The Big Spy Battle… Bourne v Bond v Salt v the two blokes from Spies Like Us, as well as some other ones
To mark the release of spy v spy flick This Means War (yes, it’s finally being released: all those adverts on buses and the annoying 10-minute previews before movies you actually paid to see weren’t for nothing you know), starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, Ross McG does some spy v spy action of his own. Or spy v spy v spy v spy v spy v spy v spy action.
Spy 1: James Bond
As seen in: Every Bond film, dummy
Style: Suave. Sophisticated. Sozzled. Seriously, no one can drink that many Vodka Martinis and still have time to fight bad guys and save the world, or in Roger Moore’s case, go up the Golden Gate Bridge.
Locations visited: San Francisco! Didn’t you read the last bit? Pretty sure he’s been there and everywhere else. Which is why Bond movies aren’t as fun any more. He’s seen everything. So instead we get to not see him beating up people very fast for no apparent reason. On second thoughts, bring back the Martinis.
Spy-catching feature: His car. Or his gun. Or his hat. I liked it when Bond had a hat. Never see him in hats now. He might beat up a hat now. Although you wouldn’t see it through a blur of fast editing.
Verdict: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold Fridge With Some More Booze
Spies 2 and 3: Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge
As seen in: Spies Like Us
Style: Bumbling. Make Austin Powers look slick.
Locations visited: The Soviet Union. Yes, this film was made in the 80s.
Spy-catching feature: Their sheer ineptitude.
Verdict: Who Ate All The Spies?
Spy 4: Jason Bourne
As seen in: Easy. Movies with his name at the start followed by a word that doesn’t mean anything. Apart from Identity, maybe.
Style: Dull. Exactly what you’d expect from a man who can read any map in the world within seconds. Bet he’s real fun at parties.
Locations visited: New York, London, Paris, Munich… everybody talk about – that guy who’s forgotten his name.
Spy-catching feature: His hands. Good with rolled-up magazines, toasters, maps. Great with maps.
Verdict: Spy so serious?
Spy 5: Evelyn Salt
As seen in: Uh, Salt.
Style: She wants a goose that lays golden eggs and she wants it now! Oh, wrong Salt.
Locations visited: North Korea, Washington… there’s a terrible joke about politics in here somewhere.
Spy-catching feature: Her hair. Or rather her replacement hair for when she disguises herself as a man.
Spy 6: Ethan Hunt
As seen in: Reality Bites, Dead Poets’ Society, Training Day… oh… Ethan HUNT…
Style: Invariably favours misdirection over confrontation. Likes jumping off tall things. And rock climbing.
Locations visited: Kiev, Prague, London, Dubai, Shanghai, Moscow, Bundoran…
Spy-catching feature: His hair. If it’s short he’s going to be really moody. If it’s long, he’s going to jump off lots of tall things.
Verdict: Spy me a river
Spy 7: George Smiley
As seen in: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Colin Firth
Style: You thought Bourne was dull? Smiley doesn’t live up to his surname at all, preferring to sit in stoic silence while other spies would be getting their gun off.
Locations visited: His house. Some other bloke wearing grey’s house. Few other houses. Dunno, nodded off.
Spy-catching feature: The glasses. It’s all in the glasses. Mind you, if I was the mole he was searching for I’d have cracked within minutes of being in a room with just him and empty silence.
Verdict: Sssssshhhhpy game changer
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE SPIES?