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Face-Off: Jason Bourne vs. James Bond

Aug. 9, 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 doesnt he? I mean holy shit, the mans repertoire should be taught in schools. Its funny, during a viewing of The Bourne Identity to prepare for writing this article I laughed to myself while seeing Bournes skill set in this area, thinking if the Bourne movies were made in the 90s wed be seeing Steven Segal on the screen. Honestly the best way I can explain it folks, you put the 90s Segal in a blender with a faster, more agile human being and you know what you get? Fists and feet of mass destruction, thats what!
Sort of hard to come to blows in that tux of yours isnt 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 likewell helicopters and such. Though as I said, were getting a grittier Bond that is down to brawl for a new generation courtesy of Craig, but for now its 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, hes 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 hes 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 youre scared to death of thats 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.
Style
Jason Bournes 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 doesnt have any time for that nonsense. Hes 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 007s level of suave given the opportunity (i.e. an assignment that requires it), if pushed Id say Bourne could keep up. But the mans all business, he doesnt have the time. Bournes 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 doesnt just bring his charm to wooing the ladies; its 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 whats his face from the Old Spice commercials wasnt 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.
Overall
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 Jasons presence and I hope that Matt Damon will return for future films because Im 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 didnt 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 weve all come to love for the past twenty or so movies. James Bond is here to stay and I daresay well be getting more character development in future films, which will never hurt. Point is, depth or notwe 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?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!
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1:28AM on 08/10/2012
Jason Bourne (and his franchise) are fantastic, but Bond is the man! Bond wins, easily.
Jason Bourne (and his franchise) are fantastic, but Bond is the man! Bond wins, easily.
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-11
3:49PM on 08/09/2012
Bourne would beat the shit out of Connery/Moore/Dalton Bond, but he loses against Brosnan/Craig Bond.
Bourne would beat the shit out of Connery/Moore/Dalton Bond, but he loses against Brosnan/Craig Bond.
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+3
3:18PM on 08/09/2012

James Bond

both r my favourite action icons.we cant compare them,in a way.Bond is cinematic,superheroic(except craig's version) and Bourne is gritty,realistic type.one of the best and interesting face-offs.u should hav added the comparisions between emotional elements of the characters.James bond,Jason bourne,Ethan hunt,John McClane,Martin riggs,kevin chan(jackie chan-police story series) would make a good Action team like Avengers,JusticeLeague :)
both r my favourite action icons.we cant compare them,in a way.Bond is cinematic,superheroic(except craig's version) and Bourne is gritty,realistic type.one of the best and interesting face-offs.u should hav added the comparisions between emotional elements of the characters.James bond,Jason bourne,Ethan hunt,John McClane,Martin riggs,kevin chan(jackie chan-police story series) would make a good Action team like Avengers,JusticeLeague :)
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2:09PM on 08/09/2012
While Bourne is awesome, he's got a long way to go to match the legend that is James Bond.
While Bourne is awesome, he's got a long way to go to match the legend that is James Bond.
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12:04PM on 08/09/2012
It's tough to compare to a legend. Both are badass and even though I think Bourne would beat the crap out of Bond in a brawl I agree with the verdict.
It's tough to compare to a legend. Both are badass and even though I think Bourne would beat the crap out of Bond in a brawl I agree with the verdict.
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11:26AM on 08/09/2012
You might could compare different Bonds, as played by different actors, and have a different outcome, but the man, the name, is always the winner. I dare say he's one of the few action heroes you don't watch just to see him kick ass and take names. He's just as well known for his charm and swagger. I'm not sure if there's a hero who could be agreed on to defeat Bond in any match-up.
You might could compare different Bonds, as played by different actors, and have a different outcome, but the man, the name, is always the winner. I dare say he's one of the few action heroes you don't watch just to see him kick ass and take names. He's just as well known for his charm and swagger. I'm not sure if there's a hero who could be agreed on to defeat Bond in any match-up.
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10:34AM on 08/09/2012

Defend the Title

Ok, now lets put the winner up against Jack Bauer
Ok, now lets put the winner up against Jack Bauer
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10:08AM on 08/09/2012
You can't beat Bond
You can't beat Bond
Your Reply:



+11
10:08AM on 08/09/2012

Bond over Bourne every time

And Craig's Bond would beat the crap out of Bourne
And Craig's Bond would beat the crap out of Bourne
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+13
8:27AM on 08/09/2012
Of course, Bond wins. He's James Bond. You just don't beat the best there is. Of course, Jason Bourne is pretty fucking badass too.
Of course, Bond wins. He's James Bond. You just don't beat the best there is. Of course, Jason Bourne is pretty fucking badass too.
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7:59AM on 08/09/2012

Not a fair comparison

Jason Bourne might be a good action character...

But against James ******* Bond? No contest. Never a contest.
Jason Bourne might be a good action character...

But against James ******* Bond? No contest. Never a contest.
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7:59AM on 08/09/2012
Fuck yeah Bond!
Fuck yeah Bond!
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6:02AM on 08/09/2012

I think you should've had a point titled: HUMANITY

Because both of them are trained killer, so "humanity" is the point which makes them different from every other espionage agent / trained assassins. And thats the main reason we care about these characters and their personal lives. Besides, if you go with the "style", then you should also be going with the underlying "substance". And in that criterea, Bourne definitely wins, cause other than the rebooted era and some snippets of personal vendetta or vulnerability here & there (Licence to Kill,
Because both of them are trained killer, so "humanity" is the point which makes them different from every other espionage agent / trained assassins. And thats the main reason we care about these characters and their personal lives. Besides, if you go with the "style", then you should also be going with the underlying "substance". And in that criterea, Bourne definitely wins, cause other than the rebooted era and some snippets of personal vendetta or vulnerability here & there (Licence to Kill, GoldenEye, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, maaybe Diamonds are Forever) Bond hadn't really shown his humane side much.

Though that makes me question this F/O alltogether, Bourne has only 3 movies, okay 3 GREAT movies..... But Bond has 50 years of legacy with 23-24 movies, and there's soo much history and ups & downs with Bond's interpretations (Connery's Bond to Moore's Bond to Dalton to Brosnan, and now Craig's) that it would be MORE FAIR, if Bourne would've get compared with only a definite era of Bond (maybe the current, or the earliest). This Face-off in my eyes, is just invalid.
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-11
3:33AM on 08/09/2012
I would have to choose Bourne over Bond,simply because of the campiness that Bond became once Roger Moore took over. The Bond movie started to become serious once Daniel Craig took over. It's fair to say they took that route because of the Bourne Series. Bourne is essentially the American version of Bond. Which to me is why Bourne is slightly better than Bond. It's just so hard to take Bond serious when it went campy midway & is just now wanting to be taking serious. To me thats not fair to
I would have to choose Bourne over Bond,simply because of the campiness that Bond became once Roger Moore took over. The Bond movie started to become serious once Daniel Craig took over. It's fair to say they took that route because of the Bourne Series. Bourne is essentially the American version of Bond. Which to me is why Bourne is slightly better than Bond. It's just so hard to take Bond serious when it went campy midway & is just now wanting to be taking serious. To me thats not fair to anything the past Bond movies have been before Craig took over,
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2:32AM on 08/09/2012
I'd go with James Bond. All you need in a spy movie is good lead, gorgeous beautiful women, nifty gadgets and awesome action scenes. Despite the so-so reviews, I love Quantum of Solace.
I'd go with James Bond. All you need in a spy movie is good lead, gorgeous beautiful women, nifty gadgets and awesome action scenes. Despite the so-so reviews, I love Quantum of Solace.
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+5
2:28AM on 08/09/2012

Love Bourne

but it's too hard to compare the two, sure they're both trained agents but they're far different from one another... it's like comparing Spider-Man to Iron Man
but it's too hard to compare the two, sure they're both trained agents but they're far different from one another... it's like comparing Spider-Man to Iron Man
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