The M Match-up: James Bond v Mission: Impossible
Who reigns supremem in the battle of two top cinematic spies, 007 vs Ethan Hunt?
One is British, the other is American. One has blond hair, the other has brown. One isn't very tall, the other is even less tall.
Of course we're talking about James Bond and Ethan Hunt.
Spectre, in cinemas now, follows close on the heels of the July release of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, the two stories are uncannily similar. Both feature a hero (Bond/Hunt) who goes rogue to bring down a shadowy organisation (Spectre/The Syndicate), provoking the ire of their bosses (MI6/CIA).
This makes it the perfect time to put them head-to-head and gun-to-gun. Which super-spy is the hottest in Hollywood?
Though Daniel Craig, 47, has the face of a garden gnome, his Bond is all man. With his GQ wardrobe and his no-nonsense approach to ass kicking, he's a towering testament to testosterone. Love his awesome athleticism and analytical ability, as well as bone-dry sense of humour. Also surprisingly sensitive!
If Craig's Bond is a bulldog, Tom Cruise's Hunt is more of a peppy retriever. If you threw a ball, you get the feeling that the gung-ho, go-getter Hunt would fetch it. He's got no particular sense of style and zero personality. Though Cruise is 53, he looks like a leathery 12-year-old. I suspect he's a robot.
It's not even close. Bond is a boss; Hunt is ho-hum.
Bond is no ageist. In Spectre, he gets busy with 51-year-old Monica Bellucci and 30-year-old Lea Seydoux. Seydoux is kind of boring as Madeleine Swann, the daughter of a colleague whom Bond has sworn to protect. Bellucci has a criminally tiny role. Both are gorgeous, though!
Ilsa Faust, played by the stunning 32-year-old Rebecca Ferguson, is the best thing about Rogue Nation. She's a triple agent who's smart enough to keep everyone guessing and tough enough to fight her way out of any trouble. Oddly, Hunt and Faust never really get up to any hanky-panky and they have no sexual chemistry. Her sexiest scene is her big knife fight.
ROUND TWO: MI
The next Mission: Impossible should be Mission: Ilsa.
Austrian-German Christoph Waltz, 59, plays yet another bad guy - yawn! He's Blofeld, the head of Spectre, an organisation bent on world domination. He's also obsessed with taking down Bond. Same thing we've seen in Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Green Hornet, Big Eyes and Water For Elephants. He's a convincing jerk. We get it.
British actor Sean Harris is a weird-looking guy and makes for a pretty great villain. His character Solomon Lane, the boss of terrorist group the Syndicate, is quite similar to the Bond baddie in terms of his MO, but his evil is more convincing.
Harris' weird face doubles as a fresh face.
Bond uses an aeroplane as a battering ram. He beats up a guy in a helicopter. He wrestles WWE superstar Dave Bautista. He sets off a very lovely explosion. His car has a flamethrower and an ejection seat. So sexy.
Hunt hangs onto the exterior of a plane. He beats up a dude in an opera house. He gets tortured and escapes. He swirls around in a giant underwater computer thingy. He drowns. He chases around on a motorcycle. Pretty cool.
The Bond action is edgier and more dangerous, while Hunt's stuff feels cartoony.
THE BOX OFFICE
With a US opening weekend of US$70 million (S$100 million), it's obvious Spectre is a massive hit. It has already raked in US$542 million worldwide, and counting.
Rogue Nation opened with a terrific US$56 million, and went on to bring in US$682 million at the global box office.
Bond opened bigger and will ultimately bring in more.
With a better hero, better action and better business, Bond is unbeatable. Maybe if Hunt started drinking more vodka martinis, he'd be a bit more interesting.