Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Bourne Identity (2002) [PG-13] *****

Miles off the French coast of the Mediterranean Sea a fishing trawler hauls a man (Matt Damon) out of the black night sea. He's wearing scuba gear and a rescue strobe light, but he's more dead than alive, with two bullets in his back. He has a laser device implanted beneath his skin, displaying an account number at the Gemeinschaft Bank in Zurich - and he has amnesia.

Several weeks later, his identity still a mystery, he's on a high-speed train bound for Zurich. Twenty-four hours after that he's speeding toward Paris in a Mini Cooper driven by a German girl named Marie (Franka Potente). At his feet is a red bank bag containing the contents of his safe deposit box - money and valid passports from half a dozen countries. His name is Jason Bourne and he's an expert in martial arts and the use of firearms; he put two Zurich policemen in the hospital and tore up the U.S. Consulate, eluding a Marine detachment. Although Jason thinks he lives in Paris, he still has no idea who he is - but he is about to find out that certain people want him dead.

If you are looking for a dark, gritty, completely realistic spy thriller, this is not it - try Spy Game with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. But if you want an action thriller with a hero who is able to anticipate the bad guys' moves and outwit them, so you never believe he is really in danger, this film is perfect. There's fast pacing, lovely Paris scenery and a great Moby soundtrack. Matt Damon and Franka Potente have good chemistry, and Chris Cooper is excellent in a supporting role as the black-ops CIA handler. If you enjoyed Mark Wahlberg in Shooter, you won't want to miss The Bourne Identity.  

Labels: action, adventure, mystery, spy, thriller   
Internet Movie Database     
Metacritic 68/100    
Tomatometer (critics=83, viewers=91)    

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