1st film (The Bourne Identity)
The Bourne Identity was released in US theaters on June 14, 2002. Directed by Doug Liman, written by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron, the 2002 film adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel looked to be the most promising to me. The story of Bourne had already had a TV miniseries adaptation in which Richard Chamberlain played the title character. Although making a few adjustments to the story, Liman’s Bourne Identity was an instant hit with audiences and critics.
The awards The Bourne Identity received included the ASCAP Film Television Music Awards’ Top Box Office Films: John Powell, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror’s Saturn Award for Best Action/ Adventure/ Thriller Award, and the American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement for Fight Choreography: Nick Powell. Matt Damon was now on his way to becoming a household name – if he wasn’t already. The final domestic box office receipts for The Bourne Identity added up to close to 122 million dollars. If nothing else, that shows that the people liked the film.
Jason Bourne has kicked some serious assassin butt in the past. His first adventure was all due to an accident in which he lost his memory. The main guy in charge of Treadstone, the man that sent Bourne on his first mission, Alexander Conklin, played by Chris Cooper (American Beauty, The Breach) went after Bourne with his best assassins in Europe. Bourne was too good for them, despite having no memory.
Along the way, Bourne met a girl, Marie Helena Kreutz, played by Franka Potente (Run Lola Run). He offers her money for a ride. In doing so, she unwittingly puts herself at terrible risk. Marie didn’t know Bourne was being chased by the world’s best killers. They eventually fall in love. Bourne sends Marie off to keep her safe and finds her in the end.
Other central characters of The Bourne Identity was Conklin’s superior, Ward Abbott, played by Brian Cox (X-Men 2: The Last Stand, Braveheart, Troy), and CIA field agent, Nicolette or Nicky Parson, played by Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate about You).
2nd film (The Bourne Supremacy)
The Bourne Supremacy was released in US theaters on June 23, 2004. Directed by Paul Greengrass this time, written by only Tony Gilroy, the 2004 adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel was a good story that was poorly executed when compared to its original. Again, in that Richard Chamberlain movie, they attempted to adapt this story into one big miniseries. It sucked, if you ask me. But the Greengrass adaptation was just slightly off the mark, but still very close. The film went on to make more than 176 million at the US box office. It didn’t receive as many – if any honors like the first film, but audiences were just in awe of Bourne’s story and how he kicked butt.
Kicking off where the first film ended, Conklin is dead, Treadstone has been shut down, and Bourne is with Marie. Suddenly, we’ve got much more past to uncover, much more conspiracies to bring to light, and it becomes more and more obvious how much Jason has changed since he quit the assassin job. We find out what he had to do for his first assignment. Conklin and Abbott were in charge, and it seems as if Jason had no choice. But we later discover how much Bourne regrets what he did.
Now, lets bring in Pamela Landy, played by Joan Allen (The Notebook, Pleasantville). She is the CIA Deputy Director and Task Force Chief. She looses a couple of field agents. Their deaths are linked to Bourne – but he is well over 2,000 miles away. Needless to say, there’s a lot of chasing, a lot of shooting, a lot of good action that’s poorly directed, and a tragic death that comes close to sending Bourne over the edge.
3rd film (The Bourne Ultimatum)
The Bourne Ultimatum will be released in the US on August 3, 2007. Again, directed by Paul Greengrass – I’m none too happy about that choice, I can tell you that now, written by Tony Gilroy and George Nolfi, this third film continues where the last film left off. Bourne is still being chased by the CIA. He finds a new friend, a journalist who’s been following Bourne’s story, Simon Ross, played by Paddy Considine (Cinderella Man, Hot Fuzz). With another version of Treadstone, codename Black Briar coming to pass, Bourne must fight off the deadliest assassins yet.
Everyone who hasn’t been killed is coming back for this 3rd installment, including Matt Damon, Julia Stiles and Joan Allen. The new villain looks, Noah Vosen is being played by the talented David Staithairn (Goodnight and Good Luck, L.A. Confidential). Edgar Ramirez is Paz. John Bruhl is John St. Jacques. Other new stars include Silence of The Lambs’ Scott Glenn and Albert Finney of Erin Brockovich.
I hope to see you at the movies this August 3rd.