“The Bourne Identity” is directed by Doug Liman, who also directed movies like “Jumper” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and stars the ever famous Matt Damon. A man is found by a group of sailors in the middle of the sea and is rescued, only to wake up suffering from amnesia. He remembers absolutely nothing; all he has is a small device that was implanted in his side which contains the account number to a safe deposit box. He goes to Switzerland and finds the box, in which he finds a weapon, cash, and multiple labels of identification with various names, but his picture on each. He uses the first name, which is American, and sticks with it: Jason Bourne. Everything then spirals out of control as he attempts to find out who he really is, what he is really doing, and why he is doing it, and it all comes together to be an action blockbuster and Doug Liman’s best film.
Let’s face it, Doug Liman isn’t a great director. I personally enjoyed “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” but his other films, like “Jumper,” just don’t have the touch. While the direction in this film certainly isn’t top notch, it is very good, and it works well with what they are trying to accomplish. Another interesting aspect of this film, and “Supremecy” and “Ultimatum,” is that they are all written by Tony Gilroy, who is the director of the upcoming fourth installment, “The Bourne Legacy.” Gilroy is superb here, offering many great lines of dialogue and action scenes that are very, very well paced for a first movie in a trilogy.
The acting in this film is also fantastic, as Matt Damon gives an astounding performance, as he always seems to do, and establishes himself as one of the great American actors. Franka Potente is good in the film, but her performance is certainly not memorable. The entire supporting cast at the CIA is strong here, and I really bought into everything that was going on through their characters.
Overall, I say “The Bourne Identity” is a great opening film to the trilogy, and, even though it is obvious when watching that Paul Greengrass isn’t directing, it’s still a great spy film, a great chase film, and just a great film.
Run Time: 119 mins
Rated: PG-13 for violence and some language