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  • Widescreen 2.25:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 67:07)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • 2 Teaser trailer
  • Animated menus
  • DTS trailer - The Piano one
The Bourne Identity (2002) (Rental)
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 114 mins . MA15+ . PAL


A body, presumed dead, is fished from the sea by a fishing ship in the middle of a fairly nasty storm. Hauled downstairs, a routine examination begins, including the bullets and bullet holes in his back and, most intriguingly, the small capsule that is embedded in his hip which contains Swiss bank account details. As the 'body' springs to life and goes on the offensive, the crew manages to subdue him, though the mystery merely deepens from this point.

Realising that the crew is not a threat, the man is unable to recall who he is, why he was floating in the sea, or why he has bullet wounds and bank account details where flesh should be. He manages to get back to shore when the fishing boat docks, evades the authorities and, once in Switzerland, accesses the account that is detailed in the capsule. In a safety deposit box he discovers guns, cash, and many passports with his picture, but with various names. The staff recognise him as Jason Bourne, and he manages to confirm that that is indeed his 'main' identity.

Managing to avoid suspicious Swiss authorities, he flees to the American embassy in Geneva, but here too he comes under heavy scrutiny, and manages to evade capture once more in a hail of bullets, explosions and a car chase.

He persuades a young woman to drive him to Paris (to Jason Bourne's apartment specifically), and she becomes entangled in the mysterious world of Jason Bourne. As the heat intensifies on the couple, and they are fired upon by almost every form of authority, the pieces slowly begin to fall in to place as to who Jason Bourne really is, and he doesn't like it one bit.

Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum (who was also the executive producer), this is an action film essentially, and contains lots of guns and bombs, a car chase or two, some excellently choreographed fight scenes, and some great stunts. The acting is rather good, the action is well paced, although it takes a while to fully understand who Jason Bourne is and why everyone wants to kill him, but then this a mystery too.

There is some great editing and a flowing storyline. It is a film for action fans, although there is a romantic thread that develops between the 'marked' couple, though we are spared a long drawn out bonking scene, thankfully. There is also some fun to be had with trying to spot the number of continuity errors, but most are quite subtle and if you are the type that gets caught up in the film at the drop of a hat, then you will not spot many, if any. This is a great thrill ride for action fans.


This is a very solid transfer folks, with nothing important in the negative ledger other than some mild shimmer. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced. Colours are deliberately dulled in many scenes to compliment the European winter. The picture is razor sharp though, with no edge enhancement, no problems with noise, or grain, nor any marks, spots or flecks.

Some of the darker scenes have a slight drop in detail, but this isn't a problem. The layer change is well placed at 67:07 and passes virtually unnoticed.

DTS enthusiasts are well catered for with the DTS 5.1 audio on offer that really packs a punch when it comes to the guns and explosions and car chases. Dialogue, however, tends to be a little soft in comparison, and while it is clear and well synchronised, the audio blasts that kick in for the action scenes are quite jarring.

There is a fine dynamic range which is best utilised in the music score. Rear channels are used for both the music and the many ambient sounds. During the action scenes they really come to the fore with a great deal of separation. The subwoofer has a great old time as well, and should give the neighbours cause to kick up.

The Dolby Digital is not significantly different to the DTS track and will still impress. The DTS option is still the recommended audio mainly for its slightly more dynamic sound range. Either way, if you're looking for a DVD to impress friends, this one will do nicely.

Being a rental only version, there are almost no extras included. What is on offer are two bonus trailers for two new films yet to hit the cinemas in Australia. These are Johnny English, which despite starring a personal favourite in Rowan Atkinson looks like crap, and The Hulk. Both are brief at less than a minute each, are in widescreen aspect ratios (not 16:9 enhanced) and in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

The Bourne Identity is an engaging film that looks and sounds great on DVD. It is a well-paced action film with some great fights, good stunts, and an intriguing, slowly evolving mystery. The romantic touch really only jars at the very end, so forgive this mushy indiscretion and get on board.

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  •   And I quote...
    "A fine combination of mystery, action, guns and a good old fashioned car chase on a well presented, bare-bones rental-only release..."
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
    • Centre Speaker:
    • Surrounds:
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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