Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LXB | March Madness: Bourne vs Rambo

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.

Up until now, the photos I've used for Jason Bourne have been of him looking nonchalant or vaguely pissed off while his opponent postures as badassly (it is so a word; shut up) as possible. The reason being that Bourne's so tough that he doesn't need to pose or even get worked up to beat most of the guys in this tournament. But that doesn't apply to John Rambo.

This whole time, I've been thinking that Bourne comes out the winner of the whole thing. I hadn't thought it all the way through; that was just my gut. He's as superhuman as you can be without becoming Ash. But as I'm looking through images of John Rambo and reliving especially First Blood and Rambo: First Blood, Part Two, I'm reminded of how unbelievably tough and insane he is. I dinged Martin Riggs for being nuts, but his craziness comes from a death wish that can only hurt him in a tournament for survival. Rambo's insanity is all about survival.

I've said about a few other characters that they don't stop until the job gets done, but I think that's only because we haven't yet seen their limits. Their limits are way beyond a normal person's, but there's no reason to believe that they don't exist. For Rambo, I'm not sure that they do. On top of that, he's equally effective in urban and wild environments and capable of using either to kill you from miles away.

Jason Bourne, on the other hand, is a master strategist and a superstar at combat. Rambo's not going to catch him in any trap, so it's going to come down to sneaking up on Bourne and taking him out before he knows Rambo's there. But can Rambo do that? In the films, Rambo is jaw-droppingly effective against sheriff deputies and grunt soldiers, but Bourne is neither of those. Eventually, Rambo's going to have to fight Bourne hand-to-hand and as long and hard-to-win as that fight's going to be, I think the victor is clear.

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