Bourne Identity (This movie is now showing in Hong
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper
Category: IIB (Not suitable for young persons
Duration: 119 minutes
As a reader of Robert Ludlum's novels for over twenty years,
I was looking forward to seeing The Bourne Identity. So far,
film versions of Ludlum have not been memorable, The Osterman
Weekend, The Holcroft Covenant. The Bourne Identity was a
miniseries in the 80s with Richard Chamberlain.
The screenwriters have been wise to take the simple linear
plot from the novel: a man floating in the Mediterranean is
rescued, revived by fishermen and sent on his way to Zurich
with the bank address that has been found implanted in him.
He has amnesia. Who is he? When he finds passports and money,
he goes on a quest to find himself. He commandeers Marie (Franka
Potente) and her car to get him to Paris. She is caught up
in a dangerous pursuit because we learn what Jason Bourne
does not know, that he is a CIA assassin. We watch Bourne's
instinctive violent self-preservation and ingenuity and the
tactics of the CIA who want to be rid of him. It makes for
a blend of psychological pressure and some slambang action,
including quite a car chase through Paris.
Matt Damon has a limited range as an actor. However, the
role of the amnesiac, not too sure of himself, suits him very
well. Doug Liman made two rather hip 30 something movies,
Swingers and Go. They did not prepare us for how well he translates
the spirit of Ludlum to the big screen.