Well, I finally saw 2002's The Bourne Identity last night. It's a decent action movie. Maybe I'd have appreciated it more if I'd seen it when it first came out, before everyone imitated it. It has its own predecessors, of course. It kind of feels like North by Northwest on steroids with less humour.
Matt Damon looks so young. I hadn't realised how puffy his face has become.
He plays a mysteriously proficient amnesiac who wakes up on a fishing boat after having been dragged, unconscious, from the drink. The ship's surgeon finds a little laser pointer embedded in his hip that gives the location and password for a safety deposit box that later turns out to have a bunch of passports, money, and a gun. It never really becomes clear why things were set up in this way--was he planning to have amnesia and to be operated on by a trustworthy doctor? But it's an intriguing way to start a story.
The editing on the hand to hand fighting is really good and quick though not as effective as sustained shots of action--the corridor scene in the original Old Boy has aged better and the movies and shows that have imitated it look more impressive than the ones that imitated Bourne.
The car chase scenes are less impressive. Maybe that's partly because I recently watched Death Proof again. But the editing is strikingly limp, especially when it comes to matching reaction shots of the actors to action. This is exacerbated by some surprisingly conspicuous rear projection or blue screen shots in the car interior.
It's nice to see some romance in an espionage thriller, though, and Franka Potente as the love interest is pretty and has a low-key charisma. It does feel a little at odds with the main plot but romance subplots in such films usually were. Audiences simply used to be willing to suspend more disbelief in the name of experiencing a pleasant fantasy. Unfortunately, this is one of the pleasures audiences have lately been trained to abjure.
I'm not sure if I feel enthusiastic to move onto the sequels. I only ended up watching the first one because Netflix was the only streaming service I could get working last night for some reason. Criterion Channel keeps giving me this weird "Video cannot be played on an external monitor" error. Am I supposed to crawl inside my computer?
Twitter Sonnet #1446
Exclusive floss combined the special teeth.
A cobbled tusk commenced to clamp the cat.
A dizzy fly had crashed amidst the heath.
A letter sent arrived before the bat.
Excessive sweets combine to shake the earth.
The waiting coffee hugged the shadow man.
An empty ship arrived to fill the berth.
Amidst the colour strips they blurred a tan.
The districts sort a heat from colder reds.
A bubble swamp exists beneath the grass.
We rest as thoughtful hats in boxy beds.
Together, twine conducts a lively mass.
Forgotten felt returns to shape the head.
A bunch of scarves combine to make the bed.