Making the Grades
CIA agents and their covert activities have been a hot topic in the movie world lately with films like The Sum of All Fears and Bad Company. Now this government agency is chasing down one of their own in the action thriller The Bourne Identity.
On a storm-ravaged night, fishermen working on the Mediterranean haul in a bullet punctured body floating in the ocean. When their "catch" revives, he has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Set ashore by the rescuing sailors, his only clue is a vial of microfilm found implanted in his hip. After he tracks down the bank account number stored on the film, he finds a stash of cash, fake passports, and finally a name to call himself.
But while Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) tries to unravel who he is, someone out there already knows and they're out to net him, dead or alive (with dead seeming to be their first choice). Hunted down by highly trained agents on orders from their supervisor (Chris Cooper), Bourne strains to outwit his assassins and avoid their high-powered weapons with the help of a young woman (Franka Potente). Yet, worse then waking up and not knowing who he is, the amnesiac begins to discover a past he wants no part in.
Filmed on locations in Greece, France and the Czech Republic, The Bourne Identity is filled with scenic backgrounds and historic venues. However, it is also full of automatic gunfire, stalking snipers and highly trained combat moves that result in plenty of blood baths. Jason Bourne may be the agency's number one target but the mission is fraught with rising numbers of dead and injured caught in the not-so-friendly fire.
Regrettably, the violence in this film overshadows the underlying story. In one scene, Bourne stares at his reflection in the window, trying to find anything familiar about the face looking back at him. With so much of our identity tied up in our name and our past, that story line may have been intriguing enough without all the bullets.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Bourne Identity.
Jason is concerned at first because he doesn’t even know his own name. What does your name say about you? Does your name have special significance or were you named after someone?
Should the CIA have tried to help Jason first and fired later? Do you think they would have reacted differently if they knew he was suffering from amnesia?