Friday, March 23, 2012

CONTEST | U-DECIDE LXB's March Madness: Bond vs Bourne

For the first three weeks of March, we're going to answer the question, one match at a time, of who would win if 12 movie tough guys were airdropped into an abandoned city and only one could escape.

I promise I didn't realize this ahead of time, but I'm thrilled that it came down to these two. Looking back at the list of contestants, it always had to.

I've got thoughts on how this would go, but I think it'll be more fun if everyone chimes in. It's been ages since I've run a contest, but let's try one. Simply vote in the comments field with who you think would win: Bond or Bourne. Or, if you prefer, tweet your answer to me @michaelmaycomix. I'd love to hear the rationale for your choice as well, but that's not necessary to win. Deadline is midnight CST, Monday, March 26.

Sometime on Tuesday, I'll compile all the entries into one list, pick one at random, and that person will win a spy-pack that includes Matt Kindt's Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers graphic novel and one of my favorite films from last year, Hanna on DVD. I'll announce the winner of the contest, the winner of the March Madness battle, and my own thoughts about Bond vs Bourne at the same time.

So get to voting!


Brian (Cool & Collected) said...

I may or may not be eligible for the contest but my money is on Jason Bourne. Seeing him square off against Daniel Craig's Bond would be phenomenal.

Bourne has a slight edge in close quarters combat, and he's not afraid to use a long range sniper attack. Bond's character has always been too civilized to take this matchup seriously, but once Daniel Craig entered the picture, the contest has become a whole lot more interesting.

(Great job on the bracket!)

Michael May said...

Thanks! And absolutely you're eligible.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with Jason Bourne as well. To be perfectly honest, I don't see how he could lose the argument: Bond's a government spy. Bourne is an assassin. Consider the mentality of each.

Bond hates killing in cold blood. On the rare occasion where his mission actually required assassinating in cold blood, Bond found he couldn't pull the trigger on a female KGB agent.

By comparison, Bourne once killed a female civilian at point blank range just to cover his tracks. `Nuff said.

Even if we're basing this strictly on the Craig/Damon portrayals, Bourne still has the advantage. After all, does anyone honestly believe there would've been a stocky blonde Bond without the success of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne?

For that matter, you could actually make a strong argument that Damon's Bourne is to the 2000s action genre what Connery's Bond was to the 1960s. Pick any action film from the last few years and chances are it owes a sizeable debt to the Bourne trilogy.

The bottom line is that Jason Bourne forced a 40-year-old Bond franchise to radically rethink its entire approach just to keep up. Regardless of the criteria used to judge the match-up, it's hard to deny Bourne is the cinematic badass who has cast the longest shadow over the past decade.

(Btw, this isn't intended as an entry- I just thought this was too fun a subject to pass up!)

Kelly Sedinger said...

I'm probably not qualified, as I have not seen any of the Bourne films, but when Bourne's been an iconic pop-cultural figure for over fifty years, with more than twenty movies, then he can get back to me about superiority to Bond. Harumph! (I know, that's not really the type of thing we're looking for here, but that's my emotional reaction.)

I will say that Bond is as indestructible as they come, and that I'm not totally onboard with "willingness to kill as a first resort" as a measure of badassery. (I do need to see the Bourne movies, though!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have the same emotional reaction, if only because I've been a Bond fan far longer than Bourne.

However, even though the 50 year argument is a popular one, you have to go back pretty far to find 007 actually setting the pace or tone in popular culture. The bulk of the film series- including the Craig efforts- has been content to merely reflect popular trends.

The fact that Craig doesn't adhere to Bond being indestructible is another point against him, as he opts to make mistakes that a seasoned, lethal machine like Bourne never would.

Ultimately, the key to any good mythical match-up is always the question: Which fighter has faced the best opposition?

To that end, Bourne has been tested by some of the best agents Treadstone/Blackbriar ever produced- essentially the equivalent of Bond going up against other 00's.

By comparison, Craig's Bond struggled against a weak opponent like Dominic Greene, which brings him down a notch, imo.

As for who wins in a match-up between Fleming's Bond and Ludlum's Bourne? Probably Hamilton's Matt Helm.

Kelly Sedinger said...

Sadly, I can't really compare the opposition until I actually see the Bourne movies, but I'm not sure the comparison will really hold, anyway...Bond struggles, sure, but he always wins, as he did when he actually DID go up against a former Double-O. But I have to ask: is Bourne really that much of a machine who never makes mistakes and doesn't struggle much? Geez, how much fun can that be to watch?

As far as the influence on pop culture goes, I wouldn't sell Bond short. He was only really a major driver of pop culture in the 1960s, but he's been a constant ever since. But I'm not entirely sure I'd chalk up the styles of the most recent Bond films to Bourne; Bourne was certainly influenced, I suspect, by the post-9/11 climate, as was 24, which gave us another entrant in this bracket. If the kinds of Bond movies that were made in the 1980s and late 90s aren't as much in style now, I'm not sure that's because Bourne has driven them out of style.

Unknown said...

I would love to say Bond. But Bournes systematic attacks seem like he would be the winner of an battle.

CRPotomac said...

I have to go with Bond. Mainly because he was the first Spy Hero I was ever exposed to. Loyalty to the first.

Mark Juelich said...

Without access to his high tech arsenal, Bond would be at a disadvantage. Maybe "new" Bond doesn't rely quite so heavily as "old" Bond but it seems to me that his gadgets have saved him on many occasions. Bourne on the other hand is a stone cold killer that can improvise in pretty much any environment. If our scenario drops our badasses into an abandoned city, there are no gadgets available, perhaps not even guns. One would only have their survival instinct, wits and improvisation. Bourne would make pretty quick work of Bond.


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