Evan's Eyes

The Bourne Identity

I can't do it. I tried to write this review in a manner that would emulate the experience of watching this movie, but I'd have to forget my name and entire life history and attempt to write a review while mysterious people tried to kill me. This is essentially what happens to Matt Damon's character, who spends the rest of the film trying to 1) figure out who he is, and 2) not get killed. This much is also clear in the previews. What you don't see is whether or not this movie happened because Matt Damon said "Hey, Ben Affleck gets to be in a spy movie, I want to be in a spy movie too!" His handlers probably said "Matt, you don't look like a covert super-assassin. You look like a guy who's about to drop out of his sixth year of college and become a surfer." But he insisted, so they got Robert Ludlum to agree to using his story if he could executive produce so they wouldn't ruin it. I could be wrong, but that's my theory.

The end result isn't bad, but there are a few annoying features. For example, fight scenes are shot in super-monkey-cam (the second the action starts, the camera swoops and bounces around so you can hardly see what's happening). This usually means the star looks like a lumbering cow and hits himself in the face when he tries to do the moves at full speed. Theoretically, super-monkey-cam gives the illusion of speed and dynamic action, but it mostly annoys the segment of the audience that wants to see what's happening. I don't think it fools anybody. Second, everyone knows that the cure for traumatic amnesia is another bump on the head. Matt should have just had Franka Potente whack him with a board until his memories came back (actually, I'd pay money to watch that). So if you can't believe Matt Damon is a highly-trained killing machine, and can't stand fight scenes shot to cover up the action, you should probably skip this movie. If you can't get enough Matt Damon, this will hold you over until he makes his comic-book superhero movie, now that Ben Affleck starred in "Daredevil."

If you liked the movies below, you'll probably like this one (and visa versa):

  • Sum of All Fears
  • The Trouble With Harry
  • Three Days of the Condor
Overall Rating: 4 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 0
Nudity: 0
Sexual Reference: 1
Sexual Activity: 0
Action: 2
Gore: 1
Violence: 2
Profanity: 1


© 2003 Evan M. Nichols