The Bourne Identity | Chicago Reader

The Bourne Identity

Matt Damon seems an unlikely choice for amnesiac spy Jason Bourne, from Robert Ludlum's novels, but he's surprisingly good at bringing out the bewilderment of a man who can't remember who he is but keeps discovering he has disturbing skills—like the ability to disarm thugs by reflex. He spends the movie chasing after his identity, as well as being chased by the government agency that's turned him into an assassin and now wants him eliminated. Along the way he hooks up with a drifter, played with a nice mix of suspicion and attraction by Franka Potente (Run Lola Run). The full-throttle approach of director Doug Liman (Swingers, Go) is impressive, though he seems a bit too enamored of letting the camera swoop around the actors. In many ways this 2002 feature feels like a throwback to an earlier era of suspense films—yes, the action sequences are big, but they retain an intimate feeling that somehow makes the story matter.

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