Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bourne Identity -- 2002

The Bourne Identity

Rated PG-13 for violence and some language
My Rating: 4 Stars

Doug Liman

Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Brian Cox

Before you read the summary, let me admit something: I am not a big fan of Matt Damon. I've seen him in "Geronimo" (in which, he was pretty good but still... not my favorite actor), "The Good Old Boys", "Saving Private Ryan" (I love that movie but Tom Hanks definitely ranked higher than Matt Damon ;-)), "All the Pretty Horses" and "Jersey Girl". However, when I saw this film, I finally understood why people really like his movies. It was like he finally found his genre or character. Amazing acting. If you like espionage/action/thriller, this is the movie for you. 

There was a storm raging the evening they found him floating in the ocean. It was amazing he was still breathing. He had been shot twice in the back before being dumped overboard and left for dead. The crew of the small fishing boat pulled him out of the Mediterranean and laid him out on the table. The captain was skilled in small surgery and began his work. First, he removed the bullets. Then, something attracted his attention. What was this? Figuring the man wouldn't survive anyway, he made a small slit in the fellow's hip and found something he didn't expect: a tiny laser projector. Mystified, he turns it on and finds it displays the numbers of a safety deposit box in Zurich. It isn't everyone who has a laser projector in his hip. The Captain begins to wonder who exactly is laying on his table?

When the man regains consciousness, he finds out that he is... just that. The man on the table. He cannot remember who he is. Whatever had happened to him before they found him in the sea now locks part of his memory in psychogenic amnesia. But over the course of the next weeks, he does find some interesting things about himself. He can speak several languages, fluently. And he knows things... like how fast and far he could run at all elevations before his hands begin shaking; who in the room is most likely to cause trouble; where a gun might be hidden; where all the cars in a parking lot came from and what their make is; where the best, safest exits are in the building. But he cannot remember where he came from, his name, or why someone would shoot him and toss him overboard into the ocean.

Regardless of his handicap, he is strong and young and a willing worker. The Captain grows fond of him and when they dock at Imperia (Italy) he tucks some money into the young man's hand. Neither have any idea of what awaits him. The question is only of the will to resist. Can he refuse what has been his mind, heart and soul?

What I Liked:
1: Matt Damon was brilliant in this film.
2: The entire plot. I found it very unique and well told. The psychology of it is rich and made me think.
3: Realistic quality of the story was 100%.
4: The romance. Franke Potente was the perfect choice for the Marie character. To quote a friend, the love scene was ' was the most tastefully done love scene I have ever watched'. And I agree. :-)
5: The language was really toned down for a PG-13 movie. I appreciated that.
6: It kept me on the edge of my seat but didn't tire me out. There were rest points amongst the action. :-)
7: Lots of action!! ;-)
8: I actually got chills from this movie. It's frightening the first time you watch it.
9: The best car chases I've ever seen on a film. Seriously.

Things to Know:
1: Brief strong language and lots of abuses of Deity. I actually hadn't even noticed while watching it but while doing my back work (I try to make sure I'm being accurate ;-)), I discover this is a common complaint about the film... And rightfully so. However, it isn't unrealistic for them to use language like this. So... give and take.
2: A love scene that involves kissing and her removing his shirt (camera swings away)... also, (this could be listed in my dislikes) they cut her hair and she's only wearing her underclothing. You can easily cover the screen, however.
3: People get hurt, killed, murdered, etc, etc. with Bourne doing lots of killing. He's not a typical hero.


Lindsey said...

First thing I said to myself when I saw that car going down the stairs is, "That looks like something you'd see in Italy!" lol!

Ok, I didn't see anything quite that extreme but they will drive through places you'd think impossible to get through with a car.

The Ponderer said...

Do they have seat belts? Lol! Sounds like a place I'd *love* to visit. ;)

Someone told me that they drive rather crazily in England, too. Is it Europe in general I wonder?

Lindsey said...

Never got to check out the inside of the cars. lol! I'm sure you'd love it over there. :)

Yeah, I would say it was semi-crazy over there. Maybe part of it wasn't the speed so much but more because the cars whip in and out wherever they can fit. It more takes you by surprise and leaves you looking behind your back more often. :)

Naomi said...

I'm thinking I should never drive over there. ;)

Wouldn't it be a hoot if the two of us took a European trip? We could test taste all the fine chocolate (and other food) and learn about culture at the same time. :) :)