The Bourne Identity

Matt Damon, Franka Potente.
Directed by Doug Liman.
Running Time: 116 mins
Rated: MA 15+
During a storm on the Mediterranean Sea, an Italian boat fishes out a body from the water. The young man has no identification except for a security code stitched into the skin on his hip. He has three bullets in his back and when he wakes up he has amnesia. The security code is for a safety deposit box in Zurich. There, he discovers he is Jason Bourne (Damon). He also discovers he has several other aliases, a ton of money and a gun. Early on he learns that people are after him. He befriends the luckless Marie Kreutz (Potente) and they travel to Paris to help Bourne figure out who and what he is.

Based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name, this story had its first outing in a 1978 telemovie, starring Richard Chamberlain. This version is much, much better. It is filled with tremendous action sequences and is genuinely thrilling. The level of big shocks and some of the violence will be too much for some viewers, but the story is a good one and director Doug
Liman wastes no time in telling it. There is not a dull moment in its 116 minutes.

Matt Damon perfectly combines the vulnerability of someone who has lost his memory with the growing horror of piecing back his terrible history. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, is equally good as the woman who cashes in on Jason's desperation, stays with him for the adventure and then discovers she is in over her head.

The Bourne Identity is an action thriller which lives up to the best of its genre.

Richard Leonard SJ

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