt like watching a spin-off movie for each of them. Probably the most affecting was the performance of Clive Owen, a fellow assassin who dies describing his constant headaches and bitter loneliness. Also of note is Julia Stiles, the overworked safe-house administrator; she exudes competence while complaining of limited resources. All of these performance gems must be a credit to Liman's direction.
It would be easy to dismiss "The Bourne Identity" as just another action flick. The action was great, but the true heart of the film was Jason's odyssey to reclaim his soul from the depths of a CIA black-ops hell. He used to be an amoral machine, doing his job without questioning the rightness of his work, just like the rest of them. But amnesia gave him the chance to step back from the abyss and evaluate his fate, eventually choosing to tear a new path into the future. The moral? Perhaps it's that "freedom" is more important than "patriotism.""
Fool me once, shame on yoUniversal Studios
Rocky | Madison, CT USA | 07/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, I rate the MOVIE Bourne Identity and the older Collector's Edition DVD both as 5-star. I expected the Extended Edition DVD to include all in the older Collector's Edition DVD AND MORE. What you get with the Extended Edition DVD is a FREE TICKET (EXPIRES AUGUST 8th) to MOVIE Bourne Supremacy and a weaker DVD release that is largely a promotion for the new movie.
What you LOSE (Extended Edition DVD versus Collector's Edition DVD): an extended farmhouse scene; DTS sound; Doug Liman's informative Director's Commentary track.
What you DO NOT GAIN (Extended Edition DVD versus Collector's Edition DVD): the SAME alternate ending IN ROUGH, GRAINY QUALITY as in the deleted scenes of the Collector's Edition; the SAME deleted/extended scenes (except for the ADDED alternate beginning noted below and the OMITTED farmhouse scene noted above); the SAME Extreme Ways music video by Moby and the SAME DVD-ROM access to web site; no featurette whatsoever providing director Doug Liman's comments. (Did Liman tick off producer Frank Marshall or did he want to distance himself from this so-called upgrade by Universal?).
What you DO GAIN (Extended Edition DVD versus Collector's Edition DVD): a FREE TICKET (EXPIRES AUGUST 8th) to Bourne Supremacy movie; pain-in-the-arse indirect PLAY THE MOVIE via a Play SUB-menu to select theatrical vs extended version that STILL forces you to use MANUALLY your DVD player's ANGLE button WHEN THE ALTERNATE ANGLE ICONS APPEAR ON YOUR SCREEN to access the bookended alternate beginning/ending version (both footages in UNFINISHED QUALITY that somewhat compromise the vendetta premise of the Bourne Supremacy); Special Features includes these SAME UNFINISHED alternate beginning and ending in isolation with producer Frank Marshall's mea-culpa that this less-than-explosive footage was a post-production C-Y-A due to 9/11 that test audiences ultimately bounced anyway; some worthwhile featurettes regarding Robert Ludlum, CIA practices from retired CIA operative/film consultant Chase Brandon, and a real psychologist's profile of Jason Bourne; a worthless transition promotion fluff to the Bourne Supremacy movie.
VERDICT: If DTS sound or Director Commentary tracks matter to you, DO NOT UPGRADE (yeah, right, upgrade); stick with or buy the older Collector's Edition DVD. If you don't already own the Collector's Edition or these factors don't matter and you intend to use the free Bourne Supremacy movie ticket BEFORE AUGUST 8TH, go with the Extended Edition DVD But shame on you, Universal for your promotional UPGRADE hogwash!!!"
Deceptive Advertising for an Unfinished Product. Stay Away.
INXSFAN | Chicago | 07/25/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, let me start out by saying I think the Bourne Identity is a great movie. One of my favorites. Needless to say, I already owned the DVD that was previously out. Then along comes the "EXPLOSIVE EXTENDED" edition. Awesome! I don't ever upgrade movies when an extended version comes out later, but, I had to make an exception this time. Well, never again.
I think we can all agree that when we hear the term "extended edition," that means that the movie itself is different-it's longer, has some added scenes, etc. Well, I'm afraid that's not the case here. What we get instead are an ending and beginning, (which you can tell by the quality of the film and the sound effects weren't even finished!!!!!) that add maybe a total of 5-6 minutes, and have to be accessed by selecting an icon WHILE YOU'RE WATCHING THE MOVIE!!! The movie then cuts to throw in the incomprehensible beginning scene (which may not work on all DVD players the warning said). At this point I said forget it, I'm just going to watch the theatrical version.
I have never felt so ripped off by a movie studio before. If you already have it, then by all means, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. If you don't have it, well, get it because it's a great movie and go see the sequel courtesy of the studio with a free ticket."
The Best Action Film of 2002!!!
wfurrv925 | Winston-Salem, NC United States | 12/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Bourne Identity" is by far the best action movie of 2002! It starts fast and never slows down, from beginning to end. Matt Damon (of "Good Will Hunting"/"Saving Private Ryan" fame) delivers a dynamite performance as Jason Bourne; a CIA operative whos failed assassination attempt of a world leader causes him to be put for extermination by his own company. Coming from near-death, without any remembrance of the past, Bourne embarks to find and retrace why he is in the situation, he is, while battling those that seek to end his life. All this with the skills and techniques that are provided to him by being a CIA Op. Franka Potente (lead of "Run Lola Run," the best German film of the 90s: if you haven't seen it, check it out ASAP) is amazing as Bourne's penniless sidekick. She is smart, sexy, and a perfect compliment to Damon. They are an excellent pair together! This movie is amazing for its great dialogue, witty and charismatic cast, and non-stop action sequences. Chris Cooper is quite good as Bourne's former boss, who wants him dead ASAP. And, an upcoming star in Julia Stiles makes a brief appearance as a CIA employee. On top of the cast, the film is gifted with excellent cinematography. Set primarily in Paris, it has the ability to take that city that many Americans know well and transform it into an exotic masterpiece, ala Budapest or Prague. The camera angles of the scenes are fantastic, giving the audience plenty of excitement, as Bourne climbs down walls and beats his way through security officers. All in all, this is a movie that everyone will like. It is the action highlight of 2002, with maybe the best chase scene in the history of film (and that includes the 1971 classic: "The French Connection") And, what makes this movie so much better than let's say "XXX," is that Damon is believable as the smart, witty Bourne and his action sequences are riddled in athletic ability, then an overdoing of special effects. This film is quite believable, which adds to its aura. Definitely check this movie out, by all means. Built on a strong novel, it's a smart film, with a great cast, beautiful cinematography, and nonstop action. The action of film of 2002: "The Bourne Identity.""
A skillfully made thriller
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE BOURNE IDENTITY is a tightly conceived, well directed, well photographed and particularly well acted suspense thriller loosely based on the Robert Ludlum best seller. True, many liberties have been taken from the novel, but when you take the time to note that Ludlum himself is the producer, then all arguments are off. Matt Damon and Franka Potente are terrific as the amnesiac agent and his 'only friend' who helps him escape a mad and endless chase from multiple groups of would be assassins. The characters are well developed - Damon gives one of his better perfomances, doing most of his stunt work himself while Potente continues to prove she is an actress worth watching. The supporting cast of such fine actors as Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, etc help propel this movie along. Outside of the French Connection this is one of the best car chases ever filmed - gratefully without the now-boring background of explosions and destruction. In all a fine film that is delivered on DVD with interesting and informative sidebars."