The Bourne Identity (2002)

Posted in Reviews by - September 20, 2012
The Bourne Identity (2002)

A fantastically tense, taut spy thriller based on a novel by Robert Ludlum. A fisherman trawling the Mediterranean resuscitates a man found floating in the water; his body strewn with bullet holes and a transmitter embedded in his back. Once he is rested, he struggles to recall any of the events leading up to his rescue, why he was left for dead, or even his own name. The contents of a safe in Switzerland reveals him to be Jason Bourne (Damon), a highly trained and dangerous assassin. Bourne is the product of a covert US governmental assassination squad – only he doesn’t quite know this yet, as he struggles to decipher why a team of brainwashed hitmen are constantly trying to end him. He teams up with Marie (Potente) in Zürich and the two enjoy a whirlwind romance as she helps Bourne to piece together the fragments of his memory. This film takes the spy genre to new levels of excitement and intrigue, with the audience learning simultaneously with Bourne. Babyfaced Damon is perfect for the role, portraying a convincing mix of heroism and insecurity. Thankfully, Bourne remembers all the cool stuff – like breaking limbs with his martial arts skills and how to steer a car at high-speeds through the busy narrow streets of Paris. Few thrillers revel in brains and brawn to such a satisfying degree. It’s a triumph.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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