Ethan Colburn’s review published on Letterboxd:
Revolutionizing action-thrillers forever Bourne Identity combines great character development with some of the best action sequences of the 00s, creating a film that's still as compelling as the day it was released.
This is a movie that I bought on iTunes in 2008 and put on my iPod so I used to watch it on a screen that was 1.5 inches frequently. It is interesting returning to a movie that you haven't seen in a while because you remember so much of the plot structure, but you come back to it with an entirely different perspective.
The thing I was most aware of this time around was how unglamorous it all was. Aside from Matt Damon, everyone feels like a real person. His love interest isn't a Bond girl, and even his strengths don't seem super human. All this comes together into you genuinely caring for him.
What separates this from other spy movies is that it is Bourne's personal journey that is driving the plot forward, not his mission. You are compelled by this story because you want to know about his past and how he grapples with it, and thus are connected with this story on a much deeper level than other spy thrillers. This is part of the reason this film works the best of the original trilogy; Bourne has no idea who he is and what he can do.
The same way Die Hard or Bond recontextualized action movies in the 80s and 60s respectively, The Bourne Identity propelled things so far forward, ushering in a new era of gritty and grounded action movies that are the antithesis of the 90s John Woo style.