Monday, February 22, 2010

WMD! (Weekly Movie Diary) - February 22

Chronicling my adventures in home video

“The Bourne Identity” Doug Liman, 2002
Full disclosure: I’m not an action guy, which is part of the reason it’s taken me eight years to sit down and watch the Matt Damon version of “The Bourne Identity.” I remember it being a fairly big deal when it was released (in that I actually remember its release), but despite the fact that I now see movies every week, I’m still not sure it would catch my attention.

So with fairly reserved expectations, I found Doug Liman’s film a pleasant experience, and was particularly impressed by its emphasis on character, which is a rarity among films of its type. Damon gives a solid performance, and I really like the casting of Franka Potente as his love-interest, when the impulse would so commonly be to cast a Hollywood A-lister.

Overall, I still found the film inconsistently exciting (I briefly nodded off a few times, but it was more a result of the time than the film), and the action gets a bit hokey when Damon’s fisticuffs are digitally sped up and mixed with kung fu sound effects. I also could have done without so much focus on the government antagonists tracking Bourne down, as I think it would have been more exciting to have his enemies seem an omnipresent phantom than trite Government bureaucrats.

Still, “The Bourne Indentity” struck me as an above-average espionage film. I can’t say I’ve been inspired to see the sequels, which I’ve heard are exponentially inferior to the original, but If, like me, you managed to avoid the first for this long, it’s probably about time to throw it on the queue.
Score: 3.5/5

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