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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of my main criteria for enjoying a book is to be surprised by the events. Seeing the movie first usually ruins that for me (and recently I have not found out about the book until after the movie comes out). Fortunately, this book is so different from the movie, the plot remains surprising and original. Although Ludlum's style is confusing at times, the action and story are great. We follow Jason Bourne around Europe and America, as he takes on different personalities to learn more about himself.
I look forward to learning more about the main character, Jason Bourne, as he learns more about himself in the next two books. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the spy/thriller genre, as this is one of the better books I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2010
Jason Bourne, the hero is brought to life by Robert Ludlum. The author has a gift to bring this character to a stage that you can almost live his life with him, feel his distress and his agony. The story was very captivating and it was a thrilling read.

When it comes to the "spy" novel, there are few writers that exceed Robert Ludlum's talents. When I finished reading this book I came to this conclusion that most "thriller" writers fall way short. The book is fairly long, so set back and enjoy several evenings of an exciting, wonderful story.
I look forward to reading the sequel to this book. Highly recommend.
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on February 18, 2005
I have been a fan of this movie since it first came out, so when they annouced a new EXPLOSIVE EXTENDED EDITION, I got real excited and couldn't wait to own it, now I do, and guess what? Really, really desapointed in this dvd.
The movie is still great of course, but the EXTENDED version is nothing to brag about... first of all, the actual deleted scenes which you can access on the special features menu of the original dvd and this version dvd, are not included in the EXTENDED VERSION... and the only 2 clips that are added, are a new begining and alternate ending. These last two new clips need to be accesed by pressing an icon which appears while the movie is playing, and the switch is cheaply done; lacking the original movies quality...
It would have been nice if the Extended version would have been made up without the PRESS THE ICON feature, and WHAT do they mean by EXPLOSIVE???? The only excitement and action is in the original movie.... nothing else.
This is a real rip off in my opinion. If you own the old version; stick with it... this new version is REALLY NOT WORTH IT!!!!
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on July 18, 2004
Robert Ludlum wrote "The Bourne Identity" in the 1980's and it is the quintessential "spy" story. It is a thriller and the characters are so rich and well drawn.
A man is dragged from the sea. He has two bullet wounds and a "chip" embedded into his body. These are removed; the man recovers from this ordeal. He does not, however, remember anything, His name, where he is from from and his entire identity has been lost. He takes the chip and goes in search of himself. In a bank in Zurich he finds his identity- Jason Bourne and several other passports and lots of money. Enough information for Jason Bourne to change his identity whenever he needs to. But what does this mean? It appears to mean that many people are after Jason Bourne, that he has information that many people want or they want this information to die!! Around every corner is danger and there is no one that he can trust. He meets up with two CIA analysts who appear to be trustworthy, but are they really? He travels all over Europe and changes identities at every turn. He meets very interesting people at every turn. His life is full of risk and danger. Jason Bourne is an important person with so much hidden information that he doesn't remember. But as time goes on, the people he meets share some of what he is missing, and he is beginning to put the pieces together. He begins a love affair, and he thinks this is what he has been looking for. Why can't he be happy as a single man leaving the "spy" profession and finding his true love?
The movie stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, and he does a credible job. The action filming is wonderfully done. The car chases and the flights on foot and in trains are very real and I felt I was amongst them. I was part of the action!! Franke Potente plays Jason Bourne's love interest. Chris Cooper is the enemy and as always is a star- a cruel man who completes his job. The scenery is fantastic and brilliant. What I did miss in this movie that was not transposed from the book, is the storyline of Carlos, The Jackal. This is an important part of the book, and is not in the movie at all. Jason Bourne and Carlos have much admiratiion for each other even though they are sworn enemies. This is a significant loss, and the movie does not have the drama, background and richness of the book. This is, however, a movie to be enjoyed- I understand the sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy" is out this week. A Must See. prisrob
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on July 16, 2004
I just watched this one within the last week, and I must say I was duly impressed. This offering is fast-paced, high tech, very sexy - a wild ride from beginning to end. I found it rather reminiscent of a James Bond movie, but much grittier and without a clearly defined enemy - at least early on. One of the elements I most enjoyed was heavy sense of mystery that pervades the first half of the movie.
Matt Damon does a slightly above-average acting job as Jason Bourne, who doesn't even know his own name or identity when he is dragged half dead out of the Mediterranean by the crew of a French fishing boat. The only clue about his past is a micro-laser embedded in his hip, which reveals the name of a bank in Zurich, along with a numbered Swiss account. Weeks later, still no closer to overcoming his amnesia, he is put ashore and makes a beeline for Zurich, where he finds a safe deposit box containing a stack of passports in various names (one of which is Jason Bourne), as well as lots of cash and a gun.
Still quite confused but unsuspecting of any trouble, he heads to the American embassy with hopes of getting some answers. His reception there, however, is less than cordial, and suddenly he finds himself the object of an intense manhunt for reasons he cannot begin to fathom. To make matters worse, his pursuers obviously would rather see him dead than alive. Thus begins a non-stop, pulse pounding race across Europe as Bourne tries both to stay alive and find out who he is and why so many people are after him.
Ultimately Bourne does figure out the answers to all his questions, but not before leaving in his wake a string of dead would-be assassins, along with a bunch of stymied police and covert operatives. Unfortunately, he doesn't like what he finds out, and its clear that his past will never leave him alone. This leaves the stage wide open for the sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy", which should hit the theaters quite soon.
Overall I thought this movie was extremely riveting and entertaining. The acting wasn't outstanding, but it wasn't a liability either. The story line definitely carries the movie, much more so than the actors. If you haven't seen it, please do. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I can't wait to see the sequel.
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on July 11, 2004
I was in the mood to watch an entertaining action flick that hopefully had some brains behind it, so I decided to pop "The Bourne Identity" into my DVD player (that, and the previews for the sequel looks really good, so I wanted to see this right away). What I got was exactly what I expected, and then some. This is a very exciting and sharp movie that is a lot of fun to watch. There's lots of intense action to be enjoyed from this film.
Jason Bourne has a serious problem on his hands. When he is left for dead and his body is discovered by fishermen, he awakes and realizes that he cannot remember who he is. His memory is gone and he has no idea why or how he's there. And even though he doesn't know who he is, he is very skilled at hand-to-hand combat and is a deadly weapon who can take down just about anyone. When he tries to uncover his past and his identity, he finds people around every corner trying to kill him. Turns out that he is in reality an agent/assassin for the U.S. government (a very secret branch of defense). Since Bourne had failed his mission, they cannot afford to have him found out by others, so they know he must be terminated. Well, Bourne isn't going to take that lightly. He will take them head on and bring the fight to their doorsteps in order to find out who he is and why they want him dead.
This really was a good time. I haven't been terribly impressed with some of the latest action blunders, so it was nice to see something that was entertaining and was actually smart at the same time. Another plus is that the film doesn't try to be overly goofy, as a lot of other action flicks tend to be at times. Granted, there is humor, but it's evenly spread out and is never overused. Not only does the film have incredible action and fight scenes, but it also has a smart script and great character interaction. The movie also shows that Matt Damon can be one heck of an action star. I thought he could never pull it off, but he sure proved me wrong. He's very believable in his role and he's able to pull of the action scenes with real authenticity.
The DVD has a few extras to offer. First off, the movie looks very good and the sound is also terrific. Extras that can be found on this DVD include commentary from the director, an alternate ending and an extended "farmhouse" scene, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, a great music video by Moby, and some really neat DVD-ROM extras. I didn't care much for the alternate ending, so I'm glad that they just stuck with what is in the movie. All in all, not a bad package.
"The Bourne Identity" can be enjoyed by those who want a smart and clever action movie that delivers. There's a great script, a fantastic cast, and some out-of-this-world chase/fight scenes. This was definitely a great time for me and I'm glad I finally got around to watching it. If you haven't checked it out yet, then I really recommend it, especially if you're an action fan. -Michael Crane
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on June 13, 2004
Okay! This is a suspense/thriller/action/spy movie that's character driven with a really great movie team in Director Doug Limon (Go, Swingers, The O.C.), Screen Writer Tony Gilroy (Deloris Claiborne, Devil's Advocate, and The Cutting Edge) and the Author of the novel 'The Bourne Identity', Robert Ludlum as one of the executive producers along with Frank Marshall (all the 'Indiana Jones' movies, all the 'Back to the Future' movies, and The Sixth Sense) as executive producers.
Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne a man trained and conditioned to disappear by a Black Ops Division of the CIA but something has gone wrong. Unconscious and wounded he was rescued by a fishing boat off the coast of France with out his memory; two bullet holes to the back and a numbered Swiss Bank account are his only clues to his identity. Of course, his former employer is now also looking for him and things get complicated.
In comes Marie (Franka Potenta) a young women who gives Jason Bourne a ride to Paris. This is first and foremost an action film but there is no denying the chemistry that exists between the characters of Jason and Marie so it's interesting to see the dynamics of Action, Suspense, and Romantic Hope!
I won't go into the movie as it's more fun to watch and see for your self but it was a great action movie with wonderful performances throughout. I will say Chris Cooper (Lone Star, American Beauty, and Seabiscuit) plays the Black Ops director and gives a glowing performance. Can you tell I really like Chris Cooper?
The direction in this movie was superb. Doug Limon did an excellent job of telling this story and setting the mood with innovative camera work that gave you a feel for each character and scene. When the character was off kilter he made you feel off kilter with his careful, deliberate direction. I will have to make an effort to see more of Doug Limon's films.
This movie was energetic, polished, and had a visual style unique to the genre of action adventure with a lot of great writing, direction, and performance!
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on May 20, 2004
When a man (Oscar-Winner:Matt Damon) was pulled from the Sea with Two Bullets on his back. But this man has the skills of a Dangerous Man and No Memory of his Violent Past. Then he discovers his identity by the name of Jason Bourne and the most shocking truth that he is a Top Elite Gouverment Agent. But to the gouverment, Jason Bourne isn`t just their proprety, He`s a Malfunctioning Thirty Millin Dollar Weapon. Bourne is lethally trained and built to disappear. Once the gouverment try to solve their problem and the gouverment top operative are now after Bourne. Which Bourne has become their Number One Target. Bourne`s only help is a young woman (Franka Potente), who later become his friend and they help eachother for survival.
Directed by Doug Liman (Go, Mr. and Miss. Smith, Swingers) made a entertaining, fast-paced action thriller that is Based on a Novel by Robert Ludlum. Which Ludlum did Executive Produced the film before he passed on. This Popular Novel is actually a Remake of a T.V. Movie starring Richard Chamberland & Jacqueline Bisset. The Film`s Top Cast are Terrific, including:(Oscar-Winner:Chris Cooper), Clive Owen, Brain Cox, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Gabriel Mann, Walton Waggins, Josh Hamliton and Julia Stiles. Although Stiles seems a bit too young to play a Top Operative Computer Expert. This is One of the Biggest Hits of 2002. DVD`s has a sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an terrific-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (also in DTS 5.1 Surround Sound). The Bourne Identity is actually One-Third of a Movie, because there`s two another Ludlum Novels, which they are the Continuning Adventures of Bourne. Matt Damon brings a believable action hero performance in the film (Although some will might disagree), which Damon will be on the two another films. Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Dolores Claiborne) and William Blake Herron (White on White). Executive Produced by Frank Marshall (The Indiana Jones Trilogy, The Sixth Sense). Super 35. Grade:A-.
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on May 16, 2004
Matt Damon in his first "action hero" role is very good as the amnesiac Jason Bourne, who wakes up on a fishing ship not knowing anything about his past. As in all covert agent movies, Bourne is being hunted by his superiors to eliminate him since he failed in his mission. Damon has the right amount of boyish exuberance and masculine machismo to infuse life and credibility into his unbelievable predicament. Franka Potente is a good foil and companion for Damon in her role as his reluctant sidekick; her transformation from coquettish flirt to persistent helper is well done. Clive Owen in a small role as an assassin has a very good scene in which he extols the life of the undercover agent just before he bites the dust. Academy award winner Chris Cooper joins such notables as Al Pacino (Recruit), James Caan (Eraser) as the superior who will go to any lengths to tidy up a mess. Brian Cox and Julia Stiles round out the cast, but their performances are merely acceptable and nothing other talented actors couldn't have done..maybe even better.
I didn't see the first version of this (with Richard Chamberlain), so I can't compare; I also haven't read Mr. Ludlum's book..but this is a well done, well directed action movie, and I look forward to the sequel.
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on April 20, 2004
Jason Bourne is a man with extraordinary skills. He has an altered appearance, access to millions of dollars and can get more using his many talents. The problem is that he does not know who he is, how or why he has acquired his skills and where he comes from. He is a man with no memory.
Stranded in Southern France and nurtured back to health by a drunkard doctor, Bourne is desperate to regain his past, future and identity. How can he do it though if he does not know where to start and what to look for? Moreover, there are individuals out there gunning for his life. A Canadian woman is helping, but will that be enough to remain alive when international assassin Carlos will do anything to end his life?
The thriller moves fast and weaves into and out of different cities and personalities. Twists abound and Bourne has to move fast or risk staring into the eys of death. The book is an action-packed and fast-paced tale of espionage and international deception, with many incredible and often far-fetched coincidences and breaks, but for sheer heart-pumping action The Bourne Identity moves as fast as a bullet to the heart.
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