This film version of Robert Ludlum’s 1980 spy thriller is equal parts brains and brawn. Matt Damon, as John Bourne, a CIA black ops spy who suffers from amnesia and spends the film piecing together the last two weeks of his life, uses his intellect as much as his fists. This is a smart movie, made even better by some wise choices for director and star. Doug Liman, director of Swingers and Go brings a refreshing excitement to this tired old genre, and manages to deliver some unexpected thrills. Franka Potente (best known for Run Lola Run) as Maria, a young woman who unwittingly finds herself involved in international intrigue, hands in a star making performance. As a viewer her character is the only one in the film that we can relate to; she’s an ordinary person put in extraordinary circumstances. Look for Clive Owen in a cameo as The Professor, a hired killer sent to assassinate Bourne. In his three or four lines of dialogue he talks about the moral quandaries of his line of work. It’s a beautifully acted moment, and a nice twist on the usual killer-for-hire character.
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