One Criticism The Bourne Identity’s Editor Knows The Franchise Always Gets

Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity has long been lauded as an excellent spy thriller. The franchise as a whole has aged pretty well, which is always a plus. But the movies have also had their fair share of critics and, according The Bourne Identity editor Saar Klein, he’s well aware of one prominent criticism.

The haircut scene between Matt Damon and Franka Potente in The Bourne Identity was recently brought up, and director Doug Liman and editor Saar Klein opened up about how that scene came together. Here’s what Saar Klein had to say about a common critique the franchise gets:

I know people think the Bourne franchise is really cutty, but it was really thoughtful about when to do it. A scene like that, the emphasis is just not to overdo it and just let the chemistry and the acting be in the forefront.

While speaking with The Ringer,  the two explained that for the haircut scene, Saar Klein didn’t have much to work with when he got the footage, as Doug Liman only did two takes. Still, Saar Klein made it work and didn’t need to cut and mess around with too much.

Perhaps the two biggest complaints about The Bourne Identity franchise are the use of shaky cam and the fast cuts during fight scenes, which is what Saar Klein was referencing. Some have even gone so far as saying The Bourne Identity’s break-neck pace in editing ruined action films forever.

Directing and editing techniques aside, The Bourne Identity has also gotten flack for some of its writing, specifically many of the choices Jason Bourne makes in the movie. For instance, why would Jason Bourne sleep on a park bench at night when he should know that’s just going to draw attention?

Yet, despite its flaws, The Bourne Identity did break ground and inspire the trajectory for actions films in the future, for better and for worse. A good example is the 007 franchise which was on a downhill trajectory in Die Another Day, and The Bourne Identity became a wake-up call for James Bond.

As most people know, Jason Bourne and his franchise ended on a down note with the poorly received Jason Bourne. However, despite the sense that maybe it’s time to pack it in and call it a day, a TV show and movie are reportedly in the works.

The Bourne Identity is by no means a perfect spy movie, but I think it did more right, as an action movie, than it did wrong. At the same time, I think they wrapped things up nicely in the trilogy and have wandered off into dark and questionable territory since then. But what do you think? Is Saar Klein right about The Bourne Identity being too cutty? Let us know in the comments!

Jason Ingolfsland