The Bourne Identity

Rated NR

Matt Damon’s bland, blond cover-boy good looks served him well as the chameleonic but soulless psychopath Tom Ripley in the truly unnerving The Talented Mr. Ripley a couple of years back, and they don’t fail him in this thriller based on the high-tech pulp novel by Robert Ludlum. This time around, Damon plays Jason Bourne, a super-tough and resourceful underground agent who is pulled from the sea by a fishing boat, only he doesn’t know his name, who he works for and why he is a so super-touch and resourceful. Or why a variety of government spooks and assassins seem hell-bent on his capture and/or murder. Director Doug Liman (who did such admirable, energetic work on the independent features Swingers and Go) gets all his ducks in a row. But an authentic feeling of desperation is missing from this blank series of stock "action" scenes that talented players Chris Cooper, Franka Potente, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles and Brian Cox can’t help salvage.

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