Like many good action movies, all of the Bourne films are rewatchable, so it was fun to go back to this film 21 years after its release. The first installment in the Bourne film series was released in 2002 starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. It’s the type of role actors dream about. Damon gets the opportunity to explore the many layers of this character while also building a blockbuster Hollywood franchise that certainly paid off nicely. And, who wouldn’t enjoy playing a badass!
The film is an action-thriller film directed by Doug Liman and based on the 1980 novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum. The story revolves around Jason Bourne, an amnesiac who slowly uncovers his past as a highly-skilled and lethal CIA assassin.
The story begins with Bourne found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with gunshot wounds and no memory of his identity. He is rescued by a group of fishermen, and upon examining his body, they discover a small laser projector surgically implanted in his hip, which displays a Swiss bank account number.
With no recollection of his past, Bourne travels to Zurich to access the bank account, hoping it will provide clues to his identity. At the bank, he finds a safety deposit box containing a large sum of money, multiple passports with his picture, and a gun. This discovery makes him realize that he must have been involved in some dangerous and clandestine activities.
As Bourne tries to piece together his past, he is pursued by assassins and law enforcement agents, forcing him to rely on his instincts and extraordinary combat and evasion skills to stay alive. During his journey, he meets Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), a woman in need of money, and convinces her to help him in exchange for a substantial payment. Together, they travel across Europe, trying to uncover the truth behind Bourne’s past and his connection to the CIA.
The supporting cast is excellent, including Chris Cooper as CIA operative Alexander Conklin and Brian Cox as CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbott. Julia Stiles has a small role in this first installment of the franchise and Clive Owen is excellent as The Professor, one of the assassins unleashed to terminate Bourne. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje also delivers an excellent performance as Nykwana Wombosi.
The film holds up well after all these years. It’s a great action flick. The fight scenes are realistic, and the chase scenes are spectacular. The action sequences aren’t spoiled by silly, unrealistic CGI. We go along on this wild ride with Jason and Marie as Bourne fights off a string of assassins and more of his past is revealed. The spectacular locations were also critical to the success of the film. Scenes in Paris, Prague, Imperia, Rome, Mykonos, and Zürich added to the authenticity of an international thriller involving CIA assassins.
Watch it again (or for the first time) and enjoy the ride!
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