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The Bourne Trilogy (2008)

Universal

Cast: Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Julia Styles.

Rating: PG,14A

Run time: 344 mins (3 movies).

Genre: Action.

Verdict: Brilliant (see rating system)

This three-DVD package comprises the hit movies The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum and comes loaded with great extra features.

It's a fine collection focusing on the character of CIA killing machine Jason Bourne, who actor Matt Damon credits with saving his once-flagging movie career.

The creation of famed thriller writer Robert Ludlum, Bourne is found floating near death in the ocean by fishermen in The Bourne Identity (2002). Bourne recovers from two bullet wounds in his back, but has amnesia and must try to piece together clues to his real identity. Following the murky trail to a Swiss bank vault, Bourne finds dozens of false passports, money and weapons. He also picks up Maria (Franke Potente), who gives him an emotional connection.

Unknown to Bourne, his former CIA handlers who'd assumed he was dead after a failed operation to kill a foreign leader discover he is alive and decide to "terminate" him. But while Bourne hasn't a clue who he is, his deadly fighting skills haven't deserted him...

The Bourne Supremacy (2004) finds Jason Bourne in India with Marie, his lover from the first movie. The pair are trying to piece together Bourne's previous life as a CIA hitman, which comes to him only in momentary fragments.

Unknown to them, Russian agents are about to pin the murder of two CIA agents in Berlin on Bourne by planting evidence. The Russians want Bourne dead as part of the plot and have dispatched a ruthless killer to do the job.

Meanwhile, The CIA is enraged by the notion that Bourne (one of their own) killed their men, so they want him dead, too.

Both movies are fast-paced, tense affairs and Damon is superb in both. He's lean, smart and tough and makes the character totally believable. The Moscow car chase in The Bourne Supremacy is brilliantly done. The supporting cast in both films is great, particularly Brian Cox as the calculating senior CIA officer who knows where all the bodies are buried . . . and who wants to add Bourne to the list.

In The Bourne Ultimatume (2006), Jason Bourne is once again trying to stay one step ahead of CIA agents who have orders to kill him. The action is non-stop from Berlin to angiers as Bourne finally learns the truth about his murderous past.

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