Wednesday, September 14, 2005
  The Bourne Identity

Okay so I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything that I’ve seen Mr. Damon in, so picking this up was a no-brainer. I’m not sure why I hadn’t a) seen this in the theater (except perhaps that it might be because I manage to squeak in about four or five trips to the cinema a year) or b) rented this earlier (of course it could be because of reason a and the backlog of movies I need to see). In any case I grabbed this off the shelf at the local BB and my wife and I made time to view it last night.

Basically Jason Bourne is scooped up from the ocean by a bunch of smelly fisherman and a little (surprisingly bloodless) surgery later the ship’s doctor/captain cuts out two bullets and a laser pointer that supplies Jason with the numbers to a Swiss bank account. Fortunately the captain is an honest man and doesn’t dump our hero back into the sea. The safety deposit box Jason finds waiting for him contains guns, passports, and LOADS of cash in various denominations/currencies. Oh and I failed to mention that is only then that he finds out his name (which he picks from one of the six different passports all with different names) and where he lives. Somehow he manages to pick his “real” name from the list, or at least that’s the name that his CIA bosses call him. He has near total amnesia and remembers how to do things only as it becomes important to the plot.

Just from reading the above paragraph I’m sure you can see that more than a little suspension of disbelief is called for throughout the movie.

He picks up a woman, named Marie, along the way to provide transport and a love interest. She’s played by Franka Potente who is attractive in a thankfully non-blond way. He lucks out and gets someone who’s smart and used to traveling light and below the radar. Lots of luck goes his way and some of that is a little distracting. I suppose the biggest problem I have with the movie is Marie. Jason gives her the opportunity to leave him more than once as things begin to heat up and she sticks by him. I’m not sure that I get why except that Jason is handsome and loaded.

Well I’ll say that the movie is fun, has a bit of action, a cool car chase, a little tension, and two sequels so it does some things right. I would have liked to see more of Chris Cooper and Brian Cox, who play Jason’s handler and a senator respectively. I would also have enjoyed more it if the other agents Jason goes up against were as competent as Jason himself. I feel that both would have let us feel like Jason was in more danger. As it is I feel justified in giving this a solid eight. It left me wanting to see the sequels and glad to see that Franka is in the next one, though my luck she’ll get killed off early on.
"A critic who talks to me about plausibility is a dull fellow."

Good thing he's dead. Cause I guess he'd think I'm dull.

Actually I see no problem with saying that some films have a more realistic premise than others. And the premise here seems a little "out there" for me. It requires me to understand that this film steps outside the bounds of reality to some degree. That's fine in an action film, even one that strives to be "gritty" in others.

Oh and I wouldn't mind your comments in other areas that are under my creative control even if the only thing you can come up with is wit from sources other than your own brain.
"requires me to understand that this film steps outside the bounds of reality to some degree"???

Have you no love of Sci-Fi films? Those have no plausibility whatsoever!

That said, I love this one. Watched the second one over at Cusher's house a while ago, finally got to see it awake. :D Really enjoyed that one too.
This is not science fiction. It tries to be a gritty spy film (and largely succeeds). And good sci-fi can have plausibility.
Why are we confusing "gritty" with "realism"?

I don't think it ever presents itself as realistic. I think it aims for subtlety and more emotional connection to the characters than the Bond flicks.

Also, I think an actual realistic spy flick would be pretty damn boring.
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