003797Reviews & Counting
The Bourne Identity
BLU-RAY disk
01.26.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Bourne Identity order download
Doug Liman

Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Brian Cox


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Jason Bourne wakes up on a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean, nursed back to health after being shot and suffering from amnesia. He’s unaware that he’s a government weapon they’ll do anything to get back, and they’re unaware of how far he’s willing to go for the truth.
I remember back when I first heard the premise for THE BOURNE IDENTIY (which I dug), but what I had a hard time wrapping my mind around was Matt Damon as an action star. I suppose it’s not incredibly difficult to make someone look like they can kick some ass on film, but it does tend to help when it feels believable. Little did I know that I would love the hell out of this flick from start to finish and in the end be quite convinced that Matt Damon can hold his own in a fight.

Director Doug Liman caught (and still catches) flack about the shaky camera battles and car chases (it seems the BOURNE series is always the example people use when comparatively bitching and moaning), and I’d forgotten how monotonous it could be until this recent re-watch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a small price to pay for seeing Damon go all Solid Snake on people’s asses as he goes through anyone and everyone to get his memory back. The opening scene is one of my favorites as the idea of being shot, bleeding and left for dead floating in the ocean scares the shit out of me, but I’m also quite partial to the restaurant scene where he gives his girlfriend the rundown on the exits and escape details.

Though he says very little, another cool cast surprise here is in the form of Clive Owen, an assassin sent to kill Bourne (that farm scene is another of my favorites). Brian Cox was meant to play a villain and does so with his regular true to form class and eccentricity. Marie was annoying but grew on me and again, Matt Damon knocked the wind out of me with his fighting prowess and ability to carry the weight of such a fascinating character. Amnesia sucks but it made for a good game of cat and mouse and served up mug after mug of intensity.

THE BOURNE IDENTITY is one of my favorite action flicks of the past decade and is a welcome sight in 1080p HD. Sure, as I mentioned before, some of those glorious visuals are hard to catch at times but this flick delivers regardless. I loved Damon in DOGMA and GOOD WILL HUNTING but was almost ready to give up on him after THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. Thankfully this series came along and had me foaming at the mouth for more. And after seeing him as Jason Bourne, I found myself worried for Vince after seeing Damon’s cameo in ENTOURAGE last season. I really thought he was going to kick Vince’s ass.
Commentary: Director Doug Liman gives us a “by the numbers” commentary, he’s boring as hell but I’ll give him a break because I love this flick and I’m also a big fan of MR. AND MRS. SMITH.

The Ludlum Identity: We get an in-depth peek at author Robert Ludlum’s life story and what got him into writing about Jason Bourne’s adventures covered over the three films. Not surprising that this is yet another great series based on novels.

Alternate Opening and Ending: Pretty much EXACTLY what I’ve come to expect from the ones that don’t get picked. It’s a cliché I know, but I’m glad they went the way they did. Deleted Scenes: There are four scenes clocking in at about seven minutes in total. I liked Wombosi as a character but there’s really nothing to see here.

Extended Farmhouse Scene: They tack an extra minute on, and though this is one of my favorite scenes, this didn’t blow me away.

The Birth of The Bourne Identity: Cast and crew boast about how original and character driven the film is and so on. This is one of those rare occasions that I wholeheartedly agree with them.

The Bourne Mastermind: Robert Ludlum: Friends and Colleagues give the author his due as they highlight his career. Writing twenty-five New York Times bestsellers is no small feat.

Access Granted: An Interview with Co-Writer Tony Gilroy: Gilroy goes into detail about making a faithful film out of such a good novel; Again, no small feat.

From Identity to Supremacy: Jason and Marie: Here we get a short three and a half minute explanation of why Marie is such a crucial part of the story. Sadly, she doesn’t last much longer.

The Bourne Diagnosis: Psychiatrist Dr. Reef Karim gives us a brief lesson in amnesia. It’s probably a lot harder to deal with when people are trying to kill you.

Cloak and Dagger: Covert Ops: Here we get a five minute look into the real world spy end of the story. I’m fairly confident that the government has projects like TREDSTONE on the go today.

Inside a Fight Sequence: Here they try to justify the “shaky cam” fight scenes. As much as I loved the action, like most people, I was not amused by this approach.

Moby “Extreme Ways” Music Video: This is Moby’s “film themed” video which I didn’t even know existed. Not surprising considering I don’t listen to Moby.

We also get a couple trailers, some BD-LIVE content and the disc itself is one side Blu-ray and one side DVD. Why they thought that was still cool these days is beyond me.
With a ton of special features and slick visual revamp, I see no reason not to dig deep into your pockets for this Blu-ray. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll want to own it, even if it means double dipping. Damon did for these films what David Craig did for the Bond series and I enjoyed every damn second.

Extra Tidbit: I had amnesia once...but I don't remember when.
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