Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Trilogy is the most consistently high quality film series in the history of movies. The series gets better with each passing movie, learning where the previous one faltered then fixing that problem while upping the quality of the rest of the movie. This is also the movie that brought Matt Damon to the masses in many ways because this is his most well known starring role and also his best, outside of The Adjustment Bureau. Along with Doug Liman's direction, the two make an exceptional spy thriller that blossomed into on of the best trilogies in film history and created one of the most memorable characters in recent memory.

The Bourne Identity tells the story of Jason Bourne, who is found floating in the sea off of the coast of France by a fishing vessel. He has been shot in the back twice and is nursed back to health by the medic in the ship, who finds a laser pointer containing bank information in Bourne's leg. On top of currently recovering from gunshot wounds, he also cannot remember who he is which sets up most of the film's narrative. Bourne goes to the bank to check the bank account and find a large sum of money, passports, and a gun. He begins to question why he would have all of these items and goes to an American embassy to see if he can get some answers. At the embassy, security forces try and detain him but he quickly dispatches his pursuers and is this then leads to a series of events throughout the movie that only reveal a fraction of the truth that he was in search for.

This movie seemed to inspire a new wave of spy thrillers along with a lot of copycat movies as well. For every Hanna that wowed audiences there was a Green Zone that killed audiences' spirits. The combination of a great story, superior action, and memorable characters allowed the Bourne franchise to succeed and there are very few movies in that genre that are able to do that, so it is a true accomplishment. Salt and Hanna are the only two other movies that I have seen in recent times that stack up against The Bourne Trilogy in almost every way. The idea that the main character is discovering themselves while the movie progresses is a fantastic idea because the viewer is there each step of the way to see each character grow and this allows the viewer to actually care about what the character is going through. This is one of the main reasons I loved the movie Hanna so much. I felt like I was there each step of the way through the characters adventure, and the same goes for the Bourne series. We as the viewer are uncovering the mystery at the same time as Jason Bourne and that creates a bond with the character. That along with awesome action/fight scenes is what keeps us watching though.

This is one of the best spy thrillers that you will ever see. Matt Damon gives one of the best performances of his career and helped to create on of the most memorable movie characters in recent memory. The Bourne Identity led the way for the rest of the Bourne Trilogy and while it may not be the best of the series, it is much better than 95% of the thrillers that have come out in the last 20 years. Watch this movie and you will get a mix of great performances, excellent story, and epic fight scenes. This is a 8.5/10 only because I have seen the rest of the trilogy and know that the other two movies are superior films.