This was the beginning of a franchise that sparked a lot of action movies to up their game, The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon is helmed as one of the absolute best action films ever made. There’s a reason for this too, director Doug Liman came on to adapt the novel of the same name just so he could create one of the most authentically unique action films ever made. In doing so, he started the popular cinema trope of rogue agent espionage films. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, some of the later Daniel Craig Bond films, and movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier were all influenced by what this film started.
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The Movie Review
Based on the popular novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum, the story of Jason Bourne starts with his body found within the Mediterranean Sea by Italian fishermen, who tend to his wounds.
As it turns out, he’s suffering from psychogenic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything. Now, Bourne must attempt to recover his memory by finding bits and pieces of information regarding his past scattered around the world. To complicate things, there is an internal conflict and conspiracies within the CIA that will put his life in even more danger than it already is!
The Matt Damon starring action film, directed by Doug Liman manages to be one of the most insanely fun roller coaster rides. This is a serious film, from start to finish with little to no comedy amidst all the intensity. It’s a contrasting difference to Doug Liman’s film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which was almost entirely built up of action-comedy moments, whereas The Bourne Identity focuses entirely on an action-centric plot.
The film’s main character has amnesia, which is why he doesn’t remember anything. This is what makes his story so easy to follow. The things that he learns throughout the story, are what we as the audience learn throughout it as well.
The film was paced in a way that each revelation feels important, no matter how small it is. Every single thing that Jason Bourne finds out, ends up serving a purpose within the film and that is what makes it such an interesting mystery and suspense thriller aside from all of the action fuelled goodness.
Of course, the film would not be as engaging as it is without an actor Matt Damon’s caliber featured in it. He tames the beast that is Jason Bourne with such ferocity, giving a performance that you can easily recall as one of the best action film protagonists. He singlehandedly turned Jason Bourne into an action movie icon, with a cold demeanor, a calm way of doing things, and a rebellious rage deep within him that is just inkling on coming out.
The real heroes of this film are cinematographer Oliver Wood and action choreographer Nick Powell. They work hand in hand, to design some of the most influential action sequences. The widely popular Pen versus Knife fight scene comes to mind, which had a sharp claustrophobic feel to it, and showcased one of the tightest hand-to-hand combat sequences you could see on the big screen.
The color palette of the film is nothing spectacular though, and the music just feels extremely annoying during the fight scenes. I’d have preferred a more toned-down orchestral soundtrack rather than a full-fledged rock soundtrack that keeps overplaying all of the dialogues and sound effects.
The Bottom Line
In summary, the start of Jason Bourne’s multi-feature franchise spawning journey was one of the most original action films of the 2000s. It’s a story of conviction and fighting your past. Sure, in 2021, it’s going to seem like your generic action film with a much more decent story when compared to the hordes of films that you can find littered around the industry. However, when it was released, Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity was a revolutionary film that changed the way action films were produced for a long time!