The Bourne Identity

( 80 )

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 ...
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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

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
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/9/2013
  • UPC: 025192195075
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Presentation: Slip Sleeve
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 34,927

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
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 80 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 80 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Robert Ludlum does it again.

    Matt Damon is the only person to play this part. I do believe one should read all the books in the series before watching the DVD. I've seen the whole series and love the excitment, I love Paris. It's like taking a trip to Europe without leaving the country. Great for both guys and gals.
    I'm a sucker for a good thriller mixed with a romantic ending.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Good movie - Creates interest for the whole series

    The way things move from one country to other is pretty good.

    Editing of this movie has been well done.

    Performance of Matt Damon and team is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I like Matt Damon and Franka Potente.It was okay but not great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Recommended

    This is a great movie and one of my personal favorites but if you are looking for something that follows Ludlum's masterpiece closely, you will not be satisfied with this motion picture. The writers did not portray some characters accurately and left the biggest antagonist out, Carlos. I will recommend this movie to anyone but someone who has read the book may be a little disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    James Bond with memory loss

    An all around good flick. Little Matt is lost without Ben and he can't recall where he lives but he wakes up in France which is a nitemire. Later he learns that by killing everyone he can gain back his memory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Bourne Identity

    This movie is awesome and the car chases are so out there. Enjoyed this movie very much and it was entertaining too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Better than I realized

    When I first saw this after it came out on DVD, I was not impressed. Even though I thought Damon was well cast (indeed, seemed more able in this role than in some others he's played), my initial impression was that the screenplay was written primarily so that the director could simply string together the various action and special-effect scenes. In fact, from early into the movie that's exactly what is featured: car-chase and action scenes, distracting me enough to make the plot seem very confusing as well. I came away disappointed, thinking this was crafted for immediacy at the expense of a good story. About 9 months later, however, it was a selection on one of the Cable TV networks, and this time I watched a little more intently, trying to discern if there were any redeeming qualities. Wow! Second time around was apparently the charm for me: I got a chance to follow the events a little more carefully, and realized that this was a much better film than I first realized. At the same time, I also enjoyed the European locations which, this time, I could see provided more substance than I had initially allowed. Had I not been so quick to judge this originally on the first few scenes, I may have been more aware of its subtler aspects. Then again, perhaps it actually suffers from poor editing and requires more than one viewing. Whatever the case, after watching it again, I became a fan. While I still wouldn't place this in a 'classic' or 'great' category, I nonethless rank it as one of my recent favorites and now recommend it to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hooked on the film, even though different from the book.

    The movie definitely is not the author's version, but I must give it to the screenwriters...it is a fantastically done movie. Has it all, action, drama, suspense. I must admit, I'm hooked on Matt Damon's interpertation of Jason Bourne.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great entertainment, spellbinding

    As someone who has not read the book, I found the movie to be absolutely great. It's lots of fun, and very well-acted, especially Matt Damon (who is one of my favorites). I reccomend it to anyone looking for some real good entertainment, with a great storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They never mentioned triplets.....

    After seeing this movie was glad I had. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it lacked technical work, maybe from the CIA's point of view. Most people don't know it, but these books are fantastic!! Wayyyy better than the silver screen did. There's a series of three books about Jason Bourne. If you'd like to read them, or more in this fashion, try looking under Robert Ludlum. He's usually listed in the bottom half of the green section at Barnes & Noble. There's a new one out just now as a matter of fact. And you'll read them, from front to back. Enjoy!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Can It Get Any Worse?

    When I heard that The Bourne Identity was coming out, my teacher was making such a fuss about it, so I decided to see what's so delightful about it all and read the book. When I read the book, I was blown away by the plot, the characters, the events, everything. I was especially intrigued by the man named Carlos who's chasing after the guy the whole time. So, when I watched the movie, I was expecting the same moments, the characters, everything all put on-screen. Instead, what I got was a movie that hardly resembled the book at all. I would've found it all very confusing had I not read the book. The deep mysterious history behind Bourne is replaced by a simple explanation to why he became an agent and blah blah blah. I would have loved to see flashback scenes of him and his Vietnamese wife and his son, togetheri n Vietnam, I found that part of the book very touching, but no. And where is my Carlos?! I was looking forward to seeing him on screen so much. All in all, this movie was very disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    COOL*

    I think this movie was great. Matt Damon is hot in this flim. Really good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent

    This is a movie you will want to watch again. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hold on to that cash

    Wait a minute, what movie did these other bozos watch. It could not have been Bourne Idenity. This is one of the most boring action films I have seen. If any one was on the edge of their seat, it was due to a hemorroid flare up, not the action. Ronin is a far, far better flick. While this movie is worth borrowing, I would not own it. Watch it once and no need to come back. The romance sucks, the action is second class. Save your DVD $$$ for something else unless you need a snooze.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This has replaced my old favorite movie it was so great!

    I never thought that the popular Matt Damon would make an awesome secret agent/assassin. He proved me wrong and now ''The Bourne Identity'' has taken the place of my old favorite movie. I can't wait to see the upcoming sequels. I do recommend reading the book either before or after. I am buying this movie ASAP!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    This movie is one of the best mystery movies I've every seen. It was definetly the best movie I saw last summer and the best rental! You gotta watch it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Similar to the Book in Name Only

    Larry D. Bohall, author of Martyr's Cry (ISBN 1591295327): My first exposure to The Bourne Identity was the Jaclyn Smith miniseries from the 80's. I then read the book (which was very good, but had a very high body count). I love the idea behind it--an amnesia victim who has millions of dollars and an incredible ability to fight his way out of any situation. Is he a high paid assassin? A spy under deep cover? Something else? It was a complicated plot, which translated well to the miniseries, and is basically abandoned in this extended chase scene. Why is all of this happening? Who is trying to kill Jason Bourne? Who IS Jason Bourne? Who cares? Not the director, screen writer or actor. We never really find out anything...we just get lots of bullets flying and cars crashing. At least, in the mini-series and the book, there was a reason for the heroine. She helped Bourne find out who he was and what was going on, and provided the love (real love) that helped ''heal'' him. In this version, she's there to give him a car. I was quite disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT!

    This is a great movie, very interesting and u just end up needing to know what happens! WATCH IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic twisted Secret agent Story.

    Matt Damon does it again with a great performance as the ultimate killing machine for the US government but loses his memory because of his last mission. I love the twists through out the story and how he discovers who he is and tries to go up against the big boss or his owners to get away. Matt Damon plays it so well just like he played in Good Will Hunting as him really making his character really believeable. The story was something else. Beautiful over all the movie and the way it was directed. Matt Damons talents really show here and his diversity of acting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    awesome

    great movie. im going to buy it the day it comes out. the idea of a superhero who can't has a condition where he can't remember anything before a couple of weeks before is really cool.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 80 Customer Reviews