Jason Bourne / Agent Bertram – the comparisons.
Master the Spy Field Craft of Agent Bertram and Jason Bourne, learning how to emulate them in the field. We make comparisons between Jason Bourne and Agent Bertram, man of mystery and pizza.
This post has been adapted from an article by The Lone Iguana to whom we are deeply indebted.
Jason Bourne, the Bourne Identity.
The ultimate Spy’s Assassin’s best mate. The trained assassin who has an arsenal of strength, tricks and gadgets to complete his missions. This article aims to dissect the Jason Bourne film The Bourne Identity so that you, the reader, can soak up as much information on Jason Bourne as possible and see how Agent Bertram can do the impossible.
The Tricks and the Trade Craft
- When Bourne is on the ship, recovering from bullets shot into his back by bad guys and an irritating loss of memory, he continues to work out, doing pull-ups, etc. The lesson here is to stay in shape and continue to work out. Agent Bertram follows a rigid daily regime of lifting heavy cups of tea and weights that look like sausages but he assures us are really are for workout purposes.
- After Bourne assaults two police officers, he ditches his coat to remove potential identifiers. He does this in freezing conditions proving that he is well hard! Agent Bertram likes to wrap up warm wearing his insulated Gannex raincoat at all times.
- Bourne uses lockers provided by train and bus terminals to stash bags filled with money, weapons and identities he can use. This idea of creating caches is truly brilliant except that, as Agent Bertram found when attempting to build an emergency cache of pies, you can’t find lockers in railway and bus stations these days.
- Bourne fights using a type of martial arts that is a combination of Filpino Kali and Jeet Kune Do, whilst Agent Bertram runs away as fast as his chubby little legs will carry him.
- Bourne has a tiny laser projector in his hip that contains his bank account number. Agent Bertram has no need for this as he is permanently skint.
When removing items from his safe deposit box, Bourne takes everything except the gun. While some may discount this as a stupid move, we consider it an intelligent one. Sometimes, carrying a gun with you can draw more unwanted attention and bring trouble. On his last mission Agent Bertram demanded that he be supplied with a mini gun but he tripped over the bandolier of bullets and shot down a tree.
When spotted by foreign police, Jason Bourne quickly enters the U.S. embassy, a place where the foreign police have no jurisdiction. If you are in a foreign country and are being chased by police, entering the embassy of your country might fend them off for a couple minutes. Agent Bertram usually hides in a local cake shop because he surmises that foreign Secret Agents would never dream that anyone would be sissy enough to hide in a cake shop.
- When attempting to escape from the embassy, Jason Bourne grabs an emergency map from the wall, then knocks out a soldier and removes his communications device, so that he can hear where the soldiers are. Agent Bertram would politely ask where the exit was.
- Bourne pays a girl $20,000 to drive him to Paris. While we don’t recommend this (most would get suspicious and alert the authorities), the tip here is that you can almost always use large sums of money to get what you need. Simple, right? (We also see this later in the film, when Bourne bribes a morgue worker to see a body.) Agent Bertram never has any money so he tries to bribe people with sausages. This has not yet met with great success.
- The re-dial button on the phone is your best friend. You can use this on landlines without call logs, or if the phone does have a call log, you can use that as well. The point here is to retrace steps and discover agendas. (i.e. redials to the airport, taxi service, hotel, etc.) In the film, Bourne uses the re-dial button to discover another lead on his identity. On inspection of his phones, Agent Bertram’s redial numbers were all to local take-away food establishments, that deliver.
- Bourne is an expert of fighting based on his surroundings. In a high action fight in his apartment, he reaches around for a makeshift weapon, settling on a ballpoint pen, which he uses to stab the assassin with. Agent Bertram once stabbed a bad guy in the eye with a red hot Cumberland sausage and then whacked him over the head with the frying pan.
- During a high speed car chase, Bourne instructs his companion to look away from the police. This is most likely to avoid the confirmation of who is in the car. Agent Bertram would be far to busy looking in the mirror removing nasal hairs to even notice the police.
When Bourne ditches the girl’s car, he makes sure to wipe down everything. Later, it is proven a smart move when a police officer says something like, “You’ve been here for 3 hours and you still can’t find a fingerprint!?!”. Create dead ends for your followers, and leave no traces of yourself. Agent Bertram accidentally drove one of the AIVD’s (Dutch Secret Service) Spyker cars into a duck pond so there was no need to wipe it down.
- The check in, or list of visitors is a great source for information. At a morgue, Bourne rips out several sheets to examine later for links to the person who took a body. Agent Bertram tried this but didn’t have the strength to rip out the pages.
- In a fight with another assassin, Bourne uses a shotgun to blow up a gas tank, creating a large smoke screen for cover. If you are in need of a distraction, or a screen, blowing something up (at a distance) might be a good idea. Agent Bertram prefers calling to his opponent and inviting him over for tea and scones. The scones can be doped with a suitable knock-out drug and so Agent Bertram disables another bad guy.
- When instructing a friend to lay low Jason Bourne says, “No friends, nothing familiar.” This basically sums up what you should do if you want to ditch your identity. This is not really a problem for Agent Bertram who has only one friend and they work together at The Ministry.
Bourne attaches a tracking device to a vehicle he suspects after luring agents to his specified location. Agent Bertram would not be able to bend low enough to do this and would leave this work to one of the AIVD’s Ground Dwarves.
- This definitely deserves a “don’t try this at home” warning. Several flights up, Bourne needs to get down the stairs fast. Grabbing the nearest dead guy, he jumps, positioning the cadaver below, and landing hard. Using a corpse to cushion your fall may not be the closest thing in your situation, but you could use something similar. Agent Bertram once fell out of bed and onto his teddy bear, Teddy Odd-Ears. He wont be trying anything as heroic as this ever again. Agent Bertram insists that Teddy Odd-Ears is still complaining about the incident.