The ultimate battle demands the ultimate answer to the ultimate question -namely, between Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and James Bond…WHO YA GOT???
There’s not much backstory on this one, as everyone who watches these types of shows has wondered at some point who would win if these 3 bad-asses were to ever meet.
Personally, I only seriously considered it again after I saw the latest James Bond flick Skyfall. Actually, as I was watching Skyfall and I was bored nearly comatose, I yawned and wished to all the powers in the universe that Jason Bourne was there to wipe out everyone in that sad, shameful movie.
Alas, he never showed, and I was forced to watch the whole thing. I could have walked out but I didn’t want it to beat me.
As I drove home I still needed an action/espionage fix. I thought I’d have to re-watch some Bourne or some 24, and of course my train of thought naturally progressed to who would beat who in a fight.
After much scientific research over the next couple of weeks, I came to my fateful conclusion.
The research consisted of re-watching the Bourne movies, plus some of my favorite stuff from the 24 series, and the two actually good Daniel Craig Bond movies Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
It was conducted in my apartment in the dark. I watched with my arms folded while I held my chin. Once in a while I would adjust my glasses, grunt out “Hrrrm”, or make a notation in my notebook.
Well, to be honest I meant to make a notation in my notebook but I never did.
Actually, I’ll stop lying I don’t even have a notebook. I meant to buy one but I wasn’t convinced the budget of this project could support the necessary cost of $3.98 (U.S.) in order to purchase the notebook. Not to mention what a pen costs these days. Who am I, Tom from MySpace or something?
Anyway, let’s get to it! Spoilers will abound following this point so you have been warned!
PLAYER 1 – JACK BAUER
For those of you who never watched 24, the premise goes like this:
Jack Bauer is a Federal Counter-Terrorist Agent working out of L.A., then later Africa and on to New York.
Each one of the show’s 8 seasons (and a TV movie) comprise one day in his life, and each episode is one hour of that day, as he tries to dismantle whatever terrorist scheme is at hand.
A recurring mechanism of the show is the lack of time and the tough, tough, tough decisions Jack has to make in order to protect the country from whatever attack is at hand.
Usually there is some kind of profound personal connection or consequence that Jack has to deal with in the course of the day. For example, in the first season Jack’s family is kidnapped and Jack is forced to work against his own agency to protect them. Except he can’t allow a terrorist attack to occur no matter what the cost, so he ends up going off the rails and doing whatever’s necessary to save his wife and daughter and still prevent Presidential Candidate David Palmer (AKA the Black President before Obama) from being assassinated.
Jack is dissimilar from Bond and Bourne in the sense that he is not a complete loner. He has a family and friends (I’m calling some of the people on his team his friends). Most notably Jack develops an unconventional friendship with David Palmer (who actually serves as President for Season 2 and 3). The two end up bonding over shared history that ends up being the driving force behind the plot in season 1.
Although, just like Bourne and especially Bond, women who come to love Jack end up either dead or horribly traumatized. Sometimes both. When they see what he has to do and is willing to do in order to gain information and protect the country it can have a terrifying effect on them.
Jack is an exceptional hand to hand combatant. I can only think of one time in 8 seasons where he lost if it was a straight up fight (I believe it was in season 2 when he briefly tangled with his replacement at CTU, and ended up losing, handcuffed to a railing).
24 is a show that had a pretty rigid format, and as time went on the predictability of the formula became problematic. One of the main formula items was that there always had to be a mole working for the good guys somewhere. You could bet that halfway through the season that “24 square” would zoom in on someone’s face as they were revealed to be a traitor or a plant.
To me, the first 5 seasons were top notch stuff, but that 6th season was kind of flat. If I recall correctly, I believe the Hollywood writer’s strike happened around that time, and we had to wait a while before season 7 came out. The 24 TV movie came out right before that to get us back in the mood, then they hit with season 7.
By the time season 8 premiered, we all knew it was the end. I didn’t want it to go, despite the predictable formula. I haven’t really found a show that matches it yet. Many people recommended the British TV series Strikeback, but I watched the first season and it didn’t really click with me.
I found some info on the near-mythical 24 movie. Hopefully we see it in the next couple of years:
Although there are aspects to 24 that are fairly ridiculous (as with many shows in this genre), it is kept on a much more “real” level than either the Bourne movies and certainly the Bond films. Jack is extremely tough, but it doesn’t seem like he’s superhuman. When in these tough situations, Jack is usually agitated and worried (if not outright fearful). Conversely, Bond might have a rare moment where he shows worry, but is mostly cocky to the point of overconfidence, while Bourne is ice-cold, showing that same damn expression no matter what’s happening to him.
Here’s a video of some Jack Bauer scenes from 24:
I’m not sure how people get away with this. I’ve seen whole episodes of these shows on YouTube, and you can see they’ve been up there for years, but I put up a 1 minute clip of a show and I get a strike against me. It is a mystery…
Also check out this cool infographic I found on The Anatomy Of Jack Bauer:
I have no idea who made this, but I found it at this site:
but I don’t think they originally made it, as they have it credited to someone’s Twitter account. I tried to follow the sources back but I failed to dig up the creator. I even looked inside the File Info and exif data in Photoshop, but nothing in there. If anyone knows who originally made this please let me know, they need to be credited for this.
Regardless, Jack Bauer is one bad-ass mofo. The questions remains, could he survive against Bourne or Bond?
PLAYER 2 – JASON BOURNE
Bourne is more often compared to James Bond than Jack Bauer. He’s an American super-operative that works from the shadows and was never meant to be out there in the forefront of any conflict.
Compared to Jack Bauer, who works in a public capacity for the U.S. Federal Government, and James Bond, who despite being a spy, seems to be well known by everyone.
Bourne (and others like him) were essentially created to be untraceable assassins, willing to follow orders without question, as well as do or endure anything to complete their mission.
In the case of Jason Bourne, his conscience got the better of him during a mission, and combined with the stress of wounds he received and being left for dead at sea it caused him to develop near total amnesia. He didn’t remember who he was or how he came to be floating out in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with multiple gunshot wounds.
On the trail of rediscovering who he is, he finds evidence of several identities that he has apparently held or just set up for himself. “Jason Bourne” was merely the cover identity he was using at the time of his accident (or whatever it was that really happened).
We find out pretty quickly that although his memory of his own personality is gone, he still retains his combat training and covert operations skills that he uses on an instinctive level.
Unlike Bond and Bauer, Bourne isn’t really out to stop any wild plots or save the world. The person he’s trying to save is himself and those people who are immediately close to him.
The great thing about the Bourne series in my opinion is that even though he’s an American, very little of the movies action takes place in the U.S. Most of it is in Europe, Russia or elsewhere. Seeing him run through the streets of Zurich or Moscow trying to escape was always pretty thrilling.
In the love department, Bourne doesn’t fare any better than the others. I guess these guys have to be alone and pissed off in order to make an interesting movie.
A hallmark of the Bourne stuff is the fast paced fighting action that was pretty new at the time. He was fighting operatives trained just like he was. The fights were spectacular, and yet they weren’t.
To explain, the fight scenes were crazy as they were very fast-paced, and you can see that to these guys the environment was also a weapon. Anything nearby could become deadly in their hands. At the same time, a lot of the fanfare you might find in a James Bond or Jack Bauer fight was taken out. Triumphant music and sweeping camera movements were noticeably missing whenever Bourne truly got into it with someone.
The chase sequences were different. You could expect the orchestra to be going full blast when he was on the run, but as soon as that chase stopped and he closed ranks with someone for hand to hand combat, suddenly it would all drop out and all you could hear was the sounds of a massive ass-whooping taking place.
Here’s the trailer for the first movie:
and then here’s a long vid with some of the fight scenes from the various movies.
I think the uploaders put in the music so it doesn’t automatically trigger a YouTube copyright violation, but then again maybe they just like the music.
I’m not sure if there are plans for any more Bourne stuff in the future. A lot of folks were disappointed with the latest movie The Bourne Legacy:
This movie doesn’t feature Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, but instead it’s a different agent who is forced to deal with the fallout from Jason Bourne’s 3-movie rampage.
Honestly I liked this movie a lot. They do a good job of showing how this story fits right in with the events of the three movies. It might be that I was expecting it to be awful so I was pleasantly surprised, but there it is. I liked it a lot better than Skyfall, where you might say I expected it to be great and it just couldn’t live up to my expectations.
So to wrap up this section, Bourne is trained from top to bottom to be a deadly killer and evade capture. Very, very tough to beat, even by those trained to do so.
PLAYER 3 – JAMES BOND
Bond is inarguably the most well known of the three contestants. For the purposes of this piece I’m talking about the Bond version from recent films played by Daniel Craig, who is definitely my favorite Bond to date, edging out Roger Moore, the Bond I grew up with.
The funny thing is that the Bond producers seem to have had the same reaction I had once I saw the first Bourne. Basically, they knew they had to up their game.
I remember going along with my sister to see Die Another Day, the last bond movie Pierce Brosnan starred in, with Halle Berry as costar. Well, it was awful. So, so awful.
My sister was and is a Pierce Brosnan fan (although that devotion was shaken a bit once she heard his singing in the movie Mama Mia), and she really wanted to see it, so I agreed to go even though I knew it would be bad.
Except I never imagined it would be that bad.
When we walked out I told her I would never see any more Bond films until they changed something. I didn’t really know what I wanted at the time, though. As it happens, The Bourne Identity came out in 2002, the same year as Die Another Day, but I didn’t see it in the theaters.
I was just bored one weekend a few years later when the second Bourne came out. I thought I would go see it, but I rented to first movie to get up to speed.
Holy crap. THIS was what I wanted!
I have to believe that the Bond producers saw The Bourne Identity and realized that they just couldn’t get away with the smarmy pretty-boy Bond any longer. The game had been changed.
Enter Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
I though the first trailer was awesome:
I had to see this movie. I went the first weekend to check it out (I rarely go opening weekend to anything as I don’t like crowds) and I loved it from start to finish. Consider that most of the action you see in the trailer comes from the first 10 minutes(!) The whole thing had a lot of style, and it had the best opening credits of any Bond film in my opinion.
So this Bond was rough and somewhat brutal. His Boss “M” even says that he’s a trained killer and doesn’t have what it takes to be an elite “00” agent. Luckily, she’s wrong and we see the lengths that Bond is willing to go to in order to get the job done.
He’s not some super-slick eastern martial arts expert, he kind of just kicks ass without a lot of grace to it. Very similar to Bourne, as this version of Bond was obviously modeled after him.
The thing with Bond is that a lot of the fight scenes still have that over the top feel with the dramatic music and super-dynamic camera angles, but it wouldn’t be James Bond without some larger than life action going down. They went much darker than usual with the Daniel Craig sets, but they still never went full-on Bourne with it.
Check out this chase scene from early on in Casino Royale:
Makes you tired just watching it! Honestly if it were me I woulda just let that guy go, said he got away and blamed the other agent for it. Man, I’m not running up all that construction and jumping off all that stuff!
So this Bond is one tough dude, not to be trifled with.
And even so, he’s still a ladies man. Much was changed post-Bourne, but the typical Bond love interest formula was kept. Two women in the movie, one dies and one makes it to the end. Or sometimes they both die. Damn, this guy’s track record is awful.
All 3 of these guys have had women die just because they were with them. Not sure I could live with that, but I guess that’s a good enough reason to go on a rampage. The entirety of Daniel Craig’s second movie Quantum of Solace had Bond go on rampage because of the death of a woman in the first one.
Jack Bauer went on a rampage for the last half of Season 8 because a woman died, then Jason Bourne’s second movie was his revenge for the death of a woman. Essentially, you don’t want to hurt the significant others of any of these guys. It will spark a mad killing spree in which scores will be killed and many more maimed, plus massive destruction of property and even worse, possibly the worst thing that could happen in any of these films – careers will be ruined!
THE ULTIMATE BATTLE
Ok, so we finally get to it. I’ll just go down the list here and put in my picks for who trumps who. I’m not talking about any gadgets or if they were in a firefight. I’m talking about two guys meet up, each one is in the other’s way, and they have to go hand to hand to take the other out.
You can be sure that whoever wins, they’ll finish their mission, go have a drink and proceed to never think about that one guy they killed that one time ever again.
Jack vs. Bourne: I’ll give this one to Bourne. Jack is tough but just doesn’t have the level of training that Bourne has.
Jack has had military training and is a tough dude, but Bourne underwent subversive conditioning and specific training to be a killer. I think Jack is much more of an ordinary guy than Bourne is, and would end up taken out by Bourne.
Jack vs. Bond: Unfortunately I gotta give this one to Bond. Although I like the Jack Bauer character more, I just think Bond (and Bourne) are operating on a higher level than Jack is. Like Bourne, Bond is referenced to having been a trained killer before his “00” status, and I get the feeling the training at MI6 went a bit deeper than the CTU training and previous military training that Jack would have.
So Jack is officially out of the running on this one. Sorry, Jack!
BOND VS. BOURNE
Ok, we’ve come down to the main event. Two trained international super-spies/covert operatives. Both are willing to do what needs to be done despite the level of brutality that must be used or the amount of pain they must endure.
Although we’ve seen Bond and Bourne both perform some amazing feats over the course of their movies, I’m gonna have to come down on the side of Bourne as the winner.
To me, they’re both extensively trained, but Bourne seems to be trained to accomplish the mission to the exclusion of all else. So much so that he’s operating on instinct a lot of the time. Bourne is just relentless and efficient. Whereas a “00” agent like Bond might be prized for their ability to adapt and use some free thinking, someone like Bourne is trained to finish the mission, not question and do whatever has to be done.
I think Bond would find that a lot of the luck and tricks and flare he usually has would not count for much against Bourne, and that Bourne would eventually win out.
So that’s my final outcome – Jason Bourne beats both James Bond and Jack Bauer!
What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? If you watch this type of thing let me know what your opinions are in the comments, I’d love to read them.
Until next time..!