Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bourne to Run; THE BOURNE IDENTITY . Cert 12A, 118 Mins

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bourne to Run; THE BOURNE IDENTITY . Cert 12A, 118 Mins

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL NORMAN

IT'S all change in Hollywood casting at the moment. Not only are nice guys turning nasty (Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition, Robin Williams in Insomnia) but also serious, young actors are testing themselves in action-hero roles. Following Ben Affleck's turn in the abysmal Sum of All Fears comes his fellow Good Will Hunter Matt Damon, who has taken time out from complex dramatics to play a gung-ho action role.

With a nod to both Three Days of the Condor and The Long Kiss Goodnight, Doug Liman's ripsnorting thriller takes the traditional genre character of a CIA "sleeper" - a clandestine government assassin who must be put to sleep permanently by the very people who employed him.

This is complicated by the fact that Matt Damon's Jason Bourne begins the film fished out of the Mediterranean halfdead

halfdead and suffering from amnesia. When the ship's surgeon removes the bullets from Bourne's back, he also locates a small laser device sewn into his hip that reveals the number of a Swiss bank account.

Upon arrival in Zurich, Bourne is further confused when he discovers a box containing several passports with pictures of himself under different names, an extravagant amount of money in different currencies and, of course, an automatic pistol. Leaving the gun behind he takes everything else and attempts to leave - only to find he is being pursued all over the shop by people who clearly have ill intentions towards him.

Things get worse at the American consulate, where he runs into trouble and escapes by virtue of the fact that he appears to know stuff like lethal martial arts combat techniques and the quickest way out of a building when pursued by scores of armed guards.

Bourne, who clearly hasn't watched the same kind of movies as most of us, remains innocently bewildered by his hidden talents and pays an impoverished German girl $10,000 to drive him to Paris in her battered red Mini. …

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