The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Identity
Directed by Doug Liman
Written by Tony Gilroy and W. Blake Herron based on the novel by Robert Ludlum
(number 373)

I disliked this movie quite a lot when I first saw it back in 2002 because I found the violence a bit to realistic and it was uncomfortable. Also not a great treatment of the woman character? Maybe?

But the thing I really like about this movie, is that many years ago at Kapcon, I was part of a game called Being Matt Damon which Nick ran, and we all played different Matt Damon characters meeting up to save our buddy Ben Affleck. I was School Ties Matt Damon, Jon was Jason Bourne and he had a lot of the best lines of the game. We’d all be talking and trying to plan or whatever and he’d be like ‘I’m in Marrakesh! I’m taking down some terrorists. I call these guys.” and it was magical.

I watched this with Anna, who had never seen them before but as it’s a blockbuster was keen to give it a go. (I watch most of the weird stuff and war films without her.)

I love Franka Potente, by the way. This movie made me want to watch Run Lola Run a lot.

So, the movie is based around a central mystery: who is Jason Bourne? and once you know the whole mystery it’s pretty hard to be involved in the suspense. Maybe I just don’t like action movies enough. I certainly wasn’t taking it as seriously.

Jason: I just had a meeting as Jake Kane
Marie: I just saw Jake Kane’s body, in a morgue here in Paris. But if you’re Jake Kane..
Me: then who’s flying the plane?

I dunno, I guess this was groundbreaking at the time because it’s largely not a funny action movie. It’s deadly serious and all the men are very tough and the body count is very high. I don’t know. Because it was the first time Ludlum’s book was made into a movie. The violence is realistic.. or at least, it probably was at the time. I guess more movies got brutal after this one? Things like Batman Begins and… I dunno. Other brutal action flicks, they’re probably able to be made because of the success of this one.

Does it make me love the people? I mean, I love Franke Potente going in so she had an advantage. Yeah, I think generally she acts in a way that’s consistent with a modern woman, she doesn’t just accept shit from him, she questions him and outsmarts him at the hotel and generally is a useful character, couldn’t be replaced by a sexy lamp.

Bechdel test: No. We have Marie and Nicolette but they’re never in the same scene.

Best line:

State of Mind: Anna, five minutes before the end: what just happened? Who killed who?
Me: some guy… with a gun? shot someone.. and they died? I guess?
Anna: that could have been anyone in this film.

once the silly happy ending occurs, me: It’s over.
Anna: thank fucking god.

Generally I didn’t enjoy it this time but mostly because I felt unengaged in the suspense and generally bored with the action sequences. Anna was disappointed, she felt it had been hyped a lot because it was a great movie but she just didn’t like it.

Watched movie count