DAILY DIRT: Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher battle for runner-up honors to 007


Can Ethan Hunt ever eclipse James Bond? (Paramount)

Daily Dirt for Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023

It’s really a shame Tom Cruise is not about 20 years younger. He could have a second career as another secret agent… Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 752 of The Daily Dirt.

1. First of all, before we advance one word farther, James Bond is the all-time No. 1 movie spy figure.

If you disagree, simply move on to thought No. 2.

That said, which secret agent-type characters follow Bond in the cinematic pecking order? Here’s my opinion. We’ll count down the top five:

1. Bond, James Bond: For the record, the new Bond (following Daniel Craig) has yet to be cast and there is no hint of when the 26th Bond film will come to theaters, although “2024 or 2025” are the most frequent guesses. I’d go with 2025. The making of a Bond film is a major undertaking.

2. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) of “Mission: Impossible”: There’s a new MI film due later this year, which will help bridge the gap to the eventual return of 007. Personally, if Cruise was younger (he’s 61) I feel he’d be perfect to be the next Bond, but being 007 is a 10-to-12 year commitment and even Cruise will start showing his age at some point. The reinvention of the Bond character, from what I can piece together, will have him as a thirtysomething, so … sorry, Tom, your 007 ship has sailed. But we’re still looking forward to seeing a few more roles as Ethan Hunt.

3. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) of “The Bourne Identity”: As far as pure espionage films go, the Bourne efforts may be the finest of all. They all have a gritty feel to them, whereas the Bond epics are more flash and histrionic-centered. Like Cruise, Damon would be a quality Bond in my mind, but age (53) makes him a no-go, too. It also looks more and more like there will be no more Bourne films, which date to 2002. It’s been seven years since the last one.

4. Jack Ryan: The Tom Clancy-authored character has been portrayed by John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford. Krasinski played Ryan for four seasons of Prime Video showing (there will not be a fifth), and there are no plans for another Jack Ryan-themed movie. To be honest, I never bought into Krasinski as Ryan, but felt Ford was excellent.

5. Jack Reacher: To me, it was a shame the two-film Jack Reacher experiment (2012, 2016) was discontinued. Cruise was excellent in the role, and in some ways, the character was far more engaging than Ethan Hunt in the ongoing MI films. There was a great shroud of mystery around Reacher, one that could been an integral part of future films. The good news about the Jack Reacher character, however, is those behind the concept are looking to develop it similar to the way the Jack Ryan figure was presented in a weekly TV series format.

2. There were some ore excellent license plates found in the past week on the roads across West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri — but none quite good enough to claim a spot on the Great Plate Debate of 2023 medal stand.

The best for the week:

  • I TINK 1
  • BETH 59 (I wonder if she knows the current gold medalist)
  • PROMOS 1
  • GM TART 1
  • NOT GEN 1
  • MRS A 4
  • OBOE I

The reigning medal holders:

Gold medal: BE A BETH.

Silver medal: AX SHUN 4. 

Bronze medal: U BABE. 

3. These were the items that made chuckle most this week searching for the best of “Found on Facebook”:

“My biggest fear about becoming a zombie is all the walking.”

“People who can’t tell the difference between whole numbers and decimals are missing the point.”

“After Dak Prescott and the Cowboys lost to the 49ers, he threw his helmet in disgust — and it was intercepted.”

When Dak is good, he’s okay, but when he’s bad he’s gawd awful.

“Why do people named Deborah always go by “Deb” but never “Bruh”?

“I have to eat toast with my breakfast because I’m lack toast intolerant.”

Steve Thought O’ The Day — It must really be difficult being a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. The Cowboys haven’t been much fun since 1995.

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