The Bourne Identity
Reviewed by David Kashimba

Matt Damon, the young talented actor that has up to now avoided Hollywood typecasting may have inadvertently set a new mold with his new action spy thriller The Bourne Identity. The movie is a Hollywood formula film based on the novel by Robert Ludlum. Super spy Jason Bourne (Damon) is shot in his first failed mission. The mission failed because Bourne is beginning to discover a conscience that contradicts his CIA training as an assassin. But, alas, the trauma of his injuries has given him a case of amnesia. Not knowing who he is, the entire film is packed with action scenes of Bourne trying to figure out why so many people are trying to kill him while doing his best to thwart the assassins. To heighten the action he finds a beautiful, somewhat innocent bystander, Marie (Franka Potente), to help him, and of course, in the midst of their now combined life and death struggles, they fall in love.

It’s a formula that has often made money for Hollywood and this one will probably follow suit, because it is very well done and the depth of character that Damon brings to his role adds to the film’s impact and entertainment value.

Of course an action film wouldn’t be complete without a high-speed, high-tech car chase through the streets of some famous and picturesque city. However, the chase scene is a little different in this film, because it is very low tech, and not very high speed, with small-engine fuel-efficient European cars driving through narrow Paris streets. But the effect and dramatic tension, while not quite as high as the chase scene in Bullet or The French Connection, is still quite suspenseful with just the right touch of comedy provided by Bourne and Marie.

Damon also takes on some very innovative karate moves for this part, which will no doubt add to his new action hero persona.

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