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James Bond vs Ethan Hunt: Who’s a better agent?

James Bond vs Mission Impossible's Ethan Hunt
December 13, 2018

For three decades, there was one star character of the spy movie genre and that was Bond…James Bond. Drinking Martinis as part of his daily calorie intake and woo-ing more women than you could shake a stick at, 007 was undoubtedly the king of the Spy world.

All that was to change in 1996, with the release of the Mission Impossible starring Tom Cruise as the extremely-hard-to-kill and even harder to outsmart, Ethan Hunt. Ethan waltzed into the spy movie scene with balls of steel, which naturally sparked the debate about whether 007 was still the top dog or this johnny-come-lately from the US had ousted him.

Here we look at the debate in closer detail to hopefully come up with a definitive answer.


Ethan Hunt is no stranger to using technology to turn his mission impossible into a mission maybe, but for sheer boyhood appeal, James Bond wins this one hands down. From a submersible Lotus Esprit to a pen that doubles as a poison dart dispenser and an ejector seat in his car, 007 had it all, thanks to Q and his boffins.

Score: Bond 1 Hunt 0

Fighting Ability

This one is much, much closer, as both are highly trained government agents who have displayed on multiple occasions that they have an uncanny ability to get out of scrapes with judo chops and leg sweeps. In a straight fight, we think that Hunt just takes it, thanks to his knowledge of martial arts. Bond might lose this fight, but he’d probably do it with more style and perhaps even a cheeky quip!

Score: Bond 1 Hunt 1


When sheer brute force won’t cut the mustard, it’s time to charm your wait out of trouble and in the charm category, Bond is head and shoulders above Hunt. Ethan certainly has sex appeal, but he’s normally too busy abseiling down the side of 1000 feet tall buildings to have time to woo the opposite sex. Whilst he might not be quite as PC as he once was, he certainly had a talent for seduction.

Score: Bond 2 Hunt 1

Working as a Team

Bond is a smooth operator for sure, but he rarely works well with others. Ethan Hunt on the other hand, only works with a team of operators in the IMF. Whilst being a loner might be a lot cooler than a team player, teams tend to be better at getting the job done – so it’s a tick in the win column for Ethan!

Score: Bond 2 Hunt 2

Film Count

To date, there have been 6 Mission Impossible movies and a staggering 26 Bond films. While this is largely because films based on the TV franchise only started being made in 1996, the original shows came out around the same time as the first Bond films were released, so there was plenty of time to do so…they just didn’t.

So, as something of a tie breaker, the sheer weight of cinematic content featuring the man who likes his drinks shaken and not stirred, tips this particular battle in his favour.

Score: Bond 3 Hunt 2

Bond Reigns Supreme!

Whilst there are those reading this who will say that this contest is just a series of arbitrary factors that have been used to gauge each star of the spy genre, we think that there is probably no definitive way to separate the two.

So, for the purposes of creating debate and because a draw would be boring, we declare Bond to be the victor of this battle of the spies. You may very well have your own opinions on this matter, but as far as we’re concerned, Bond is the winner and we’re sticking to it.

So, there you have it. It’s official. Britain’s spy extraordinaire, currently played by Daniel Craig, is the Daddy!

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