Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jason Bourne--Today's Cool Anti-Hero

I recently saw the Bourne Ultimatum, and I thought it was quite good. I loved the first installement, thought the second was okay, and was glad to see the third installment come back to the level of the first.

I read a newspaper article recently that compared James Bond to Jason Bourne. On the one hand, they have some surface level commonalities--action genre, same initials, strong male roles. But the differences are striking.

Bond is squave, never nesses up his hair, is after women, is loyal to his country, and has rather witty, if unlikely, one-liners. Borune, on the other hand, is raw, bloody and wounded, has only one woman (who is dead), is working against his country's intelligence agency, and speaks rarely.

The Bond saga is rather dated in its worldview, even if I like this genre too. The Bourne saga, on the other hand, very much fits today's worldview, including:

  • Individualism (Bourne always works alone)

  • Distrust of institutions

  • Authenticity, which includes rawness and the "not so pretty"

Well, that may be too much analysis for you, but I like to analyze culture.

Which series do you like best--Bond or Bourne? Do you see other differences?