(2002) dir. Doug Liman
viewed: 07/01/02 at Park Cinemas, Paso Robles, CA
The Bourne Identity is a classic type of noirish action/thriller, with fantastic European location settings, and a lean and well-paced narrative. I really enjoyed it.
The opening is great. French fishermen find a body floating in the sea that they take for a corpse. Upon pulling it aboard, they realize that the man is alive but has two bullets in his back. When he awakes, he has no memory of who he is or how he got there. The rest of the film follows him as he attempts to rediscover his identity, which turns out to be that of a highly skilled killer.
As a rule, I do not usually care for Matt Damon, but his muted performance fit the character well. I liked Franka Potente, too (she was the Lola of Run Lola Run (1999)).
The action pieces are not as showy as in many films, maybe a little more down to earth. The location shooting grounds the action in a very real and recognizable world, which I liked.
I don’t really have much else to say about this film of the top of my head. It’s certainly an interesting notion, a redemption of sorts, clearing the slate of a trained and cold-blooded hit man, finding his humanity by losing his memory, triggered by a chance humanitarian flash.
Anyways, I enjoyed it. Well worth a second viewing.