Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA/Germany, 2004. Universal Pictures, Motion Picture THETA Produktionsgesellschaft, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Ludlum Entertainment. Screenplay by Tony Gilroy, based on the novel by Robert Ludlum. Cinematography by Oliver Wood. Produced by Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall, Paul Sandberg. Music by John Powell. Production Design by Dominic Watkins. Costume Design by Dinah Collin. Film Editing by Richard Pearson, Christopher Rouse.
A major Hollywood studio hasn’t put out a blockbuster this intelligent and entertaining in a very, very long time. Matt Damon returns to the role he created in the 2001 blockbuster The Bourne Identity, with Jason Bourne now hiding out with his girlfriend (Franka Potente) in India, far away from the CIA operatives who once hunted him down. Halfway around the world in Berlin, an agency operation has been sabotoged and two agents murdered, with a trail left behind leading to Bourne as the killer and thief of the important documents involved. He returns to Europe to avenge a personal matter of his own that he thinks the CIA is responsible for, without the slighest clue that the leader of the Berlin operation (Joan Allen) is after his head. Things get dicey as we learn that an Eastern European criminal is playing Bourne against his own team, and now he must solve the mystery without getting himself killed. The pristine screenplay by Tony Gilroy has thrilling plot twists and strong dialogue, spiced up by some very realistic action scenes and rip-roaring car chases. Allen absolutely shines in a superior role to the one Chris Cooper played in the original, a tense performance that maintains much of the drama throughout the entire film, while Damon continues to be charismatic in the lead.