I was expecting something with stronger genre elements when I watched this to review, but I don’t have time to prepare a substitute, so this review is coming up anyway.

Cast and Crew Information

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Franka Potente as Marie
Chris Cooper as Conklin
Clive Owen as The Professor
Brian Cox as Ward Abbott
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Wombosi
Gabriel Mann as Zorn
Julia Stiles as Nicolette

Screenplay by Tony Gilroy and W. Blake Herron, based on the Robert Ludlum novel.
Directed by Doug Liman

Availability Information

Available on DVD and HD DVD.


Jason Bourne awakens on a fishing boat, with bullets in his back and an LED (which reveals a Swiss Bank Account) buried in his hip. His quest to rediscover himself soon reveals that he has an unusual combination of skills and enemies.

High Point

Bourne’s preternatural calm every time he uses the aforementioned skills, offset by his loss of calm when dealing with his memory loss.

Low Point

The failure of Conklin to take advantage of a golden opportunity.

It also irks me that they cast Franka Potente, but didn’t give her a really good running scene.

The Review

As an adaptation, it can’t get a perfect score for originality. (Having never read the novel, I can’t say how faithful the adaptation is.) It’s a spy thriller, much like James Bond, but with a major twist in the main character. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were generally well done, though some of the blue screening was painfully obvious. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story holds together well enough, for the most part. (The Low Point is really my only complaint.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was well done by all. This had the budget to get numerous names as well known as Damon or better, but they cast by ability instead, which makes a big difference in the finished product. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was well done, reserving the recent “very rapid cutting” techniques to specific moments for specific effects. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was hampered in my case by knowing that this character returns in sequels (which I also haven’t seen yet, but can review if there’s interest.) I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s definitely one of the better action flicks. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Bourne Identity receives 33 out of 42.