The Bourne Identity (2002)

This is a long sweet breath of fresh air in the action genre, a genre I’m admittedly very tired of, and I welcomed this change of pace with an action film that has an actual plot. Adapted from the hit book by acclaimed author Robert Ludlum, this is an exciting and excellent spy-thriller starring the versatile Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, the amnesiac spy who must fight his way through CIA operatives, assassins, and French police. Until now, he’d usually done acclaimed dramas, but I must say that Damon handles this role very well.

He’s very believable as the warrior on many levels. First and best, he is believable as the man who is tormented by these memories he can’t figure out. We see him throughout the movie attempting to fathom why he knows so many espionage skills yet he can’t figure out what he had for breakfast a week ago. He can speak in seventeen different languages, is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and side-arms but doesn’t know why. As the movie progresses we slowly learn why he’s trying to be killed. His action scenes with him fighting are excellent and very well choreographed. Damon looks like he knows what he’s doing, and never fails to show otherwise. Chris Cooper stars as the shady operative leader who will stop at nothing to make sure Bourne dies and plays his role as well as always.

Franka Potente is barely in this movie but has great chemistry as the mysterious woman accidentally brought into Bourne’s fight. Doug Liman is excellent with his tense camera angles and excellent car chase which sets the tone for the entire movie. I didn’t think it was as good as the car chase from “Bullitt” but it will be thought of as a classic one indeed. This is a great movie for any action fan. Miraculously, this is an intelligent action flick which will prove to be great entertainment. All in all, a refreshing action flick with a good old fashioned car chase, excellent action and a great turn for Damon and Potente. This is how all action movies should be. I wish.