When it comes to spy movies, these two characters are surely right up there with the best. Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible, still has some catching up to do.
So the burning question among the spy movie lovers remain, who is the better of the two? Is it the classy, suave Bond or somewhat ruthless Bourne?
Let’s take a quick look at some features of these two characters and see how they stand against each other.
As far as height is concerned both Bond (Daniel Craig) and Bourne (Matt Damon) are virtually the same, but the M16 agent is slightly older than the CIA killing machine.
Bond is a real gentleman although he can be ruthless at times and he’s a chronic womaniser who wouldn’t miss a chance to get cozy with the fairer sex over few shots of martini. Bourne on the other hand, is a one-woman man and considered a ruthless but a essentially good human being.
Bond is much more popular and wealthy. He is someone who hangs around with popular figures and gorgeous women and rides expensive cars.
His key mission is to discover the identity of mysterious world-threatening criminals.
Bourne has a very painful recent past. He lives in the shadows, tortured by his past and spends most of his time trying to discover who he really is.
In many ways, Bourne is modern. He’s someone who doesn’t trust the system and is keen to expose the dirty dealings of the institution he once rooted for.
But after the 2012 movie The Bourne Legacy which starred Jeremy Renner as Alex Cross, one of the agents in the run after being exposed by Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), the Bourne series took a nosedive.
It lost the very essence this spy flick, which seems the only real competition for the Bond movies, was popular for. And that is Jason Bourne himself.
From the very beginning when it all started in 2002 with The Bourne Identity followed by The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum, the franchise was a killer. A clear winner at the box office.
In Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne manages to get most of his memory back. He solves the mystery that he initially set out to unravel. I thought that was it, it would all end there.
But the film’s backers had different ideas and continued the franchise with a new character. It didn’t work.
So here comes Jason Bourne again on another mission to save himself and the franchise from dying.
Nine years later, he is still looking for answers to events that changed his life forever.
In the latest instalment, after a decade of living in the shadows Bourne is back in the spotlight after the CIA headed by director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) traces a hacker (former CIA agent Nicky Parsons played by Julia Stiles) going through some secret files.
Parsons discovers a file which reveal details of Bourne and the death of his father who is widely believed to have been killed in a terrorist attack.
Bourne gets into the CIA programme after the incident. Dewey assigns CIA agent and an expert hacker Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) to trace Bourne down and turn him in so they can get him back into the programme.
But Dewey, with his “asset” the Ironhand assassin, played by Vincent Cassel has other ideas. They want to kill Bourne.
Director Paul Greengrass, who directed Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum, not only directs Jason Bourne but is also producer and co-writer.
He did exceptionally well in the last two Bourne movies, taking the franchise to a whole new level and with Jason Bourne, he delivers another well-orchestrated flick to give life to a promising series which was dying a slow death.
There is something peculiar about how the Bourne series are shot. The camera angles and shaky cam-work is a unique feature which aims to engage the audience with the action in the film.
In the movie, the camera lurches in the direction the punches that are thrown. The feel is exhilarating but sometimes causes eye strain.
Greengrass brings the best out of Damon as Jason Bourne, a man who lives in guilt, by including flashbacks in couple of scenes to show the audience the pain the character is going through.
He also includes some pulsating action scenes, especially the one in the Sin City including a car chase which is far better than the ones you might have seen before.
Damon as Bourne is terrific. I don’t think anyone can deliver the role to the perfection as the 45-year-old actor does.
He’s quick, smart and deadly. Damon is every inch of an anti-hero hero character that many have fallen in love with.
As Jason Bourne says at the start of the movie, “I know who I am. I remember everything”. The best way to find out is to check it out yourself.