Archive for November 13th, 2018


By J.D. Lafrance

When The Bourne Identity (2002) debuted in theaters audiences were hungry for a new kind of spy film. The James Bond movies adhered to a tried-and-true formula and it had gotten old. For the most part, the adventures that Bond had in his movies never affected him personally (the notable exception being On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Licence to Kill). In America, Mission: Impossible II (2000) collapsed under John Woo’s stylistic excesses and a boring love story with no chemistry between Tom Cruise and his love interest played by Thandie Newton. The world had changed dramatically since the events of 9/11 and a new international espionage action thriller would have to acknowledge this new reality. Along came The Bourne Identity, a very loose adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name, that took the genre and personalized it, but without sacrificing all the things we’ve come to expect from a spy movie: exotic locales, exciting car chases, lethal bad guys, and intense fight scenes. What made the film such a breath of fresh air was how it tweaked these tried and true conventions.

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