The spy thriller that overturned the genre, ushering in a wave of gritty and realistic espionage tales, stars Matt Damon as the amnesiac searching for his true identity. Discovered unconscious, bloodied and suffering from amnesia by Italian fishermen, Bourne faces a race against time to uncover his identity and work out why people are trying to kill him.
Matt Damon’s everyman qualities make Bourne a more relatable character than the usual suave superspies seen on screen; characteristics which are also apt for the story of a man unaware just out-of-the-ordinary he is.
Although Britain’s Paul Greengrass left an indelible mark on later entries in the series, it’s Doug Liman who brings his own snappy sense of adventure to this opening chapter. But it’s the film’s hyper-kinetic yet believable hand-combat sequences that proved highly influential to the thriller genre, eventually inspiring a reboot for James Bond himself.