So, I missed a days post because I've been working for approximately 24 hours (well to be honest I went out to a very expensive restaurant with a banker, which counts as work in my job)

I am jealous of whoever it was who came up with this idea for a film. I know of course that this was a book before it was a film, but anyone with a bit of common sense I'm sure knows that the book was written in order to be made into a film. The film is a rather typical model of a "good" action film. A film where a kind of shadey character, faces a whole lot of other shadey characters, and while there is a kind of play at a moral, though no one really takes the moral seriously, mostly they pay attention to the excellent choreography. That efficiently sums up every Luc Besson movie, the Die Hard series, and this film, all of which happen to be my favorite (western) action films ever made (though Luc Besson happens to have made a lot of shit in his time, he is forgiven everything because he made The Fifth Element and Nikita).

The Bourne Identity does all of these things, and the only reason it does not compare to the better Luc Besson films and the Die Hard films is because the main character really isn't shadey enough... though he is working against the government, so we'll say he's half way there. Matt Damon does a rather good job playing the character who is supposed to look clean cut, but really not. The violence in the film is well choreographed to the point of art. The film just does too much to find a moral reason for the violence.

The other reason I like this film is Franka Potente. Though I know that she was essentially chosen for this part because she looks German and she was in Run Lola Run, I think she adds something to the film, that a lesser Hollywood film would have missed (because they would have chosen someone like Nicole Kidman to play the part). What this film really has, that I think would classify it as an advancement in International Spy thrillers, is that the film actually feels like Europe. The film doesn't feel like Europe in the same way that a Meg Ryan movie that shows the Eiffel Tower every 5 minutes feels like Europe. The film feels like walking down a street in an average town in Germany, you don't see Europe in the way a tourist would, but you feel like you see it from the point of view of an average German woman (despite the fact she was in a film that was popular in America), and an American who works in the world of international politics. (Compare this film to "Casino Royale," which is quite definatly Europe from the point of view of a tourist).

The violence (or in more common parlance, "fight scenes") were really quite nice. What is really necessary to choreograph a good action film is a strong feeling for space, which the director of this film obviously had. A good violent segment should have the feeling of cleverly navigating a complex space, and the scene at the embassy was especially noticable in that regard (though that was a major aspect of every action sequence in the film.

I mean, to put it simply this film combined Europe with violence, which in my opinion is a winning combination, especially if you take out heroics... They bordered on a complete removal of heroics, but eventually left enough for those people that need a moral justification for violence.

Moral justifications for violence are horrific things. We should never excuse violence in real life, and any moral justification of violence is essentially immoral. In film we should understand that violence is only there for the beauty of it all, and that is enough of an excuse in itself.

Tom Stoppard is writing the script for the third one, figure that one out.

Buy the Borne Identity here

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