On July 29, Matt Damon returns to the big screen as Jason Bourne in the lazily-yet-appropriately-titled Jason Bourne, in which his amnesiac hitman has regained his entire memory and starts a shirtless fight club and destroys most of Las Vegas. That’s all I can tell from the commercials and trailers at this point, but what matters here is that the 45-year-old actor is back in the role that made him a certified action star, and he looks great. I mean, have you seen his abs? Hubba hubba, Mr. Spy Guy.
Beyond the impending Bourne box office success, though, the return of Damon and director Paul Greengrass to the franchise they swore they were done with comes at a time when cinema’s most celebrated spy, James Bond, is experiencing a bit of trouble. Specifically, there’s no star, distributor, or working script, and that’s… not good. So, as one ass-kicking government agent returns to the screen while the other suffers amid endless casting rumors and fake controversy, the two spies are bound to be compared.
For example, in an interview with GQ Australia, Damon was asked if there’s a “rivalry” between his Bourne and 007, and obviously he’s more partial to his paychecks.
“I like Bourne better than Bond. Bourne has today’s values; Bond has the values of the 1960s. Daniel’s Bond has upgraded him and brought him more into the present, but, classically, that character is a misogynist who likes swilling martinis and killing people and not giving a shit.
“Whereas Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist — and he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people. And Bourne would obviously win in a fight.”
Well yeah, I mean, have you seen the latest TV spots, when Bourne is all shirtless and dirty before a bare-knuckle fight and he’s just like, “POW BRO!” and knocks the other dude out with one punch?
James Bond isn’t walking away from that. Also, not to fuel the fire and start a whole debate, but obviously Bourne will win in a fight, because he’s willing to kill the other dude to end the trail of killers behind him. He whooped a dude’s ass with a magazine! He paralyzed Clive Owen with a shotgun and later used another dude as a landing pad after jumping down several stories while shooting other idiot hitmen!
Meanwhile, look at Bond in SPECTRE. He had this epic airplane vs. SUV chase with Dave Bautista only to let the bad guy live. Bond walked by the giant badass, whose head had gone through a windshield, and didn’t even bother to put one in his head for good measure. That’s soft. That’s the kind of move that guarantees a violent encounter on a train later in the movie. Bourne would have probably blown the SUV up for good measure and left the bad guy’s head 100 feet from the body.