13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Bourne.......but still good
If you have read the book, the film is a shock as the story line has little resemblance. Although the stories start the same, the book and the film soon diverge. Gone are the clever twists and turns, gone is the mystery and bournes feeling of utter dispair as sinister events emerge around him. Gone is the core of the original story, the international terrorist Carlos the...
Published on 29 Sep 2003 by Steve
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re: Bourne Identity
Having read the Ludlum - Jason Bourne trilogy of which Bourne Identity is the first, it is a little disappointing when I think how much has been left out of the printed version. Nevertheless, on its own, it is a superb thriller which Matt Damon really did justice to.
Just a shame to see how Hollywood is making people lazy to pick up a good book. Check out the 3-in-one...
Published on 25 Oct 2004 by Andy
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Bourne.......but still good,
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Having said all that, this film is very good. You become sympathetic to Bourne (well played by Matt Damon) who struggles as the wounded amnesiac who discovers his mulitple identities, that everyone he meets either wants to arrest him or kill him and his ability to disarm and disable police, soldiers and assasins alike. He slowly works out who is behind his problems, his true identity and role in the dangerous world he finds himself in. His leading lady doesn't need to be the strong willed doctor of the book, because there is less for her to contend with in this simplified plot.
The car chase is good, the martial arts are good and the modified story, despite some obvious flaws is good enough.
This is worth watching if the proper tale of Bourne and his complex Identity doesn't bother you.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great action thriller,
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, slick...all in all, a fun ride.,
This review is from: The Bourne Identity [VHS]  (VHS Tape)A man presumed dead is discovered near the coast of France by a group of fishermen. He is suffering from amnesia and, having discovered the number to a Swiss bank account embedded into his hip, travels to Zurich in the hopes of discovering his true identity. His life is further complicated upon arriving in Switzerland, where he discovers a safety deposit box containing passports - each of which his and yet each of which for a different country of citizenship – along with a linguistic ability he didn’t know he had, and an exceptional knowledge of martial arts.
And so Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) embarks on a pan-European trip, in the search for his true identity, whilst at the same time avoiding those he had previously worked for, picking up German-born Marie (Franke Potenta) along the way, who of course complicates his life even more.
The Bourne Identity is a more unconventional action film than you will have seen up to now, but what it lacks in audacity it makes up for in ingenuity. Director Doug Liman (Swingers, Go) once again shows his ability to make films that quite simply look pretty damn cool – the pace of the film is great fun for the audience to watch – and he manages to extract some great performances from his cast.
Matt Damon is, admittedly, a somewhat unlikely action hero, but he manages to pull the role of Bourne off with a great deal of panache. The fighting scenes are interestingly conceived, and the lack of formulaic action sequences is a breath of fresh air. Potenta, Cooper and Owen, all of whom match Damon in terms of enthusiasm and energy, also seem to be enjoying the ride.
It’s not the most intellectual film you’ll ever see, by any stretch of the imagination – but at the end of the day, it’s got action, romance and a bit of a laugh…and it’s definitely worth your time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspenseful,
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
The plot is decent with some interesting twists. Jason Bourne is an assassin who fails on a mission, the film begins with him being rescued from the ocean. The rest of the film follows him as he attempts to discover who he is while avoiding the multitude of people trying to kill him.
Matt Damon (much to my surprise) is excellent as the amnesiac Jason Bourne and the supporting cast, particularly Franka Potente, Chris Cooper and Brian Cox, are very good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Explosive and Thrilling Debut for a Great Trilogy and Better on Blu-ray,
This review is from: The Bourne Identity [Blu-ray][Region Free] (Blu-ray)'The Bourne Identity' is the first, and best in my opinion, of a trilogy of films (followed by 'Supremacy' then 'Ultimatum', and the list may expand in the future...) based on the 'Bourne' series of novels by Robert Ludlum, with Matt Damon in the lead role as the CIA operative Jason Bourne. This debut film already dates back to 2002, but even then still managed to introduce a thrilling new, more 'gritty' style of action movie to the film world. Whilst a passing nod should be given to 'The Matrix' for stimulating a fresh approach to the included fight scenes, this movie rejuvenated the non-Sci-Fi action genre (rather like 'Die Hard' did over 10 years earlier) with a no-nonsense, ruthless, approach to the action whilst maintaining a credible plot - all supported by quality production values.
The move to Blu-ray for this film is notable, with a noticeably sharper image and additional extras to support the fact that by this time all 3 films had been made. It is, in my opinion, the only film of the 3 worth getting on Blu-ray (as opposed to DVD) as the filming method for the remaining 2 films does not offer much potential for improvement in HD and the quality of the extras drops with them. None of the films on Blu-ray offer a noticeable improvement in the audio department despite them offering DTS, as many versions of the DVD for this film also had DTS and the remaining 2 films don't really need the 'jump' in audio quality as there is less going on sound-effect wise in them.
The other notable aspects of this inaugural movie are that it is directed by Doug Liman (whereas the remaining 2 were directed by Paul Greengrass) and the excellent, rousing, original score music (written by John Powell) is made even MORE prominent by the inclusion of a number of popular songs to support the action. The most notable being a superb car chase embellished with 'Ready Steady Go' performed by Oakenfold and the end-credits bolstered by the Moby track 'Extreme Ways' (which is repeated in the remaining 2 films, albeit in slightly different variations). Liman did not disappear thereafter, he remained on the production staff from then on (as did Powell) ....
This film starts by introducing the Bourne character and the resulting confusion (for him as well as us !) about exactly who he is, why he is where he is and what he was up to - all questions he is asking as well ! All 3 films concentrate on this premise, with answers gradually being revealed, additional discoveries made and a quick realisation that everything revolves around the murky world of espionage and contract-killing on a truly worldwide scale....
Being the inaugural film, several significant long-term characters are introduced and the basis for the whole 'Bourne' mystery laid. It is pertinent to point out that you really need to watch all 3 films, and in order, as assumptions are made as things progress through them and in fact continue almost seamlessly from when/how the former film ends - a true trilogy ! Suffice to say that the nature of espionage etc explains why there are a lot of 'high-octane' car chases, extremely brutal hand-to-hand fight scenes (with a pen being the notable weapon of choice in 'Identity' !) interspersed by covert (and occasionally very overt !) information gathering; prepare yourself for a bumpy and violent ride which is nonetheless hugely entertaining and captivating. 'Identity' starts properly in Switzerland but from then on is mostly based in France (there are occasional 'jumps' to eastern USA).
And, in the interests of first-time viewers, that's enough of the plot I think as more would spoilt the surprises. Read the Amazon synopsis of the film at your peril and, most definitely, avoid the disc featurettes until after watching the film as WAY too many beans are spilled !
The initially 'bland' nature of the Bourne character lends itself very well to what I think is the rather bland acting nature of Damon, so the requirement to show little emotion also makes him a perfect fit for the character. However, to his credit what Damon also brings to the show are a credible sense of bewilderment, due to confused nature of his character, and a supremely agile physique to properly reflect what you would expect of someone skilled at killing and getting themselves out of very 'awkward' situations....
All the Bourne films feature action located on a global scale, but the especially refreshing aspect is how much is based in Europe. They also all share an excellent range of supporting actors, including the highly competent and convincing presence of people like Chris Cooper, Joan Allen, Franka Potente and the always excellent Brian Cox - but Damon is the only person in any of the cast to feature throughout, with one exception.....
As mentioned at the start, 'Identity' looks great on Blu-ray and also benefits from DTS due to the audio 'activity' being more notable than the remaining 2 films; everything is wonderfully sharp, bright and I think offers a fairly significant improvement over even an upscaled DVD. The only blemish is that, for my BR collection, the producing studio 'Universal' continue their 100% 'failure rate' of relying solely on the higher bit-rate/resolution of Blu-ray to improve the presentation and making no effort whatsoever to 'clean up' the image; whilst not as bad as other efforts (eg 'Casino'), there are still several distracting blemishes of the white 'speckle' variety which flash quickly and randomly onto the screen, the worst being near the start of the film when the fishermen are playing cards and their table activity is smattered in a veritable mini 'snow storm' of the blighters for several seconds....
Where Blu-ray also offers an advantage is with the extras, which add several new featurettes to the DVD (this time including coverage and interviews with Ludlum) BUT some are best left until you've watched the trilogy, as they tend to take advantage of having been made after all 3 films and feature clips/references etc which are liable to spoil things for later. The new 'U-Control' in-film feature also appears on the trilogy of Blu-rays, but when I could get a player which supported it properly (often the picture-in-picture was silent) it didn't seem to be that notable in content.
So, if you enjoy action movies which also include a bit of intelligence (of both kinds !) 'The Bourne Identity' is essential viewing. It should tempt you to continue with the trilogy, but don't feel pressured to get the remaining 2 films on Blu-ray as I think that the DVD, upscaled, will do just as well due to the difference in their filming method not properly justifying the need for an HD presentation. More is revealed in my dedicated reviews on Amazon for them....
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, good BD, super value,
This review is from: The Bourne Identity [Blu-ray][Region Free] (Blu-ray)The first Bourne film is exciting, imaginative and well-acted with a terrific plot even if it is not the most glittering showcase for HD. On the audio side there is nothing to criticise, with great surround effects, pulsating music and a perfect sound balance of dialogue to effects and music. Visually there isn't really anything wrong with this release as a BD, but it isn't a disc to show off your system. While there are superb close-ups with good amount depth and plasticity, longer shots are not always hitting all the right buttons for depth and sharpness. The look of the film is rendered faithfully, but this includes some yellow filtering and occasionally subdued colours which might disappoint some, even though they seem to be an aesthetic choice rather than any shoddiness.
It is a question of expectations. As long as you know this isn't going to look like "Transformers" you will probably be delighted with this; I never saw the HD-DVD version, so cannot compare, but it is comfortably better than the DVD. I paid 12 quid on release and was well pleased, for the current price you can't go wrong! There are also terrific extras including generous BD-Live content. Recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re: Bourne Identity,
This review is from: The Bourne Identity (Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)Having read the Ludlum - Jason Bourne trilogy of which Bourne Identity is the first, it is a little disappointing when I think how much has been left out of the printed version. Nevertheless, on its own, it is a superb thriller which Matt Damon really did justice to.
Just a shame to see how Hollywood is making people lazy to pick up a good book. Check out the 3-in-one trilogy....1400 pages (I just checked - :-)) of 'unputdownable' twists and suspense-ful turns, you wont regret it.
"...Cain is for Carlos, Delta is for Cain".
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a welcome return to a more cerebral action thriller...,
Found floating in the Mediterranean Sea by fisherman, Jason Bourne [Matt Damon] is suffering from severe amnesia with no way to explain the two bullets in his back, or the bank number embedded in his hip. On land he discovers his identity from a passport in the security box being held under that number. Only then does he find the box also contains a gun and several more passports, each under a different name. With the CIA hunting him down, Bourne must discover the truth behind his identity, aided by Maria [Franka Potente] who becomes unwillingly caught up in the chase.
The most striking thing about The Bourne Identity is its superb pacing. Varying between tender moments of reprise and tense sequences as Bourne flees his pursuors, Liman manages to maintain a fugutive sensation throughout, never being able to rest for quite long enough. The tension is also maintained through Bourne's lack of knowledge of his own abilities, which manifest themselves suddenly. The first such occurrance is when approached by Swiss policemen, his perfectly precise reflex attack lasting only moments before both are on the ground. One of the film's best moments is when Bourne eerily reveals to Maria while in a diner that he can recite the licence plate number of every car parked outside, but doesn't know why.
The action is always swift and sharp, rapid outbursts of gunfire or shouts breaking through what is generally a very quiet film. When it does appear, however, it is of very high quality, like Bourne's climb down the embassy wall, and most notably in the gripping car chase through Paris, one of the best for a long while as we see his hardwired skills surface again (and how often do we get to see what a superspy can do with a Mini Cooper!?). A prime example of the film's intelligent manipulation of the audince's tension appears at the end of this chase, having evaded their pursuors, where rather than a quick quip, the pair quietly sit in the car regaining their composure and realising they have to clean it of fingerprints and dump it.
Damon at first appears a little young for the role, but his acting is of a high quality throughout. He is not only able to carry himself ably through the action sequences (which are nothing too stretching or original) but also reveals more depth to his character, portraying bpth his frustration (Maria inquires about his taste in music and he cannot answer) and a tortured side that does not like the history he is discovering about his identity and would rather start afresh. Potente skillfully changes what could be a standard "spy's girl" role into something far more interesting through her lively charisma. Clive Owen's creepy and mostly silent hitman was perhaps underused, and Julia Stiles' small role as an inexperienced dispatcher was often unconvincing (arguably due to her lines rather than performance).
Liman's greatest move is in letting the characters drive the story, and the developing relationship between Jason and Maria is given as much screen time as the exhilerating stunts. Nothing about the film appears overly contrived, and the sets and locations lack the usual Hollywood flavour. Paris is painted as rather grim and sterile, while the wintery European countryside is beautiful but bland. Most impressively, the CIA office is a realistic basement office filled with standard computers, rather than the ludicrous technophile palaces we are usually offered.
While it may lack, as a result, the hi-tech style and panache of the James Bond franchise, The Bourne Identity wins out through its compelling intelligence in script, content and appearance. While Hollywood is cluttered with gadget-driven espionage films these days, imaginative cerebral thrillers like this rise rarely. And since author Robert Ludlum also wrote two sequels to the novel this is based upon, perhaps this isn't the last we've seen of Jason Bourne...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD MOVIE, WORTH WATCHING,
This review is from: The Bourne Identity  [DVD] (DVD)A lot of the people reviewing this have focused on the fact that this is not really an extended version of the original DVD release. However, my advice would be that if you dont already have this movie on DVD but enjoyed the other two parts of the Bourne trilogy then this is well worth buying and viewing. If you already own it on DVD, then it is not worth buying this re-packaged version.
The movie itself is loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name. The basic plot is the same but many of the details are different. Matt Damon surprisingly became an action star on the back of this movie, breaking any previous limitations that viewing audiences and critics previously held of him.
Although this is probably not as good as the two Paul Greengrass directed sequels it is still well worth a watch and a good introduction to the rest of the series (so far).
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The Bourne Identity [HD DVD]  [US Import] by Doug Liman (HD DVD - 2007)