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.