The Bourne Identity (2002 film): Wikis

  
  

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The Bourne Identity

Theatrical movie poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by Richard N. Gladstein
Doug Liman
Frank Marshall
Written by Novel:
Robert Ludlum
Screenplay:
Tony Gilroy
William Blake Herron
Starring Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Chris Cooper
Brian Cox
Music by John Powell
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Editing by Saar Klein
Christopher Rouse (additional)
Studio Kennedy/Marshall
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) United States:
June 14, 2002
Australia:
August 22, 2002
United Kingdom:
September 6, 2002
Running time 118 min.
Country United States
Germany
Czech Republic
Language English
Budget US$60 million[1]
Gross revenue US$214,034,224[1]
Followed by The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Identity is a 2002 spy film based on Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name, and the first of three films in the Bourne Series. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a psychogenic amnesiac former Special Activities Division operative attempting to discover his true identity amidst a clandestine conspiracy within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They want to track him down and arrest or kill him (as per orders of the U.S. Secretary of State) for inexplicably failing to carry out an officially unsanctioned assassination and then failing to report back in afterwards. Along the way he teams up with Marie, played by Franka Potente, who assists him on the initial part of his journey to learn about his past and regain his memories. The film also stars Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, and Brian Cox.

The film was directed by Doug Liman and adapted for the screen by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron from the novel of the same name written by Robert Ludlum, who also produced the film alongside Frank Marshall (though Ludlum died in 2001). Universal Pictures released the film to theaters in the United States on June 14, 2002 and it received a positive critical and public reaction. The film was followed by a 2004 sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, and an Oscar-nominated third part released in 2007 entitled The Bourne Ultimatum.

Contents

Plot

An Italian fishing boat crew finds an unconscious man (Matt Damon) floating adrift in the Mediterranean somewhere near Marseille with two gunshot wounds in his back. The boat's medic finds a tiny laser projector surgically implanted in the unknown man's back. Over the next two weeks, the man finds he is fluent in several languages and has unusual skills, but cannot remember anything about himself or why he was in the ocean. When activated, the laser projector displays the number of a safe deposit box in Zürich. The man wakes up and discovers he is suffering from psychogenic amnesia.[2] When the ship docks in Imperia, he sets off to see what is in the safe deposit box.

At CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Deputy Director Ward Abbott (Brian Cox) questions Alexander Conklin (Chris Cooper), head of the Black Ops, 'Operation Treadstone'. Conklin's assassination attempt on former dictator Nykwana Wombosi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) (who has threatened to write a book revealing what he knows about the CIA's illegal activities unless he is returned to power) has failed, and the CIA assassin has not reported back.

In Zurich, the man sleeps on a park bench at night while waiting for the bank to open. He is rousted by two police officers who try to arrest him when he cannot provide any identification. Using advanced martial arts skills he did not know he possessed, the man easily disarms and knocks out both men before fleeing. The next morning, he opens the safe deposit box and finds various passports (all with his picture, but different names), large amounts of assorted currencies, and a handgun. He assumes the name from the US passport, Jason Bourne. He takes everything except the gun. As he leaves, a bank employee calls Treadstone to report that Bourne has been sighted.

Spotted by the Zurich police, Bourne escapes into the U.S. consulate, where the police have no jurisdiction. While waiting in line, he overhears Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) trying unsuccessfully to sort out her visa problems. When consulate security tries to detain Bourne, he flees, eventually climbing down the outside of the building to an alley, where he encounters Marie. Seeing that she has a car, he offers her $20,000 to take him to the Paris address on his passport. She is suspicious, but the money is too much to refuse. Meanwhile, Conklin assures Abbott that he will destroy any evidence connecting them to Jason Bourne, the agent assigned to kill Wombosi. From the consulate's surveillance video, he obtains the license plate number of Marie's car. He then sends three "assets" (assassins) after Bourne: Castel, Manheim, and The Professor.

Bourne and Marie arrive at the Paris address, an apartment building. The landlady recognizes Bourne and lets him into his apartment. After exploring the apartment, he hits redial on his telephone and is connected to the Hotel Regina. The receptionist recognizes another of his aliases, John Michael Kane, who he is told died in a car crash two weeks before. Bourne senses he and Marie are not alone, so he is not taken by surprise when Castel smashes through a window firing a machine gun. After a fierce struggle, Bourne subdues him by breaking his leg and arm and stabbing him with a pen. Bourne then questions Castel, but gets no response. In Castel's bag, Marie finds surveillance photos and wanted posters of both her and Bourne, and becomes hysterical. While Bourne calms her down, Castel crashes through a window and flings himself over a balcony to his death. As Bourne and Marie quickly leave the building, they pass the landlady who has been shot in the head. They also see Castel's broken body on the pavement.

Bourne urges Marie to go to the authorities, but she refuses. When the police spot Marie's car, he gives her one last chance to go, but instead she fastens her seatbelt. They escape after a high speed car chase through the city and hide in a cheap hotel room. Bourne cuts and dyes Marie's hair.

The next morning, Marie obtains a copy of Kane's hotel bill from the Hotel Regina. One of the telephone charges on the bill leads Bourne to a maritime security company, where he is recognized as Kane. Bourne notices Wombosi's picture in the brochure for a yacht Kane was supposedly interested in, and concludes that there is some link to Wombosi. Bourne and Marie head to the morgue to examine Kane's supposed corpse, but it is gone. From the list of visitors, Bourne sees that Wombosi was there earlier. He goes to see Wombosi, but finds that he has been assassinated (by The Professor). Later, Bourne and Marie read an article detailing the earlier attempt on Wombosi's life by an unidentified assassin. Bourne concludes that he himself was that assassin.

Bourne decides that he and Marie are no longer safe in Paris, after the police raid their hotel. Marie reluctantly takes him to the country house of her step-brother Eamon. Eamon is supposed to be away, but he shows up with his two small children and a dog. He reluctantly lets them stay the night. During the night, Marie awakes to find Jason gone. She finds him standing watch over Eamon's sleeping children. He tells her he no longer wants to find out who he is and that he just wants to disappear with her.

In the morning, as Bourne and Marie prepare to leave, the family dog goes missing. Sensing danger, Bourne warns Eamon to take his family into the basement. Bourne then takes Eamon's double-barreled shotgun and engages in a lethal outdoor duel with The Professor. After Bourne shoots him twice, the mortally wounded Professor reveals that they both work for Operation Treadstone. His dying words are, "Look at this. Look at what they make you give."

Bourne sends Marie into hiding, then, hitting redial on The Professor's cell phone, he contacts Conklin. He arranges to meet Conklin alone back in Paris, but spots numerous undercover agents at the designated place and calls off the meeting. He then plants a tracking device on Conklin's vehicle, which leads him to the Treadstone safe house in the city. He gets inside, after distracting the agents posted as guards, and finds Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) and Conklin in the midst of moving the operation. While holding them at gunpoint, Bourne interrogates Conklin, who fires back with some facts about the failed mission. This triggers a series of flashbacks in Bourne's head.

Bourne remembers that he was on Wombosi's yacht and placed a gun to the back of his target's head. Before pulling the trigger, Bourne saw that Wombosi was holding one of his children, and that two others were sleeping nearby. When Wombosi carefully moved his child out of the line of fire, Bourne was stricken by an attack of conscience. He was shot as he tried to leave and fell overboard.

After finally fully remembering what happened, Bourne tells Conklin that he no longer wants to be a part of Treadstone and warns him not to try to track him down. When he notices that Conklin has a transmitting radio in his pocket, he knocks Conklin unconscious and escapes after a shootout with onrushing agents.

Afterward, as Conklin leaves the safe house, he finds Manheim waiting for him. Manheim shoots and kills his former boss. Upon receiving confirmation that Conklin is dead, Abbott orders Operation Treadstone to be shut down. Abbott then goes before a government oversight committee and portrays Treadstone as an ineffective training program that has been discontinued. He then begins briefing the committee about a new project codenamed "Blackbriar".

Later, Bourne finds Marie running a scooter rental on an Aegean island. The two happily embrace.

Cast

  • Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, an amnesiac desperately trying to find clues into his recent past to remember who he is and why someone is trying to kill him. He serves as the protagonist in all the films.
  • Franka Potente as Marie Helena Kreutz, a woman Bourne meets in Switzerland who helps Bourne and later becomes his love interest.
  • Chris Cooper as Alexander Conklin, the coordinator of Treadstone and Bourne's immediate superior who now wants him dead. He serves as the main antagonist of the film.
  • Brian Cox as Ward Abbott, a CIA Deputy Director and Conklin's boss
  • Clive Owen as The Professor, a Treadstone assassin based in Barcelona
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Nykwana Wombosi, a deposed African dictator
  • Gabriel Mann as Danny Zorn, Conklin's Treadstone assistant
  • Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons, a Treadstone operative coordinating logistics for Treadstone agents
  • Nicky Naude as Castel, a Treadstone agent based in Rome
  • Russell Levy as Manheim, a Treadstone agent based in Hamburg

Production

Director Doug Liman stated that he had been a fan of the source novel by Robert Ludlum since he read it in high school. Near the end of production of Liman's previous film Swingers, Liman decided to develop a film adaptation of the novel. After more than two years of securing rights to the book from Warner Brothers and a further year of screenplay development with screenwriter Tony Gilroy, the film went through two years of production.[3]

From the onset of filming, difficulties with the studio slowed the film's development and caused a rift between the director and Universal Pictures, as executives were unhappy with the film's pacing, emphasis on small scale action sequences, and the general relationship between themselves and Liman, who was suspicious of direct studio involvement.[4] A number of reshoots and rewrites late in development and scheduling problems delayed the film from its original release target date of September 2001 to June 2002 and took it $8,000,000 over budget from the initial budget of $52,000,000; screenwriter Tony Gilroy faxed elements of screenplay rewrites almost throughout the entire duration of filming.[4]

A particular point of contention in regards to the original Tony Gilroy script were the scenes set in the farmhouse near the film's conclusion. Liman and Matt Damon fought to keep the scenes in the film after they were excised in a third-act rewrite that was insisted upon by the studio. Liman and Damon argued that, though the scenes were low key, they were integral to the audience's understanding of the Bourne character and the film's central themes. The farmhouse sequence consequently went through many rewrites from its original incarnation before its inclusion in the final product.[4]

Other issues included the studio's desire to substitute Montreal or Prague for Paris in order to lower costs, Liman's insistence on the use of a French-speaking film crew, and poor test audience reactions to the film's Paris finale. The latter required a late return to location in order to shoot a new, more action-oriented conclusion to the Paris story arc.[5] In addition to Paris, filming took place in Prague, Imperia, Rome, Mykonos, and Zürich; several scenes set in Zürich were also filmed in Prague.[3]

Damon described the production as a struggle, citing the early conflicts that he and Liman had with the studio, but denied that it was an overtly difficult process, stating, "When I hear people saying that the production was a nightmare it's like, a 'nightmare'? Shooting's always hard, but we finished."[6]

Liman's directorial method was often hands-on. Many times he operated the camera himself in order to create what he believed was a more intimate relationship between himself, the material, and the actors. He felt that this connection was lost if he simply observed the recording on a monitor. This was a mindset he developed from his background as a small-scale indie film maker.[7]

Liman approached a wide range of actors for the role of Bourne, including Russell Crowe and Sylvester Stallone, before he eventually cast Damon. Liman found that Damon understood and appreciated that, though The Bourne Identity would have its share of action, the focus was primarily on character and plot.[8] Damon, who had never played such a physically demanding role, insisted on performing many of the stunts himself. With stunt choreographer Nick Powell and trainer Jeff Imada, he underwent three months of extensive training in stunt work, the use of weapons, boxing, and eskrima. He eventually performed a significant number of the film's stunts himself, including hand-to-hand combat and climbing the safe house walls near the film's conclusion.[7]

Franka Potente's performance in Run Lola Run prompted Liman to approach her for the part of Marie Kreutz. Liman wanted an actress who was unfamiliar to American audiences yet one who would be a suitable opposite for the Bourne character.

The acclaimed car chase sequence was filmed primarily by the second unit under director Alexander Witt. The unit shot in various locations around Paris while Liman was filming the main story arc elsewhere in the city. The finished footage was eventually edited together to create the illusion of a coherent journey. Liman confessed that "anyone who really knows Paris will find it illogical", since few of the locations used in the car chase actually connect to each other.[5] Liman took only a few of the shots himself; his most notable chase sequence shots were those of Matt Damon and Franka Potente while inside the car.[3]

The inner workings of the fictitious Treadstone organization were inspired by Liman's father's job in the National Security Agency (NSA) under President Ronald Reagan. Of particular inspiration were Liman's father's memoirs regarding his involvement in the investigation of the Iran-Contra affair. Many aspects of the Alexander Conklin character were based on his father's recollections of Oliver North. Liman admitted that he jettisoned much of the content of the novel beyond the central premise, in order to modernize the material and to conform it to his own beliefs regarding United States foreign policy. However, Liman was careful not to cram his political views down "the audience's throat". There were initial concerns regarding the film's possible obsolescence and overall reception in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, but these concerns proved groundless.[3]

Reception

The critical reception of the film was largely positive, with the film review collection website, Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film an 82% approval rating.[9] Roger Ebert gave the film three stars and praised it for its ability to absorb the viewer in its "spycraft" and "Damon's ability to be focused and sincere" concluding that the film was "unnecessary, but not unskilled".[10] Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central praised the film for its pacing and action sequences, describing them as "kinetic, fair, and intelligent, every payoff packaged with a moment's contemplation crucial to the creation of tension" and that the movie could be understood as a clever subversion of the genre.[11] Charles Taylor of Salon.com acclaimed the film as "entertaining, handsome and gripping, The Bourne Identity is something of an anomaly among big-budget summer blockbusters: a thriller with some brains and feeling behind it, more attuned to story and character than to spectacle" and praised Liman for giving the film a "tough mindedness" that never gives way into "cynicism or hopelessness".[12] Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine also noted Doug Liman's "restrained approach to the material" as well as Matt Damon and Franka Potente's strong chemistry but ultimately concluded the film was "smart but not smart enough".[13] J. Hoberman of The Village Voice dismissed the film as "banal" and as a disappointment compared against Liman's previous indie releases;[14] Owen Gleiberman also criticised the film for a "sullen roteness that all of Liman's supple handheld staging can't disguise".[15] Particular acclaim was directed toward the film's central car chase which was described as an exciting action highlight and one of the best realized in the genre.[16][17]

In its opening weekend, The Bourne Identity took in (USD) $27,118,640 in 2,638 theaters. The film grossed $121,661,683 in the United States and $92,263,424 elsewhere for a total worldwide gross of $214,034,224.[1]

Awards

Year Organization Award Category/Recipient Result
2003 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards ASCAP Award Top Box Office Films: John Powell Won[18]
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Saturn Award Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film Nominated[18]
2003 American Choreography Awards American Choreography Award Outstanding Achievement in Fight Choreography: Nick Powell Won[18]
2003 Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award Feature Film - Contemporary Films Nominated[18]

Releases and sequels

On January 21, 2003 Universal Pictures released The Bourne Identity on VHS, and on DVD in the US in two formats; a single-disc widescreen collector's edition and a single-disc full screen collector's edition. Both contain supplemental materials including a making-of documentary, a commentary from director Doug Liman and deleted scenes. On July 13, 2004, Universal released a new DVD of the film in the US in preparation for the sequel's cinema debut.[19] This DVD also came in two formats: a single-disc widescreen extended edition and a single-disc full screen extended edition. Both contain supplemental materials including interviews with Matt Damon, deleted scenes, alternative opening and ending, a documentary on the consulate fight and information features on the CIA and amnesia. The alternate ending on the DVD has Bourne collapsing during the search for Marie, waking up with Abbot standing over him, and getting an offer to return to the CIA. Neither contain the commentary or DTS tracks present in the collector's edition. The film was also released on UMD for Sony's PlayStation Portable on August 30, 2005 and on HD DVD on July 24, 2007. A trilogy set was released on Blu-ray in January 2009.[20]

The Bourne Identity was followed by a 2004 sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, which received a similar positive critical and public reception,[21] but received some criticism for its hand-held camerawork, which observers argued made action sequences difficult to see.[22] The Bourne Supremacy was directed by Paul Greengrass with Doug Liman returning as a producer and Matt Damon reprising his role as Jason Bourne. A third film, The Bourne Ultimatum, was released in 2007 and again was directed by Paul Greengrass and starred Matt Damon. Like Supremacy, Ultimatum received generally positive critical and public reception, but also received similar criticism for the camera-work.[23] With the release of The Bourne Ultimatum on DVD, a new DVD of The Bourne Identity was included in a boxed set with The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. The boxed set is entitled The Jason Bourne Collection.

Universal is moving ahead with a fourth installment of the Bourne franchise. Though both Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass claimed they were calling it quits after the third installment, both are reported to be attached to the fourth film.[24]

In 2008, The Bourne Identity was adapted into a video game, The Bourne Conspiracy. The game was available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.[25]

Soundtrack

The Bourne's Identity: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by John Powell
Released June 11, 2002
Genre Score
Length 54:51
Label Varese Sarabande
Professional reviews
The Bourne Series chronology
The Bourne Identity: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2002)
The Bourne Supremacy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2004)

The official soundtrack score was released on June 11, 2002. It contains selections of music composed by prolific composer John Powell and was performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony. In addition to the score, the film also featured the song "Extreme Ways" by Moby and "Southern Sun / Ready Steady Go" by Paul Oakenfold. The soundtrack won an ASCAP Award.[26]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Bourne Identity (2002)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bourneidentity.htm. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  2. ^ Bruce Bennett (2008-05-28). "Jason Bourne Takes His Case to MoMA". New York Sun. http://www.nysun.com/arts/jason-bourne-takes-his-case-to-moma/78614/. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d The Bourne Identity DVD commentary featuring Doug Liman [2003]
  4. ^ a b c King, Tom. "Bourne to be Wild". Wall Street Journal. http://www.murphsplace.com/owen/articles/journal2.html. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Wells, Jeffrey. "Bourne on His Back". reel.com. http://www.reel.com/reel.asp?node=movienews/confidential&pageid=20643. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  6. ^ Wadowski, Heather. "Interview with Matt Damon". Moviehabit.com. http://www.moviehabit.com/essays/damon02.shtml. Retrieved 19 March 2007. 
  7. ^ a b The Birth of the Bourne Identity DVD Making of Documentary [2003]
  8. ^ Hanrahan, Denise. "Interview with Doug Liman". BBC.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/09/05/doug_liman_the_bourne_identity_interview.shtml. Retrieved 14 March 2007. 
  9. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bourne_identity/. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Bourne Identity Review". rogerebert.suntimes.com. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20020617/REVIEWS/206170301/1023. Retrieved 8 March 2007. 
  11. ^ Chaw, Walter. "The Bourne Identity Review". filmfreakcentral.com. http://filmfreakcentral.net/dvdreviews/bourneidentity.htm. Retrieved 8 March 2007. 
  12. ^ Taylor, Charles. "The Bourne Identity Review". Salon.com. http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/movies/review/2002/06/14/bourne/index.html?pn=1. Retrieved 13 March 2007. 
  13. ^ Gonzalez, Ed. "The Bourne Identity Review". slantmagazine.com. http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=62. Retrieved 8 March 2007. 
  14. ^ Hoberman, J.. "Zero for Conduct". villagevoice.com. http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0225,hoberman,35746,20.html. Retrieved 24 March 2007. 
  15. ^ Gleiberman, Owen. "The Bourne Identity Review". ew.com. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,261842~1~0~bourneidentity,00.html. Retrieved 25 March 2007. 
  16. ^ Beierle, Aaron. "The Bourne Identity DVD Review". dvdtalk.com. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=4077. Retrieved 8 March 2007. 
  17. ^ Clinton, Paul. "The Bourne Identity Review". cnn.com. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Movies/06/14/ca.s02.review.bourne/index.html. Retrieved 8 March 2007. 
  18. ^ a b c d "The Bourne Identity (2002) Awards". IMDB.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/awards. Retrieved 14 March 2007. 
  19. ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (July 26, 2004). "Studios big on double features". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2004-07-26-expanded-dvds_x.htm. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  20. ^ Ault, Susanne (February 6, 2009). "Universal bundles Blu-ray catalog titles". Video Business. http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6635299.html. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  21. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/bourne_supremacy/. Retrieved 14 March 2007. 
  22. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum" (Registration required). The Hollywood Reporter. http://login.vnuemedia.com/hr/login/login_subscribe.jsp?id=EhTA1werc%2F8oJkXd3AvIhVqJMQ%2BEsnoU61hkKdYL0QnVtJLf7Nv3guKhcy0wXloTkPhNNQuqHgUC%0AqJXNDOuXXDXVs2GHsomf%2FylvwSsL8e7HuGIv3MU9%2F823YPUNCUObX4glGMDXaWDTAt%2BeaaDkL0Bw%0A0ALn51mZ7l2Z8wswnvkdGiEEkB434l0NdvtTm1Kcf9IFq1A8giR%2FOrfRcwSjXP814H9AnK%2Bzz7db%0AXjAkVkC1mJD7MwPkBle70h0P9MOoFEsL1jk9joDXAfbG8U9Vqw%3D%3D. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  23. ^ Corliss, Richard (August 2, 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum: A Macho Fantasy". Time. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1649187,00.html. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Damon working on fourth Bourne film with director Paul Greengrass". CBC.ca. March 17, 2009. http://www.cbc.ca/mobile/text/story_arts.html?/ept/html/story/2009/03/17/damon-bourne-fourth.html. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  25. ^ Saltzman, Marc (June 13, 2008). "Ludlum's 'Bourne' transfers well to video game". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/marcsaltzman/2008-06-12-bourneconspiracy_N.htm. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  26. ^ "World Class". ASCAP. http://www.ascap.com/eventsawards/awards/worldsoundtrack/2006/. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 

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