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Face-Off: Jason Bourne vs. James Bond

08.09.2012by: Paul Huffman
In last weeks Face Off, in the spirit of the recently released Total Recall remake we pit two of Paul Verhoeven's films against one another in the original Recall vs. RoboCop, with RoboCop pulling out the victory. That said, Total Recall didn't go quietly.

This week, with The Bourne Legacy looming on the horizon we've gone with a spy theme in a match up between Jason Bourne and 007 himself James Bond. The amount of material between these two gentlemen can't quite be compared, so we'll be focusing on their respective characters as a whole. Who exactly is the best, most entertaining spy to kill two hours with? Here we go.
Best Fighter
Jason Bourne really shines in this department doesnít he? I mean holy shit, the manís repertoire should be taught in schools. Itís funny, during a viewing of The Bourne Identity to prepare for writing this article I laughed to myself while seeing Bourneís skill set in this area, thinking if the Bourne movies were made in the 90ís weíd be seeing Steven Segal on the screen. Honestly the best way I can explain it folks, you put the 90ís Segal in a blender with a faster, more agile human being and you know what you get? Fists and feet of mass destruction, thatís what!
Sort of hard to come to blows in that tux of yours isnít it James? Until the last few movies that Daniel Craig has approved with his presence, 007 has always seems more comfortable around guns and other gadgets and employing other items around him likeÖwell helicopters and such. Though as I said, weíre getting a grittier Bond that is down to brawl for a new generation courtesy of Craig, but for now itís too little too late for this dapper dan in this particular category. I thought to myself in the introduction to Casino Royale, yes, much better to get down and dirty in a hula shirt.
Best Tactician
It pleases me to say that for as perfectly as Bourne can fuck folks up, heís no slouch in resourcefulness and managing to stay ahead of the game in intelligence. You have to love seeing the bad guys thinking that they have a hero by the balls, only to find out that heís on the roof of a building across the way with a bullet with your name on it. You have to give the guy credit, for not knowing who the hell he is, Bourne is able to adapt easy and get down to business. Imagine how much of a threat good ol Jason would be if he had his head screwed on right this whole time? I mean who do you go after with this much effort? Someone youíre scared to death of thatís who.
Here is one of the areas in which James Bond shines, where he lacks in the fighting skills Bourne possesses, he makes up for in the ability to hatch schemes to get his man. We get the classic spy formula with this guy. 007 starts out with an elaborate plan that gets thwarted, he faces a situation that can only lead to death yet his resourcefulness gets him out of it, and a more elaborate plan mixed with the villains surprise that he made it out of a fatal situation helps 007 come out on top. Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible fame is more in the vein of James Bond in the save-the-day quick schemes. That will be for a future Face Off, for the sake of a closer race. Sorry Jason.
Jason Bourneís style lies solely in how he gets things done. No tuxedos, no martinis, and no smoking hot T&A for this super spy. As a matter of fact, it is pretty appealing that Bourne doesnít have any time for that nonsense. Heís strictly bad ass, he knows it, we know it, and the people that are after him know it. Family and I have had a discussion of whether or not Bourne could match 007ís level of suave given the opportunity (i.e. an assignment that requires it), if pushed Iíd say Bourne could keep up. But the manís all business, he doesnít have the time. Bourneís style is attitude.
Elegant, refined, unbelievably desirable to the better half of our species, and these days we have all that mixed with the hard ass persona Daniel Craig brought to the table with his portrayal. He doesnít just bring his charm to wooing the ladies; itís in everything the man does. He even charms the pants off of his foes every now and again. His style shines through in his drinking, his sexy time, and his battles to save the day. If whatís his face from the Old Spice commercials wasnít so damn good at his job, ol James would be a good substitute. Bond has never had to be on a horse to look like someone we all want to be.
Jason Bourne intrigued the hell out of me for the three movies we got from him. Matt Damon gave us an awesome performance of a man who became very dangerous simply because his identity was being kept from him. His fighting skills are second to none these days, and I love his tendency to let his enemies know that they are about to get their asses handed to them. Even in the upcoming film I can see that we are still going to feel Jasonís presence and I hope that Matt Damon will return for future films because Iím not done with this kick ass character yet. Jeremy Renner will hold his own though I have no doubt about that.
James Bond has been a main stay for years and there is reason for that. Outside of the actors chosen to play the roles the character has remained stagnant with no real evolution but this is a character that for the longest time didnít need it. Thankfully filmmakers have realized that the James Bond of old has run its course and we have a more rugged 007 to look forward to, while still getting shades of the character weíve all come to love for the past twenty or so movies. James Bond is here to stay and I daresay weíll be getting more character development in future films, which will never hurt. Point is, depth or notÖwe love you Bond.
James Bond
There you have it, James Bond is a bit too legendary of a character not to pull out a victory here. Once we are able to get more of Bourne on the big screen Bond may get more of a run for his money. But until then, especially with Craig on board as Bond, this match is a lock. Now somebody make me a martini, shaken, not stirred.

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which spy is your favourite?
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