Bourne Identity

Bourne Identity

4.5 80
Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Doug Liman, Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Clive Owen

     
 

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The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum comes to the screen for a second time, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a… See more details below

Overview

The best-selling suspense novel by late author Robert Ludlum comes to the screen for a second time, following a 1988 made-for-TV movie. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by Italian fishermen. Bourne's only clue to his own identity is a bank account number etched on a capsule implanted in his body. He quickly finds the Zurich bank where money, a gun, and a few identification documents await, but after he's pursued by security goons at the American consulate, Bourne realizes he can trust no one and offers a German gypsy named Marie (Franka Potente) ten thousand dollars for a ride to Paris. Encountering more professional killers bent on his destruction, Bourne discovers that he possesses a surprising degree of skill in combat, martial arts, and linguistics -- handy talents that clearly indicate his past includes work as a spy and assassin, but for whom? With Marie's reluctant help, Bourne edges closer to the truth, something CIA officials want concealed at all costs. The Bourne Identity co-stars Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox, and Julia Stiles.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
At first glance, boyish Matt Damon might strike you as unsuited to play a formidable secret agent, but he does remarkably well in the role in this intricate, action-packed, and well-crafted spy thriller. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity opens with the rescue of a badly wounded amnesiac (Damon), who carries beneath his skin a tiny capsule bearing the number of a Swiss bank account. Upon recovering, the befuddled young man claims a veritable fortune -- and passports bearing several different names -- from his safety deposit box. Understandably eager to find out which one of these identities is his real one, he hires a young Gypsy woman (Run Lola Run’s Franka Potente) to drive him to Paris. From this point, the script by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron gets incredibly complicated; the Damon character, who uses his "Jason Bourne" identity for the time being, becomes the object of repeated assassination attempts, which he foils by employing skills he never knew he had. Fine character actors Chris Cooper and Brian Cox are chillingly convincing as CIA bigwigs who decide that "Bourne" must be eliminated and assign their top assassin (Clive Owen) to do the job quickly and, if possible, quietly. Doug Liman (Swingers) directs with headlong single-mindedness, hurling his protagonist into one death trap after another and extricating him with dizzying speed. Wintry European exteriors and drab interior settings give the film a grayish cast, but The Bourne Identity isn’t about pretty pictures; it’s about international intrigue and one man’s refusal to be a pawn in some sinister, global chess game. Improbable but engrossing, The Bourne Identity will keep you poised on the edge of your chair.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A tight, gripping spy thriller that's nonetheless a pleasant surprise given a notoriously difficult production that included an incomplete script, usually an omen of impending artistic doom. Not to disparage his abilities in any way -- a pair of showdowns with rival assassins are high-octane show stoppers -- but so much of what works about director Doug Liman's make-or-break studio debut is in the absolutely superb, even brilliant, casting. Matt Damon is perfect in a role that requires him to be simultaneously smart but baffled, competent but confused, lethal but little-boy-lost. By comparison, Richard Chamberlain in the late '80s TV-movie version of the same novel plays like a stone carving. Franka Potente is the first solid, realistic female foil to hit this genre in a long, long time, leaving one to wonder what exactly the James Bond producers will do with characters like Pussy Galore and Honey Ryder now that they've been trumped by the modern, feminist approach of Bourne and the spoofing jabs of the Austin Powers series. Praise must also be heaped on the blink-and-you'll-miss-it performance of Clive Owen as a rival assassin, whose chilling performance suddenly twists into eerie poignancy in a Van Gogh-inspired death scene that occurs in a wheat field bursting with crows, an unexpectedly quiet high point of the film. The always reliably efficient Chris Cooper, who never seems to use a movement, facial expression, or vocal inflection without deliberate care, seems at first an odd choice for a villain, until it becomes clear that his character's villainy is hopelessly intertwined with his very bureaucratic flunkeyism. Envisioned by Universal as a franchise-launcher with at least two follow-ups to come, The Bourne Identity is a solid kick-start to a series that will, hopefully, remain grounded in the sort of reality that makes the film a slick, enjoyable thriller.
New York Times
Free from the encumbrances of history and of Ludlum's cloddish prose, The Bourne Identity, like its hero, triumphs through sheer unreflective professionalism. A.O. Scott
Washington Post
There isn't a dull or dumb moment in this movie. Desson Howe
Los Angeles Times
Laced with great shock moments, Bourne moves along smartly on its own steam, drawing us confidently into its orbit. Kenneth Turan

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2013
UPC:
0025192195075
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Damon Jason Bourne
Franka Potente Marie Kreutz
Clive Owen The Professor
Chris Cooper Ted Conklin
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Nykwana Wombosi
Brian Cox Ward Abbott
Tim Dutton Eamon
Walton Goggins Research Tech
Orso Maria Guerrini Giancarlo
Josh Hamilton Research Tech
Gabriel Mann Zorn
Judy Parfitt Actor
Julia Stiles Nicolette

Technical Credits
Doug Liman Director,Producer
Robert Ludlum Source Author
Bettina von den Steinen Art Director
Laurent Piron Art Director
Patrick Crowley Asst. Director,Producer
Kate Dowd Casting
Joseph Middleton Casting
Alexander Witt Cinematographer
Oliver Wood Cinematographer
Andrew R. Tennenbaum Co-producer
Pierre-Yves Gayraud Costumes/Costume Designer
Saar Klein Editor
Robert Ludlum Executive Producer
Frank Marshall Executive Producer
Julianne Jordan Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard N. Gladstein Producer
Dan Weil Production Designer
John Powell Score Composer
Tony Gilroy Screenwriter
William Blake Herron Screenwriter
Alexandrine Mauvezin Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Bats Sound/Sound Designer

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