warning: some plot details are revealed below. if you want to be totally surprised, don't read the following.
So, last night a friend of mine (female) had a couple tix to a pre-screening of the new Matt Damon flick, "The Bourne Identity".
overall, a decent film. before i say anymore, let me say that we got to the theater a little late (20 mins before the showing), and ended up three rows back from the screen. this was really too close to fully enjoy the movie.
The basic plot of the movie: Jason Bourne is a CIA agent, dispatched to kill a guy who is about to snitch on the agency. His mission fails, and he ends up floating in the off the coast of France with two bullets in his back. Fisherman rescue and revive him, but he cannot remember who he is, what he does, or what he is there. In his hip, he finds a laser implant that has a bank name and account number.
He goes to the bank and gets his safe deposit box, in which he finds several hundred thousand dollars in cash and 6 or 7 passports, all from different countries having different pictures.
This is where the excitement starts. Basically, he is trying to figure out who he is. But at the same time, the CIA brass wants him dead, because they think that he is either starting to work against them or has gone crazy (this isn't entirely clear in the movie).
Trying to escape from various police agencies, he ends up paying a transiant woman $20,000 to drive him to Paris, where he has determined that he has an apartment. In Paris, he finds a few more clues about his identity, but realizes that he is a hunted man. He has to ward off an assassin and leads police on a fantastic (and of course, utterly unrealistic) car chase through the streets of Paris.
More adventures ensue, until he finally manages to get the CIA off his back (I won't detail how he does this). The end is predictable, but the way it develops isn't necessarily what you would expect.
There are a ton of great fight scenes in the movie, and the action is very intense -- lots of good martial arts. Footage is very jittery and shot with some kind of stop-action, which emphasizes the movement. Camera shots are very tight, putting the action in your face.
Overall, the visuals are good, with some lush shots of Paris and the French countryside.
Audio is excellent, especially during the fight scenes. You can FEEL the kicks, punches, and shots. The surround sound is nicely done, and the background music complements the scenes well (and never detracts from the visuals).
I would rate this movie as 3 stars for what it is -- a action/thriller movie. It's worth seeing in a theater just to enjoy the action scenes in POWERFUL digital sound (my neighbors would kill me if i listened to movies at that volume). It's definitely a guy flick, and even though there are a few relationship scenes (to "inject some estrogen to keep the ladies happy", in the words of my friend), most girls (unless they like action movies) aren't going to find this too entertaining.