XXX (2002)

This is clearly an attempt to create a new action/spy thriller franchise starring Vin Diesel. The sequel is already in production.
The opening scene sets the tone. You have a 007-like character trying to infiltrate a European rave. He stands out like a sore thumb in his tux and gets killed.

Enter Xander Cage, a.k.a. XXX. The government (Samuel Jackson) recruits Xander to infiltrate this same group of baddies. Just as with 007 movies, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief but in the end you are rewarded with a high speed chase featuring a hydroplaning submarine.

I recommend it to anyone who likes 007 movies.

Bourne Identity (2002)

I rented The Bourne Identity on DVD this week. I had wanted to see it in the theater but did not get to it. I’ve enjoyed Matt Damon in other parts and this looked like a good part for him.
The movie itself is a remake of a 1988 made-for-tv movie that I did not see. Both were based on a novel by Robert Ludlum with the same name. The plot is very similar to the plot of “The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)” starring Geena Davis and Samuel Jackson. I spotted an actor named Brian Cox in both Long Kiss and Bourne Identity. I wonder if that was a nod to the previous movie.

The movie started off a little slow but then got going. There’s a car chase in the middle of the movie featuring a Mini Cooper being chased by motorcycles. It was a good chase. It was a old mini, not a new one like in Austin Powers.

I recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good spy/action movie. If you like this movie, check out Long Kiss Goodnight and Ronin (my other favor spy movie).