*** Official "THE BOURNE IDENTITY" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    30,360
    Likes Received:
    5,644
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Bourne Identity". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I guess I'll post my mini-review of this film; I saw it last night as part of a "sneak preview."

    Let me preface my comments by saying that in general I enjoy spy action flicks and think Matt Damon's a great actor. So, I had high hopes for this film.

    The premise is that Jason Bourne (Damon) is rescued at near-death, and when he comes to, he realizes he has amnesia and can't remember anything about his past. For most of the movie he is trying to rediscover his past and must come to terms with and utilize the "skills" he keeps discovering he has, all the while avoiding some adversaries who are on the hunt to make sure he "has no future."

    All in all, a very entertaining film! Initially, it was a little strange seeing Damon in the role of action hero. He did very well, and seemed right for the part to me - yet it was difficult because he usually doesn't accept roles like that (however, his acting talents proved perfectly fine for the role). It's just one of those things that takes a little getting used to (for me).

    The film did not disappoint me. It had lots of action, good acting, and a cool story/plot. The film had good pacing and solid performances by all the supporting actors/acresses.

    Well, there you have it. Not the most comprehensive review you'll read, and I'm not the most discriminating movie reviewer, but I liked this one a lot. For me, it was worth it and would still be worth it if I had to pay to see it. And I'll certainly buy the DVD when it comes out.

    [Edited to ensure there are no spoilers]
     
  3. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got back from a lunchtime viewing, theater was pretty packed for a 12:45pm EST showing I thought …. Nicely crowded is how I'd put it.

    Anyways, Matt Damon is great as always. He's a strong actor, young (not so young but still not old yet) and clearly learning on the way up. He is very convincing as a Dangerous Man(tm), which is the description I'd apply to Jason Bourne. The frustration of being an unknown was portrayed well I thought, and he and the movie creators did an excellent job with the action elements to ensure the audience agreed Bourne is a highly trained secret agent.

    There was only one action element that screamed "yeah right" at me, and even it was done in a way that I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that it could work that way for real. No groan moments, as there are usually half a dozen per minute in a Bruckheimer film (for example). No portrayals of cops/police/government guys as Keystone cops or anything silly. A number of "cool" moments involving Bourne and his skills.

    Supporting acting turned in by Franka Potente (The Girl(tm) of the flick) and Chris Cooper (The Man(tm) of the flick) is well done and good. Potente gave the film additional flavor for the European setting, and all in all was excellently cast. Cooper is something of a character actor, but I liked his turn here as one of the key guys at CIA who's involved with Bourne.

    Direction, I enjoyed the direction quite a bit. Most all of the stunt/action sequences made excellent use of camera positioning and movement, some shots being downright clever to help add energy and impact to the story. There was good use of 'silence' and body acting/setting used throughout the film to help establish Bourne via Damon, including one shot early where he looks out a train window … multiple reflections of his face in the window as he stares at the images of himself against the black of night beyond the window, I liked the effects that were achieved in this manner several times. The Euro setting was very clearly set, and the film never drifted into feeling like a 'typical' Hollywood film shot in LA or Vancouver, etc… I saw Go and Swingers, liked the first more than the second, but neither really grabbed me. This film I think will have me looking for Doug Liman's next effort.

    Prognosis from Dave's World, not a bad spy flick, with some great acting and some good scenes. Hope others enjoy it.
     
  4. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    0
    You find the CIA angle out less than ten minutes into the film, it's not really what I'd call a huge secret. And honestly, most who viewed the trailer expected he worked for an agency somewhere/somehow. So while I agree this was a spoiler where there were claimed none, I don't agree it's a HUGE EFFIN SPOILER THAT'LL RUIN THE FILM OMIGOD!

    That's all. Still a great flick.
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2000
    Messages:
    9,063
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just got back, and I must say I enjoyed it more than I had thought.
    First let me begin by saying I thought that this film wouldn't work at all. I thought that Liman would try to make Damon look like some kick-ass Navy Seal or something...luckily, he didn't...well, at least not exactly. Matt Damon is a cool looking guy, just not in the sense that he can kick your ass before you can say "bubble-gum." This played to his advantage in The Bourne Identity, because he didn't know that he could kick your ass either. I'm not going to go deep into the premise, because it is pretty obvious from the trailers. Damon plays Jason Bourne, a Black Ops agent who gets amnesia and spends the majority of the film trying to figure out who he is. Along the way he picks up Franka Potente...and chaos ensues.
    Visually, the film was fun to watch. Liman has a great style, as seen before with Swingers and Go...and he hasn't lost it at all. I especially liked the car chase scene, overall good camera work.
    The acting was fantastic as always. Brian Cox and Chris Cooper come off as pretty kewl "bad" guys...but not as over the top as Jon Voite's character in "Enemy of the State." Damon turns out a great performance as he's trying to remember who he is. Potente really has a screen presence, when she was out there, I couldn't take my eyes off her...but I was waiting for the obligatory "Run Lola Run" scene that never came [​IMG]
    Overall, The Bourne Identity was a film that proves that you don't need to "check your brain at the door" too have a good time at a summer action flick. Good acting + good direction + good story will equal a success every time in my book. A big thumbs up from me and...
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2[​IMG] /[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,717
    Likes Received:
    463
    I thought "The Bourne Identity" was okay, not as good as I'd hoped, but not horrible, just didn't have enough bite to it. Matt Damon is okay as Jason Bourne. I found Franka Potente endearing in her role. Bourne is definitely a badass, even if it's just reflex kicking in when he needs the moves. Having never read the books, I can't say how close the film captures the tone of the books, but as a film, it could have been a bit tighter, and the guys hunting him could have been a little bit smarter. The trailer is definitely better than the film.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B- (for Bourne).
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,670
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Quentin H
    I thought it was one of the most intelligent and "realistic" feeling spy films I've ever seen.

    Well acted, and tightly told story. Any flaws it may have had probably reside in the source, but I haven't read the book so I can't compare.

    B+
     
  8. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had wonderful time here. This was the first time I left the theater this summer feeling 100% satisfied with a film (Spidey came very close). Good acting, good story. Finally a spy movie with some character and humanity instead of technology and mindless explosions (there's only one explosion in the film, and it's pretty brilliant actually). I was particularly impressed with how the action sequences were all perfectly to scale, never too big, never too small, just right to keep the story moving while not overwhelming the actors. Full props to Damon on a terrific, very human performance, and to Franka Potente likewise. Doug Liman proves himself a surprisingly versatile director between this, Go and Swingers. And Oliver Wood's cinematography is first-rate. A must-see and the first summer movie this year to fully justify my $9 (damn LA theater prices).
    - Guy
    PS
    Having visited the Czech Republic last summer it was most amusing to see so many Prague landmarks visible in "Zurich" [​IMG]
     
  9. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got back and will be dumping all my James Bond DVDs...
    Why? They all seem trite now compared to this film.

    For all the naysayers that doubted Damon's ability to tackle this role, go see it and be surprised.
     
  10. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tight movie, just awesome. I wish they'd fleshed out the consequences in store for the CIA, but it was otherwise excellent. Not quite the level of Insomnia for the movies I've seen this summer, but totally satisfying.
    Damon's excellent. I thought I was going to snicker whenever he did his kung-fu based on the trailers, but talk about misleading! He's the perfect cold-hearted spy! And a very, very smart movie. Bourne's not only a butt-kicking spy, he's using his brain as well. Great example of him thinking under fire during the embassy sequence.
    Forgettable when it's over, but gripped me completely during the entire running length and leaves that lingering sense of satisfaction at the end. Anybody know the song they play over the end credits? Tres awesome.
    Oh, and two separate shocker moments that were actually shocking, props up for that one. The entire audience gasped when I saw it [​IMG]
    Definitely a [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] for me.
     
  11. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    8,189
    Likes Received:
    411
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    One of the better films I have seen this year. A great movie and highly recommended[​IMG] I hope it does well enough for a second round.
    Matt Damon is perfectly cast as Jason Bourne, being charismatic, earnest, and dangerously intelligent all in one. He's the kind of guy an agency would track down to make a espionage agent. He just fits the part very well, and does a lot with a little. I hesitate to call this a spy movie (cause Bourne would old-school Bond in a minute), but if it looks like a rose and smells like a rose...
    Great work by the supporting cast: Cooper, Cox, Owen, and especially Potente. Nothing special to say...they were excellent.
    Doug Liman proves yet again that smart directors do the best action films. This is one of the technically better films I have seen. Creative while not being ostentatious. Great use of locations and very solid camerawork elevate this above it's ilk. I really enjoyed the direction.
    Overall, everything clicked. It's nice when the actor is SO right for the role, the filmmaking is top-notch, and there is energy on the screen. It doesn't explain everything in the background, but fills the stage with enough history to give it depth and meaning.
    A strong 9/10.
    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  12. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is without a doubt, one of the best Spy movies I've ever seen. I agree, the shooting was TIGHT/very european and even the score had that feel as well. I thought the fight stunts looked real and amazingly fast. No impossible gadgets. Very Refreshing! Damon plays the part with skill. There was very little in the way of the action, and I was hooked all the way through.
    I had no idea anyone could make a film like this any more. The car chase payed honor to Frankenheimer(Ronin/Grand Prix) or am I the only one to notice the street with the flood wall? I think we're so used to the Stupid Movie Tricks in most action flicks that when something like this comes along, it's almost too subtle. Hope it does well at the box. I'm all over the DVD when it happens.
    Eric
     
  13. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went into The Bourne Identity with the hope that it wouldn't devolve into a chase picture. I knew that dealing with international espionage and the CIA, there was going to be some hunting going on. What I wanted was real men, in real situations, using real, plausible tricks to escape. Call it a cat-and-mouse game if you wish, but I love watching people constantly trying to outsmart each other. Well, my hopes were realized and The Bourne Identity started out and remained one of the smartest, quick-witted films I've seen in some time. Beyond that even, it also remained true to the idea that one man can slip through the cracks and if talented enough, can remain hidden. It's incredible to see people who are so adept at blending in and becoming faceless but who retain a vulnerability that makes those who do see them unable to turn away.
    Matt Damon is perfectly cast. He has just the right mix of bravado and an un-assuming persona. He can take care of business if necessary but can also disappear like smoke at the drop of a hat. Through it all, he never gives off the impression of fear or being out of control. Every move is dictated by him and every battle is won, before it is ever fought. In short, he is smart, fast on his feet and icily fearless. All this would have been fine, but when you throw in the outstanding Franka Potente, the film rounds out beautifully. She simply captures your heart and displays a loyalty and fervent stubborness that is endearing. In the hands of a lesser director, this love angle would've been played up for smaltz. Here, Lyman does a good job of showing two people caught up in coincidence who then find that they need each other more as time goes on. Jason needs Maria because she calms him down. Maria needs Jason because he seems like a savior to her gypsy lifestyle. They both need each other because they work well as a team and real feelings grow from there. In the end, you really do feel a bit broken when they part.
    As for the ending, I was quite amazed. I'm talking about the last 5 minutes here. It was an ending that seemed like a tacked-on effort. It was an ending that you could have called at the half-way point in the movie. It was an ending that's been done over and over and over again. But, for whatever reason, probably due to Potente's great facial expressions, this ending was nearly perfect. Like I said, I've seen this ending countless times. Countless times, it's been nothing note-worthy. But, I just can't get it out of my head. I mean, I felt absolutely glorious when it happened. Anyways, if you are in the mood for an intelligent, tight-paced thriller, this is a good bet.
    The Bourne Identity [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Bruce
     
  14. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Mark Brewer

    Mark Brewer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2000
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw The Bourne Identity 3 days ago while on a fishing trip on the Oregon coast. It was a great diversion from our lackluster success with the fish. Living in the Portland Metro area we have access to some very nice theaters. But where we were on the coast we watched the movie with an isle down the center[​IMG] and in ULTRA*STEREO.
    The reason I like The Bourne Identity is that it was a simple and straight foward premiss. Hollywood has a track record for taking a great straightfoward story and using their "artistic freedom" and trashing it. I was tentative about Matt Damon but I enjoyed his performance. I'll be first in line when this goes to DVD, then I can watch it in 5.1.
     
  16. Carol Razavi

    Carol Razavi Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2000
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW!!! The best part of this movie... and I hated in the trailers, was the fact that it WASN'T a flashy MTV-like movie. There were so many suttle moments like the scene with Franka and Matt in the hotel cleaning her hair. They look at each other for awhile, then kiss. There was true acting there... they seemed confused but desperate. I don't know[​IMG] I just think there was great acting.
    I'm really getting bored with James Bond and all his gadgets and the fact that he seems to have no character flaws. There seems to be absolutly nothing that can go wrong in Bonds universe. In Bourne's, it's very realistic, I appreciated that alot. This was a very suprising intelligent Spy film. No stupid, high-tech machinary, very believable. It feels like this could honestly take place in our world. Probably one of my favorite Spy films now. (next to Mission Impossible...oh yeah Spy Kids too)[​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. JonA

    JonA Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw the "the Bourne Identity" today, and I found it very refreshing as well. Damon played the unknown super agent very well and Franka...well seeing as run lola run is one of my top 5 movies, wow.
    the lack of extra, superfluous dialogue was a remarkable departure from today's spy/action flicks. the actors were quite good at conveying their feelings and moods with looks alone.
    Please reply why you thought the ending was solid as well--for me, I wanted him to find her, but w/out the ad infinitum, panoramic deep kisses that one always sees. This would be in contrast to "good will hunting" where you see Damon driving off into the sunset to find Minnie Driver. In my opinion, the angst of the separation between Damon and Potente necessitated their reunion. When she turns around and sees him...the electricity of their looks is white hot...in a way, it's as I imagined it would be if the Finnes had come back in time to rescue Kristin Scott-Thomas in The English Patient.
    finally...i need some help here...would anyone care to comment on why they find Franka Potente incredibly sexy!!! I can't place it, but there is just something about her. She is not glamourous or gorgeous, so what is it? Of course her eyes are incredible and riveting...maybe that is it. I cannot take my eyes off of her when she is on screen.
    anyways, I look forward to your replies.
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,717
    Likes Received:
    463
  19. Dahna

    Dahna Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 1999
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Minority Report last weekend, Bourne Identity this weekend. I must say both dh and I enjoyed Bourne better. We give it an 8.5/10, MR a 7/10. This is odd since we both like Sci Fi equally if not more than suspense. This one makes me want the sequel. Not so w/ MR. A little bit of Ronin w/ some 1960s Day of the Jackal thrown in. Well done! Matt can act, Ben can't!
     
  20. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2000
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I just saw this Monday, and I am glad I did finally get to see it at the theater. Both myself and my girlfried really liked the movie, almost certain that I will buy it on DVD.

    I really liked the European feel to the movie and I was glad that it wasn't American based. Makes me want to watch Ronin again.
     

Share This Page