The Bourne Identity

Colosseum (4005939636722)
Varèse Sarabande (0030206636727)
Movie | Release date: 06/11/2002 | Film release: 2002 | Format: CD, Download

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# Track   Duration
1.Main Titles4:17
2.Bourne Gets Well1:20
3.Treadstone Assassins2:09
4.At the Bank4:07
5.Bourne On Land1:42
6.Escape from Embassy3:12
7.The Drive to Paris1:29
8.The Apartment3:25
9.At the Hairdressers1:29
10.Hotel Regina2:11
11.The Investigation1:34
12.Taxi Ride3:43
13.At the Farmhouse2:54
14.Jason Phones It In3:04
15.On Bridge Number 93:41
16.Jason's Theme2:20
17.Mood Build3:34
18.The Bourne Identity6:00
19.Drum and Bass remix2:15
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The Bourne Identity - 04/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
John Powell: The Hits and the Misses. Or the Missus, although I've never met Mrs Powell (and I don't know if there is one come to think of it). Still, that's a totally random opening to this review, although it does have a point - there's always a point - and that's to say that The Bourne Identity rather unfortunately comes under The Misses part. Unlike his animation cohort Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell's solo efforts have been moderately impressive, notably the gorgeous I Am Sam which really was one of the surprising treats of 2001. Quality drama scores are in short supply these days (Messrs. Newman, R and Bernstein, E can't score all of them), but on the other hand, dreary thriller scores are tediously plentiful and unfortunately, we can add The Bourne Identity to that list.

It doesn't get off to a bad start, the Main Titles are a fairly pleasing strings and percussion mixture, but after that the string orchestra gets relegated for most of the running time and it's just percussion and synthetic beeps. The action sequences are the more interesting by default, mainly because there are just more beats per minute, but since there's almost nothing in the way of interesting melody, these are pretty interchangeable. When the 'theme track,' in this case Jason's Theme, is one of the least interesting tracks on the album, you know you're in trouble. Like David Arnold's Changing Lanes, it drifts from one speed of percussion to another, with almost no dramatic thrust. The feeling of it being musical wallpaper to just propel the action along, but without commenting on it in any emotional or dramatic way, is rather difficult to ignore. Of course, this means that on CD it sounds like an experiment on a large bank of keyboards and not a particularly great musical score.

All that rather suggests that The Bourne Identity is devoid of merit, which isn't entirely true. For the type of music it is, it's certainly not entirely uninteresting. I am trying to avoid constantly referring to the aforementioned Arnold score, but it's hard not to since both suffer from essentially the same problem. For the genre, they are perfectly adequate and I'm sure plenty of people will enjoy the no-brainer propulsion of it all, but with so many better thriller and spy scores out there - Arnold himself does this kind of thing much better in his Bond efforts - The Bourne Identity just seems hard to recommend.
The Bourne Identity - 04/10 - Review of Andreas Lindahl, submitted at
The Bourne Identity is based on the novel by Robert Ludlum and stars Matt Damon as Jason "I don't remember anything but I do notice that someone is trying to kill me" Bourne. It's a typical spook film and so it comes with a rather typical spook film score. Nothing James Bond/John Barry sounding, though. Instead, Powell's score for The Bourne Identity is one of those high tech sounding ones. Powell uses a fairly large (57 players) orchestra consisting of only strings (and one bassoon) and tons of electronics. The result is a score that is brimful with electronics - mostly different types of percussion - but unfortunately lacks material and ideas that would have made the score interesting on CD, separated from the film.

It's a really suspenseful score - no doubt about that - but it's not especially exciting. The largest reason is that the score lacks a theme. Yeah, yeah... I know - scores don't have to be thematic to be good. But when an entire score practically consists only of electronic beats in different forms and variations I tend to long for a real theme. Still, the score, and the disc, opens with the exciting "Main Titles", which I really like, and here Powell gives us a rendition of one of the scores' themes, but then it goes away, for some reason, and we are left with the electronics. And it's interesting, but it fails to hold my attention for a longer period of time. Sad but true.

A couple of tracks manage to impress me, tough. Such as the already mentioned "Main Titles". But also "Treadstone Assassins", which is a very rough and urban piece, with a steady drum beat holding everything together. And "Hotel Regina" is a soft, but rather cool, track. And let's not forget the soothing but also a little uneasy vocals heard in "The Drive to Paris". But that's pretty much it. The Bourne Identity is an interesting sonic experiment and experience, but I just can't get myself to enjoy it.

Other releases of The Bourne Identity (2002):

Bourne Identity, The (2002)
Bourne Identity, The (2016)

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