|Universal Pictures | Release Date: June 14, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The outcome is distinctive and entertaining. There's no way you'd mistake this for James Bond, and no reason you would want to.
Not only an exceptional thriller, but a transcendent summer movie: It assumes, for two hours, you've brain and heart enough to stick with a film that doesn't condescend, doesn't beat you up and doesn't dumb you to death.
It’s as formulaic as "The Sum of All Fears," but it feels fresher, hipper, less inflated.
The Bourne Identity keeps you in a state of nervous excitation from the opening shot to the fade-out and has a thread of deadpan humor that vibrates alongside the main action like a third rail quivering next to a hurtling train.
Thrillers have become so gnawingly generic that The Bourne Identity wakes the senses without leaning on cliché and soundtrack.
Liman packs enough firepower into The Bourne Identity to please the summer action fan, including a reshot climax that contains one of the niftier stunts I've seen recently. The centerpiece action sequence is a bravura car chase through Paris, yet the moments that bookend it are equally impressive. Read full review
Isn't a bad movie so much as one that feels like an amateur version of material from more accomplished works -- a movie that not only isn't sure what it really is but doesn't seem terribly much to care.
Damon may be too young, too unformed, to play an amnesiac. Gazing at that blank face, we can't imagine that Bourne has any experiences or memories to forget. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
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