Today, we read some of Daniel Craig's thoughts on just how much the character of Austin Powers had, by necessity, transformed the latest version of the super-spy into an entirely new man. But, is there another character who deserves just as much credit?
Yes, said a number of commenters, who argued that Jason Bourne — and the grittier tone of the movies — could claim just as much of a role in transforming Bond, though on the opposite end of the spectrum from the far groovier Austen Powers:
It wasn't Skyfall that had a massive tonal shift, it was Casino Royale. And frankly, I think Mike Myers was only half the problem; Jason Bourne was the other half.
Exactly. The most popular ongoing Spy Action franchise when they starting work on Casino Royale was Bourne. And they kind of hit a perfect tone for a gritty reboot that felt like it could compete with Bourne but was essential Bond with Casino Royale. Then they went too far into Bourne territory with Quantum of Solace. And personally, I think they went a little too old school Bond with Skyfall. I loved Skyfall, but I loved the direction Casino Royale had started Bond in a lot more.
This is an excellent point. When you have another franchise out bonding you so to speak, it's time to take back that crown. Hence the hand to hand choreography so evident in Casino Royale and Quantum. They're borrowing from Bourne in order to be the more relevant franchise.
As for Jason Bourne, I thought especially in Quantum of Solace, the cinematography and fight choreography reminded me a lot of Jason Bourne. The way Craig's 007 fights in hand-to-hand is a lot like Jason Bourne's, as is the way it's filmed. They went from over-the-top stunts (see any Brosnan film, and they're usually tumbling off ledges and jumping on things and getting thrown into submarine reactor rods or newspaper printers or stuff) to direct, rapid, efficient hand-to-hand right after Bourne popularized it.
So true. Powers says "here's the ridiculous joke you've become", and Bourne says "here's what an action-packed spy movie could/should be".
Of course, with how long (and in so many different iterations) James Bond has been operating in Her Majesty's secret service, there's plenty of time and room for multiple cinematic influences. Which movies and characters do you see influences of in the latest Bond? Tell us about it in the comments below.