Review Date: June 12, 2002
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Tony Gilroy, William Blake Herron
Producers: Doug Limon, Patrick Cowley, Richard Gladstein
Having said all that, the action in the film is actually less than I expected (although the Mini-car chase is quite the doozy), especially since the trailer makes it look like it's all about Damon kicking behinds, but that doesn't mean that I liked it any less...in fact, the pauses in the action made for interesting plot developments, and as the story moved forward and the pieces of the puzzle converged, the film gelled as a whole and strayed away from any major plot holes (which is something that really turns me off capers). The gorgeous European settings didn't hurt either, and neither did the solid directing by one of my personal faves, Dougie Liman. I also really liked the ending, in which much is revealed about the lead character's background, but not without giving it all away, leaving some stuff to the audience to deconstruct. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that this is the most complex plotline of all-time, because it certainly isn't, but it ain't your wham-bam-thank-you-miss either...rather a decent combination of the two. Although two characters whom I believe the film could've done without are the African dude who was basically there to serve one purpose and one purpose only (and to play his character over-the-top), and Julia Stiles, who "bugged" me for two reasons: 1) Ms. Stiles is much too lovely and talented an actress to be relegated to such a secondary (actually lower than that) role in a film and 2) to say that her character is superfluous to the plot is putting it lightly. After watching this picture, remove her character entirely and tell me if she brought anything to the proceedings? (I'm not referring to Ms. Stiles herself but her character!) Also, since when do 18-year olds participate in underground ops?
Anyway, thankfully these two bits, and the somewhat more leisurely paced second half, weren't major thorns in my sensitive side and the film's overall upbeat tempo and eventful complications made for an entertaining watch. Is this dude going to be the next James Bond? Not sure but with Damon at the helm and more engaging covert operations and conspiracies under their belt, sign me up for any future adventures with these fine folks. Shietze, baby...shietze!!