Browsing Tag

When The Bourne Identity was released two years ago many where surprised by the success of the film mainly based on the fact that no one believed Matt Damon could be an action hero. Yet, Damon’s portrayal of Jason Bourne wasn’t one of one man looking to take down an opposing army with a barrage of bullets and super-human strength, it was an amnesiac looking for answers about his past and coming up with some troubling facts. I doubted Damon as much as the next critic, but after viewing the film, and seeing how well he fit into the character, I was instantly proved wrong. Not only did Damon’s acting build the critical acclaim of the film the smart script, excellent fight scenes, and oh-my-god-how-is-he-going-to-get-out-of-this moments paid for the ticket ten times over

Now, fast forward to present day where Jason Bourne is once again back in the spotlight of a CIA investigation and it is time for the second book in Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series to take flight on the big screen and come up big as one of the best films of a lackluster summer. The Bourne Supremacy finds Jason Bourne hiding “off-the-grid” in India and trying to make a life for himself and Marie (Franka Potente), but, when assassins once again set their sights on him, he targets the organization that he once worked for to get answers once and for all.

Truth be told, the film is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, but where it lacks believability at some parts, it makes up for them in others. The movie, like its predecessor, is a smartly crafted spy tale about one fallen agent looking for a door way into his past while also looking into the future. Damon’s Bourne is a man who is troubled with his past actions, shown beautifully and emotionally near the end of the film, but his training makes him and wanted man and in order to survive his pursuers must face the consequences. The underlying story of the film is the assassination of a Russian diplomat nearly a decade before the events of the film, but new information turns up and a mission to retrieve this intelligence is cut short when two men are shot dead. All evidence points to Bourne, but in a movie filled with turncoat CIA agents, could there be a deeper conspiracy.

Like The Bourne Identity and The Sum of all Fears, Supremacy is an intriguing picture to watch. The lure of the intelligence agencies and the “in-the-shadows” atmosphere brings in moviegoers by the hundreds merely to get a glimpse into something we are never meant to see in real life. Maybe that is part of the appeal of the film. The fact that we know stuff like this must go on all the time, throughout the world, but the common man will never ever see it.

With that being said, you do have to suspend disbelief at times as situations always seem to work out a bit too perfectly for Bourne, but don’t they always for the good guy? British director Paul Greengrass’ penance for using a handheld shaky camera during most of the film’s fight scenes, similar to the foot-chase seen in Narc, and leaves the audience with a disoriented feeling as it is hard to grasp what exactly is going on. Luckily the sound effects are more than adequate to equate the situation for moviegoers. As I stated before, the good more than outweighs the bad, and after the audience is treated to another killer car chase sequence at the climax of the film, you will completely forget about its faults.

The supporting players have a very important role in the film as they add layers to an already deep narrative. Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), a senior member of the CIA, provides an intriguing antagonist to both Bourne and Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), who is vying for his desk and looking to make up for the botched operation. The folds to the story that each one adds tie into the original film and fleshes out the back-story to the series itself. Kirill (Karl Urban) is more or less a hired assassin sent to kill Bourne, and while the character is not as deep as the others, he also provides a worthy nemesis to the crafty Bourne.

After everything is said and done Universal managed to make up for the bomb that was Van Helsing and deliver a truly intelligent, yet fun, summer movie that will have James Bond and Matt Damon fans both clamoring for more from the series. With a generally modest budget and a bank-filling opening weekend, we can only hope the third film is already in the cards.

Even with lackluster reviews, previous to our own, and opening up against Windtalkers and Scooby Doo and with Spider-Man and Star Wars still at the box office, The Bourne Identity still managed to haul in close to $30 million dollars in it’s opening weekend.

While Identity falls into the cliché following of James Bond and other action spy movies, serious or not, it still manages to make a name for itself for a number of reasons.

The biggest draw to the movie is the fact that it has been a highly successful novel for sometime. Updated for the big screen, Bourne Identity features Matt Damon, sans Ben Affleck, as Jason Bourne a covert-ops agent who has lost most of his memory and is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Europe. The movie focuses on Jason’s employers attempts to capture and subdue what they believe to be a rogue in the system.

While the movie tries to bring Matt Damon into the role of an action hero, leaving behind chose rolls in independent films, he is never really that believable, but it still works for Universal for the women. Besides the off-color attempt to bring Damon into new roles, Bourne doesn’t really fail terrible on any levels. The biggest problem is the fact that the plot is very loose, and seems almost too open ended, like the director and screenwriter want the audience to figure out what is going on, rather than telling you, the problem with this is, they never give you enough information to figure it out on your own.

Two standing achievements shouldn’t be missed, and one is worth the price of admission alone. The fight sequences are some of the very best seen on the big screen, they totally rock. While the sound effects may seem as far fetched as they come, it adds to the atmosphere of the movie.

The second achievement, the one worth admission, is the car chase scene halfway through the movie. Seeing Matt Damon pilot a manual POS through the streets of Paris was amazing. The abuse this car took, corners at 90 degrees, going the wrong way on an express way, it was amazing, it took my breath away, it made the movie for me. Although I have a hard time picturing Julia Stiles as a covert agent, let alone know how to even use a computer.

So in the end, The Bourne Identity managed to steal some of my hard earned money for the weekend, and I’m glad I decided not to give it to Scooby Doo. If you want something to hold you over till Die Another Day, Bourne Identity will surely do.