The Bourne Identity: Movie vs Book vs TV Miniseries

I recently watched the Bourne Identity tv miniseries.  I then proceeded to watch the Matt Damon movie immediately after it and decided to write up my thoughts. When I remembered that I had read the book everything was based on, I figured why not do a 3way brawl and see which comes out on top?

 

The Movie:

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Bad Will Hunting. Haha

This was my first introduction to Jason Bourne and when I originally watched this, I had NO idea it was based on a book or had been made before, or anything. An amnesiac with super special forces training on the run across Europe, outwitting other assassins, governments and falling in love with a euro-chick. The deal clincher that pushed this into awesome territory for me was the closing credit song, Extreme Ways by Moby.  It was a techno-beat song that fit the movie, with its fast, furious and brutal fight scenes.

Speaking of fight scenes. The pen fight versus the first assassin in the apartment building in Paris, awesome. It was understated, limited and yet showed the utter ferociousness of trained killers.

Still like this movie and still love the ending song.

 

The Book:

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Should have been a hollowpoint!

Here’s my review from ’09:

The Bourne Identity

The long and short is that it was quite different from the movie in that it was set back in 70’s or 80’s, dealt with an international assassin (Carlos the Jackal) and Bourne was an undercover agent deliberately run amuck to attract his attention to bring Carlos to ground. Much more political, global and thriller than just an action fight book.

I was glad to have read it, but never had any desire to read it again. I read the next 2 books and the movies shared nothing with them besides the title and both books rather bored me.

This trilogy was the first, and last, Ludlum that I ever read.

 

The TV Miniseries:

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Jaclyn Smith. I miss the Big Hair days 😦

Here’s the wiki link:

1988 Bourne Miniseries

Richard Chamberlin stars as Jason Bourne and it’s easy to spot that this was made in a different era than the movie. It’s not just the clothes, but even the fighting style. Most of the fight scenes were more like bar brawls with lots of gut punches and gripping of throats and slamming of hands against door frames. It is painfully obvious that “fighting” wasn’t an art like it is today.  Their idea of “martial arts” was throwing an arm up to block a punch. Sigh. Also, he’s a rather thin, gentlemanly looking fellow, not what I picture as a special special special forces kind of guy. Of course, to be honest, Matt Damon didn’t look like it either in the movie, so call it a draw for that.

This was a 3hr special divided into 2 parts and that allows for a much more nuanced story. It follows the book a LOT more closely than the movie. But maybe because of that, it’s definitely a Cold War style movie and if that’s not your thing, this will definitely be a watch once and move on kind thing.

That’s what it is for me. Glad to have seen it, but not impressed nor does it tempt me to watch it again.

 

The Winner:

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Well, just in case you couldn’t tell from the descriptions, the Matt Damon movie wins hands down.  The ending song simply made any other choice impossible.

(Of course, you have to pretend that the latest Bourne franchise movie, Jason Bourne, doesn’t exist. Really, that’s one of those “they never made that movie” kind of movie, just like the supposed sequels to the Matrix.  They don’t EXIST!)

 

And just so I can stick this in the Food category as well, I was eating Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs Licorice. Getting to bite off little dogs’ heads, that’s just bonus, because nothing beats Black Licorice!

 

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Yes, I proudly bit off Toto’s head

 

bookstooge

 

 

 

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Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne #3)

Bourne Ultimatum

Jason Bourne #3

Robert Ludlum

1 Star

 

Carlos the Jackal is back and gunning for Bourne/Webb. I’d had enough about a man always on the run/hunt. Webb is now 50. Let the guy alone!

Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne #2)

Bourne Supremacy

Jason Bourne #2

Robert Ludlum

3 Stars

 

first, this has nothing to do with the movie. nothing.
Webb’s wife is kidnapped and Bourne must live again in order to save her. Everything is happening in HongKong and China. Turns out Marie was kidnapped by US forces to force Bourne to go after a rogue Mainland China guy who wants to take over HongKong and plunge the world into war. It was sickening to see how people were manipulated and used. Lots of profanity too, bleh.

 

Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne #1)

Bourne Identity

Jason Bourne #1

Robert Ludlum

4 Stars

 

a man wakes up, bullet riddled and with no memory. Through the next couple of months he finds out he is a special forces agent gone outside cover to draw out and destroy an international terrorist. By becoming an international terrorist. Hunted by all, helped and loved by only 1 woman, Bourne must survive to find the truth, about himself and about Carlos. Very different from the movie with Matt Damon. This has another whole layer of politics and intrigue. Global. Complicated. I liked the movie better 🙂 I do plan on reading the next 2 books though to get the whole story.