The Bourne Identity

Delayed for more than a year due to rewrites and reshoots, this film version of Robert Ludlam's 1980 spy thriller had been prematurely banished to the doghouse. Surprise. It's not half-bad. As an amnesiac who may be master spy Jason in (Clive Owen). Cool Ronin-style car chases ensue, as do convoluted subplots that clog up the works. Until then, director Doug Liman — the hip skipper of Swingers and Go — makes all the familiar dirty business seem fun and almost human. In these dog days, Bourne earns what passes as high praise: It doesn't suck.

From The Archives Issue 316: May 1, 1980