The Bourne Identity (2002)

I’m not sure what I had against Jason Bourne. I like this genre of action movie. I never had any issues with Matt Damon. I just never was interested in watching any of these movies. I did watch The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner, and it was okay. Then I did watch the Jason Bourne (2016) which was not very good. Here it seemed as if my choice was justified.

However, as I was going through Peacock today for choices in the DailyView binge, I came across The Bourne Identity. I have heard nothing but positives about this film (and the ensuing two that follow it) with some even going as far as to state it is one of the best spy movies ever made. While that is clearly hyperbole, The Bourne Identity fit beautifully into the concept of the DailyView and allowed me to, if nothing else, close another hole in my movie viewing.

And you know what? I was so wrong about not being interested in these movies. This film was tremendous.

A man with two bullet wounds in his back is pulled out of the ocean by a fishing boat and they try to help him. Little did they know how dangerous that would be. Springing to life, the man realized quickly that he did not remember anything, who he was, how he got into the water, or even his name.

He discovers some of the smaller details of his life, including his name, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). He found money, several fake passports, and a gun that belonged to him. He did not know what was going on, but his instincts were keeping him safe and ahead of those around him. He met up with Marie (Franka Potente), a woman he offers $20,000 to if she would drive him to Paris. She accepts and they begin to unravel the mystery of who he really is. Meanwhile, he is being pursued by agents led by Conklin (Chris Cooper), the head of some shadowy governmental agency.

This was a lot of fun, with exciting action and cool stunts. While there is some, this film does not rely on gunfire as the main weaponry. Jason Bourne’s intelligence seems to be the top weapon. The development of the character of Jason Bourne is awesome too since we have no idea what he was like prior to his amnesia and solving the riddle was something for the audience to get involved in. A big part of how we saw Jason Bourne was the relationship that was developing with Marie. He was very straight with her and was clearly protective of her. I got a feeling that he would have done anything to help her because it was the right thing to do. I wonder if pre-amnesia Jason Bourne was the same way or was that something that changed as he floated in the water.

Something that was fun too was the fact that I was anxious to see how Bourne would get out of the next problem. They placed him in seemingly impossible situations only for him to professionally find ways out. I never really was concerned that he was in any jeopardy, which was fine here, but there should be something more compelling in any sequels because if he is just a Superman-type character that waltzes in and out of danger without any issue then he could become boring. While Marie was with him, he had a character to protect so the concern was for her (or the others in his surrounding area). I do not think he can continue as that without some level of doubt.

The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Robert Ludlum. Directed by Doug Liman, The Bourne Identity spawned a total of four sequels, three of which starred Matt Damon.

The Bourne Identity was a much more enjoyable film than I ever gave it credit for. As I stated, I am not sure why I was so opposed to watching these thrillers, but I do believe those days are now past.

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