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Movie Review: Bourne Identity Story: I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked this film. I went because it was showing just three blocks from my apartment and a wonderful LOBO list reader from Albuquerque had given me some Loew's movie gift certificates. I also wanted to see something for free for a change.

Go figure...I enjoyed myself. It is based (and updated) on Robert Ludlum's wildly popular 1980 novel, with a screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Proof of Life) and fabulously directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Go). It is fast paced, intelligent, polished, well edited and most surprising of all - was that it held my interest. Unlike most films of this genre, the characters actually had time to be developed and so I cared what happened to them.

The main character, Jason Bourne, has amnesia and is being chased by some scary people who want him dead. So we get some cool chase scenes, action, hand to hand combat, a few explosions, some fancy computer equipment, a little sex and an interesting European winter background to highlight the cool colors. Take a summer solstice break and go see this film.

Acting: Matt Damon is all grown up and very buff in this film. He is terrific as Jason Bourne, amnesiac victim. He is an intelligent actor and nicely plays an action character who is not smug (I hate smug). The choice of Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) was inspired. It was brave (and these days unusual) to cast an actual European actress to play a European. She is smart, interesting and very talented. Chris Cooper (Lone Star and almost every other John Sayles film) is good as is Clive Owen (Croupier). I have no idea what Julia Stiles was doing in this film. She plays a CIA agent apparently operating the entire Parisian office by herself. This was just dumb.

Critters: None other than the fish caught in the opening scenes on the boat.

Food: There is too much action on the screen for food to be a player. No time to eat.

Visual Art: Some nice detail...or lack of detail in the various interiors.

Blatant Product Placement: Estee Lauder and the CIA

Soundtrack: I don't remember.

Opening Titles: Not notable.

Theater Audience: Pretty crowded for a weekday afternoon flick...mostly men.

Squirm Scale: I closed my eyes during some of the hand to hand combat scenes.

Predictability Level: High...but I didn't care. Who would want anything bad to happen to Matt Damon?

Tissue Usage: None

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: I could not help but occasionally compare what we now know to be true about our bungling CIA with what we see on the screen. I tried not to let that bother my enjoyment of the film -- now THAT was great acting on my part.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen would be my suggestion. For some other good Matt Damon films how about renting: Good Will Hunting, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Dogma and Ocean's Eleven.

Length: A bit under two hours.