WHAT I LIKED: In 2002, the Bonds and Mission: Impossibles of this world suddenly found themselves with a new rival that largely eclipsed the efforts of other spy-thrillers of the era. Yes for once in the genre, 'The Bourne Identity' has a story that moves forward and flows - smartly focusing on our main character's journey rather than getting bogged down by petty politics. This attention to Bourne himself is what really hooks you, and that's helped not only by the brilliant writing, but also by Matt Damon's magnetic performance that makes the character feel so real. In fact, this whole movie feels as grounded as Bourne does, and huge credit should be given to the film's stylistic choices on that one. I just love the hand-held cinematography and the thriller elements that are incorporated by the lighting and score, and in the end it all amalgamates to a real on-the-ground feeling and a sense of edge-of-the-seat engagement that had become quite rare for a film of this type.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Despite the fact it flips the coin a bit on the government side of things, you can't get away from the fact it all feels a little cliched.
VERDICT: This will become a phrase I use to describe all the Bourne films; 'what it does, it does best.' The first was one bloody good spy-thriller - with a real emphasis on the 'thriller' half, at that.