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The Bourne Identity (2002)

Die Bourne Identität

He was the perfect weapon, until he became the target

Directed by:

Doug Liman

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 119 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

On DVD

Country: Germany, United States

Amnesia, it would seem, is the new memory. Ever since ‘Memento’ was met with such universal acclaim back in 2000, everyone wants a piece of the forgetfulness pie. Ben Affleck had a go at playing such an absent-minded action hero in this year’s ironically-forgettable Paycheck and, in ‘The Bourne Identity’, you can find Affleck’s pal Matt Damon doing a similar job.

The irritatingly-expressionless Damon plays Jason Bourne, a CIA hit-man who, after being found floating sixty miles to the south of France, can’t for the life of him remember who he is. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to carry much weight with the relentless onslaught of secret agent-types apparently Hell-bent on seeing him snuff it.

So, having hooked up with a requisite ladyfriend in the shape of German wanderbum Marie (Franka Potente), the troublesome little tyke darts back and forward across Europe dodging bullets and beating up various bearded henchmen.

This is loosely based on the novel by Robert Ludlum, whose books your most likely to have seen dads reading on planes. The story is scaled down and tweaked to meet the constraints of a big screen running time, and for the most part it works well enough. It’s not much of a thinker, and Damon’s a bland choice for the lead role, but director Doug Liman injects it with enough pace to keep things entertaining.

Able assistance is given via support roles from the likes of Brian Cox, Chris Cooper, Clive “I might be the new James Bond” Owen and a largely-subdued Julia Stiles.

A fairly unnecessary sequel, ‘The Bourne Supremacy’, is planned for release later this year.

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It's Got: A gun, a pile of cash, and some fake passports.

It Needs: “Bourne in a body bag by sundown.”

DVD Extras Commentary from Doug Liman, a behind-the-scenes featurette, an alternative ending, some deleted and/or extended scenes, a Moby music vid, some trailers and some extra DVD-ROM treats. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Summary

A decent enough thriller, but does Matt Damon really need to make every film with a poker-face?

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