Matt Damon plays an amnesiac who is fished out the sea and nursed back to health, only to find himself trailed by a group of assassins, prompting him to seek out his true identity. Loosely based on the novels by Robert Ludlum.
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The amnesia aspect that it rests on is less a necessary and inventive device and is more an excuse to be depthless, as the action is sporadic and comes to a halt often for this mystery. Every relationship here relies on this crypticism. Things happen but don’t have emotional bearings. Bourne is clearly CIA, so why not use enigmatic memories of his past to give us insight into him, instead of him being a void?
All three of the films in the trilogy blend together for me, to a certain extent, despite the differences in directing style between Liman and Greengrass. This might be the "weakest" of the three, but I like them all. The freshness, and frenetic pace of Jason's run is what sticks out to me. And I love the performance of Chris Cooper and how that whole storyline plays out. Watched again last week and still enjoy.
The film that launched the series is a modernized and exciting riff on the Robert Ludlum source novel that turned Matt Damon into an action star. Doug Liman's direction was aces here delivering on the action and pacing while Tony Gilroy's adaptation turned Bourne into an everyman we could identify with who had hidden talents we all could covet. Hip, modern with a very cool soundtrack and great supporting cast.
Hardly sure-footed; makes it clear how much Greengrass' smooth direction brought to the table. His vivid, queasy immediacy and punishing verisimilitude are sorely lacking here. It's more formulaic too, particularly with regards to Potente's foil character -- but this isn't all bad, as she and Damon have electric chemistry. The scene in the tall grass with Clive Owen (an unconventional thing of beauty), won me over.