Movie Reviews

The Bourne Identity

Bourne Poster

A couple nights ago I saw The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon and “That Girl from Run Lola Run” as everyone refers to her, based on the novel by Robert Ludlum. I have not read the book, but I plan to now, so some of my critique may be somewhat objective because I didn’t come in with the previous knowledge of what happens so that I could subconciously fill in the holes left by the filmmakers, but let’s not get too crass too quick.

First of all, I would say that it’s one of the fastest two hours I’ve spent sitting in a movie theatre, especially when compared to shit like Eyes Wide Shut where I found myself feeling for every possible rip in my seat and hoping that maybe, just maybe the rapture would come. The movie itself starts burning rubber about 5 minutes in and never slows down. In fact, by the time I realized the movie was about over, my testosterone shouted, “Wait! Isn’t there any more CIA-mole ass to kick!” So that’s a compliment that I would definately extend to the movie. It kept my attention the whole time, and I left feeling like I was well entertained.

Matt Damon and Franka Potente are both very good. I’m not an overt Matt Damon fan, but I’ve been noticing more and more that there are practically no movies he’s in that I dislike. However, I particularly enjoyed Franka’s performance, this being the first time I’ve ever seen her. Every time she was on the screen it was like a breath of fresh air. Her chemistry with Matt was excellent, and her very naturalistic acting style was very refreshing, especially when faced with so much dry Hollywood crap that’s out there. Chris Cooper also does a good job, although I keep expecting to see Tommy Lee Jones jump in and start barking orders to set up a search through every innhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in the area.

Now on to the critique. Speaking of actors, why the hell is Julia Stiles in this movie? First of all, she has no depth and hardly any purpose. Partly that’s her fault, and party it’s the screen writer/director’s. When I first saw her on the screen, my immediate thought was, “So the CIA has an intern?” And through the rest of the movie, that preconception was never ousted. There seems to be hinting at various points that the character has some sort of purpose, but it’s never exposed, nor acted. They could have gotten any no-name actress to play that, and it would have been fine. Actually, I take that back, they could have hired almost anyone else and I would have bought it more. So this is the first reason I want to read the book, because I’m intrigued to find out what this character’s deal is. If that character is not in the book, I will be highly disappointed, because then her purpose is even more useless. So that’s my biggest complaint. There’s no inter-racial high school that needs saving in this movie, therefore, no need for Julia Stiles.

My other complaint with the movie is some holes that never got filled. First of all, how did he suffer amnesia? At first, I was content with believing that he just suffered a lot of trauma, what with the two bullets in his back. But then the screen writer taunts me in a couple different spots with the idea of brainwashing. So was he brainwashed then? We never really find out. Reason 2 that I should read the book.

The other hole is: So what on Earth is this Treadstone thing? Sounds like a tire brand, but apparently it has something to do with the assassins, but what? After seeing the movie, I still have no idea. Reason 3 that I should read the book.

So overall, I’d say the movie is worth paying $7.00 or whatever if you like a good intense action flick. However, the story had a lot of holes that if they were filled, would have probably made it a little more enjoyable, but I’ll settle for Matt Damon shooting one gun right side up and one upside down to satisfy the testosterone inside me that doesn’t care that much about plot. As the old commercial says: Read the book.

Bourne Book

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