A terrific film
The chief interest with this extended version is the new beginning and ending that can be played instead of the original. both versions are available so it is up to the viewer as to which to choose. this is not a director's cut of the film since there is a message (or a disclaimer) that doug liman did not participate. prior to the start of the extended version is a discussion with the producer and writer as to why the extended version was issued and why, after september 11, the decision was made to tone down the film by removing explosions from the ending. i found the discussion a bit long-winded and skipped out of it to the movie. the changes to the film relate the action in a flash back. jason is in greece searching for marie when he gets a positive identification from a tourist and is drinking a bottle of orangina when he topples over. cut to the start of the theatrical version of the film. i have not read any of robert ludlum's books so i do not know how they compare to the movie. however, a direct translation of the books to the screen is not possible: there is far too much to include. i saw the bourne identity the weekend it was released and liked it from the start. the intent of the film was to make a fast paced action movie but without creating sensational stunts that did not advance the story. still the fight sequences and the chase in the streets of paris are extraordinary. more important is the chemistry between the amnesic jason and marie, the hard-up german girl who agrees to give him a ride from zurich to paris. as we get closer to knowing who and what jason bourne is, it is the developing relationship between marie and jason that holds our attention. after watching the film to just about the very end, you can switch to the alternate ending. the new ending has jason bourne waking up with brian cox, who had ordered the murder of chris cooper's character. mr. cox seems rather avuncular in this scene and informs jason of where marie is but lets him know that treadstone is not more and he can do the odd killing job if he wants to. the alternate ending is a little too neat for me and i don't think it adds anything to the film; interesting but not necessary. of the extra features, there is an interesting look at robert ludlum through interviews with the author and some of his friends. we also get a look at some of the stunts, a professional diagnosis of why jason bourne developed amnesia and interviews. if you already have the bourne identity on dvd i do not think you need to buy this version.