David Roberts had a nice thread on Twitter about the 20th Anniversary of The Bourne Identity. (IKR. 20 years? Why am I even alive now?) He made this point about a single moment in the film that revealed Bourne had more to his nature than violence.
It’s a nice observation of a moment I hadn’t noticed before, despite watching the film at least half a dozen times.
He also links to this piece in The Guardian. It starts off acknoweldging how stagnant the action hero genre had become and argues that of all the Bourne films, the first was the finest.
And then came The Bourne Identity, a film that would so heavily influence the future of action film-making that it doesn’t feel the least bit dated today. Providing a model for both the rest of the Mission: Impossible franchise and the Daniel Craig-led reboot of James Bond, The Bourne Identity nailed the formula of the modern action film: a stoic intelligence agent who has a complicated relationship with his own government. A globe-trotting adventure with at least one heart-stopping car chase and lots of nifty hand-to-hand combat. A love story but one that doesn’t get in the way of the hero’s sense of purpose. And to distinguish itself from its predecessors, the quips are kept to a minimum.
I’m a big fan of ‘sleeping assassin’ stories, of course. Sleeper Agent is my tilt at that particular windmill. But Bourne will always remain a fave.
TWENTY YEARS???? FML.
With the impact this film had on modern action movies it's easy to forget why it was impactful until you go watch it again and you get smacked in the face that this is a bloody brilliant film. The casting of Matt Damon was an underrated bit of genius; he was not an obvious action hero, so the average dude aspect of Bourne as sleeper was convincing, but then he was dynamite as killer Bourne - the movie worked in large part because the transition from sleeper to killer by Damon was so convincing.
BUT all the action, car chases and fight sequences aside, this movie is brilliant because the story is so good - THAT'S what subsequent action films either forget or overlook in their haste to ape Bourne. At its heart it's a heart breaking mystery story - the splosions and blood are just window dressing to the story.
Wow! 20 years - I cannot believe it. This is one of my all time fav movies. I remember watching it for the first time, much younger and full of hope for the future than I am now. I was an intense martial arts practitioner at the time and what I liked most about the movie was the quiet and unassuming efficiency of Bourne as a fighter. He always looked innocent and mundane until he exploded into action - very brief, very efficient. And Matt Damon was so young!
Bourne has always been Rhino Approved.
Note: everything is 20 years ago now. I hate it.
Bourne is so good even ms insomniac will watch it again. That doesn’t happen often.
Regarding being the best: amazing what a low budget and no weight of expectation can do. Makes you wish that the movie industry would kick it's series/sequel habit.
I remember reading an article once a long time ago that i wish i could dredge up from the internet - the main bit that stuck with me and ruined movies forever was that US movies and therefore pretty much any movie will have a version of the car chase in them, almost without exclusion (talky independent movies dont count). It set up permanent residence in my head and is using up brain cells to be reinforced every time i watch something. I could be dedicating that space to something more useful! But i digress, yes Bourne was great and 20 makes me feel old as well.