Flashback to summer 2002: Hollywood was all a-flutter over Ben Affleck's "The Sum of All Fears," while buzz was bad over his BFF Matt Damon's "The Bourne Identity."
What a difference DVD rentals makes! "Sum" stalled as a potential franchise, while "Bourne" grew both critically and commercially with 2004's "The Bourne Supremacy" and 2007's "The Bourne Ultimatum." With the series likely over "? never say never in Tinseltown "? Universal has packaged all three together in slimline cases in the affordably priced "The Bourne Trilogy."
These films are spy adventures for the thinking man "? gritty, exciting and driven more by plot, story and characters than spectacle and special effects. Director Doug Liman's "Identity" surprised virtually everyone with its low-fi take on Robert Ludlum's amnesiac spy, but Damon surprised even more by making Bourne believable as an all-around bad-ass.
"United 93" helmer Paul Greengrass upped the ante with "Supremacy" and "Ultimatum," sowing the seeds planted in "Identity" and bringing everything full circle, creating a satisfying three-film arc.
And let's not forget Damon doesn't do it alone. Providing solid support are Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Franka Potente and Brian Cox. All together, the elements out-Bond Mr. Bond. Believe it.
"The Bourne Trilogy" contains many bonus features, but all are available on the previous single releases.