With the recent release of The Bourne Ultimatum, and the remaking of the Bond franchise, there’s been a lot of talk (well, among my friends at least) about which über-spy is better – or, what we really care about, which one could take the other.
So who’s better? The all-American ex-government spy – rough, relentless, anti-establishment, monogamous, and tormented – or the British gentleman playboy – loyal to the government, tricked out with space age gadgets and Aston Martins, and a girl in every hotel room?
Here’s how the two spies stack up according to various online sites:
[W]ho would win in a fight? Bourne is an expert in krav maga, the martial art used by Mossad. In close-quarter fighting he’s deadly. Sadly, that would be no match for Bond, who could press a button and dispatch Bourne with a harpoon through his fisherman’s jumper.
Distracted by his need to come up with a witty bon mot to start the fighting, Bond is staggered when Bourne goes straight for his jugular. Bond buys some time by asking Bourne who he is and wrestles the angst ridden everyman to the floor as he ponders life’s mysteries. Bourne’s vicious response is to pick up a handy sporting implement and try to hit Bond between the legs; ‘That’s just not cricket’ counters the Brit, gesturing towards the bat. Bourne goes in for the kill but is blinded by the laser in Bond’s watch and is kicked from the building. “That’s MY Bourne Ultimatum”, says Bond.
BBC (also includes a point-by-point comparison of the two men)
Arguably Bond is a Sixties cliche, with an unhealthy dependence on wine, women and high-tech gadgets. That said, he is probably a lot more fun than Bourne…
Spy vs. spy: Bourne tops Bond.
…Unlike Bond, who clearly enjoys his job too much considering the omnipresent wry smile on his face (regardless of which actor is in the tuxedo at the moment), Jason Bourne never smiles…
At one point [in The Bourne Ultimatum] when Joan Allen, who reprises her role at CIA director Pamela Landy, questions the wisdom of “black ops,” her CIA counterpart (played by David Strathairn) scolds her: “you know we need these programs.”
Many people in the United States government and around the world would agree. In 2007, it’s where we are as a nation. It’s also the reason why Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne has just eclipsed James Bond as cinema’s top new secret agent. Instead of a detached spy for a Cold War, Bourne is a conflicted man for our complicated age.
Sure, for a long time, Jason was the hands-down winner. After all, The Bourne Identity introduced a much more visceral, energetic, edgy kind of spy thriller to audiences in 2002 — the same year in which my man Pierce Brosnan’s 007 went out with a whimper in Die Another Day. But then, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, as if out of nowhere, Daniel Craig thoroughly reinvigorated the James Bond franchise last year with Casino Royale, a film that certainly owed a huge debt to the Bourne flicks — but, in my opinion, exceeded them.
So, that’s right, my vote’s for James.
Bond walks into battle each time with a full briefing of who he is facing and an endless array of weapons and gadgets at his disposal. Bourne has a frayed memory and a pistol….yet still comes out on top.
Bourne kills Bond any day of the week.
And Bourne himself, Matt Damon, says (from CNN):
“It’s tough. I wouldn’t bet against Bourne,” Damon said. “Bond had all those gadgets, though.”
Also available: AOL Movies slideshow comparing the two superagents.
With all this in mind, I have to say, with movies like Alien vs. Predator already released, can a Bourne vs. Bond blockbuster be far behind?