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Is this Paw Patrol?

Movie matchup no. 17

I swear, every random matchup gets weirder than the last.

A bad Disney live-action and a great action thriller. Talking dogs and a grumpy man. Spaghetti and guns. CGI and not CGI.

It’s honestly shocking to me that both of these movies have the same rating of 7.3 in that first image, because I think The Bourne Supremacy is really good (if not perfect) while Lady and the Tramp is not very good (and absolutely not perfect).

Summaries

Lady and the Tramp

The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt. —IMDb

The Bourne Supremacy

When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive. —IMDb

The leading ladies

Let’s get our “which is better” question out of the way first.

In one corner we have LADY, a talking Cocker Spaniel who only knows a life of luxury and is accustomed to having her every need met by humans.

In the other corner we have NICKY PARSONS, a smart, independent human who works for the CIA and is helping them track down one of the world’s most dangerous assassins.

Now for the CRITERIA:

  • Who’s the better actress?
  • Who has the better characteristics?
  • Who’s more important to the story?
  • Who is cooler?

The actresses

This is a trick question because they’re both wonderful, and I’ll tell you right now that this one is a tie.

Tessa Thompson is a treasure. She’s already been in such a diverse portfolio of films (Creed, Creed II, Annihilation, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, Sorry to Bother You, Selma, and more) and is wonderful in each of them. So I won’t belabor that point. She’s incredible and should be in all the movies.

Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) | © Disney

And while Tessa has kind of been having a (well-deserved) moment, let’s put some respect on Julia Stiles’s name. Never mind that she’s still going strong with an active acting career since her first film in 1996, she’s been in a lot of great movies and TV.

But most of all, she is in the iconic 10 Things I Hate about You and not only co-stars with the legendary Heath Ledger, she matches his charm and wit in every scene. She has a subtly commanding presence that fills up every scene she’s in. She’s great.

So it’s fun that she’s in all of the original Bourne trilogy, and she has a great role in this one!

Anyway, Tessa and Julia are both wonderful. Tie.

Lady: 1 | Nicky: 1

The characteristics

Lady is a dog, so she gets a pretty clear advantage of having lots of personality. Still, she’s a milder dog than most, and she’s pretty timid, only being brave when she needs to be.

She’s also a little naive, having been sheltered as an indoor dog for most of her life. That’s not really her fault, but it’s a part of who she is.

And then of course, like any dog, she’s loyal to her loved ones and will be there for her friends and family come hell or high water. She loves and cares deeply, and even with a slight prejudice against street dogs, she still manages to fall for the charming Tramp.

Meanwhile, Nicky Parsons is mostly a robot. But that’s kind of to be expected of CIA agents. She’s probably had the emotion beat out of her or something, but that just highlights other great characteristics: she’s focused, determined, and brilliant.

Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) | © Universal Pictures

Still, underneath that frosty exterior is an empathetic heart. Part of her job was to understand and handle Treadstone agents’ trauma, so she’s obviously very capable of handling emotions.

All that said, though, I think Lady has the more magnetic and more developed traits, so she gets the win here.

Lady: 2 | Nicky: 1

The story

Tough one! Yes, Lady is literally in her movie’s title, but Jason Bourne wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as he did without Nicky (though her biggest role is definitely in Ultimatum).

Both Lady and Nicky have solid character arcs, and they both play a meaningful role in Tramp and Bourne’s.

But honestly, at the end of the day, I don’t think you can have Lady and the Tramp be the same without Lady, and The Bourne Supremacy could have found a way around Nicky. So Lady wins again.

Lady: 3 | Nicky: 1

The cool factor

At this point the overall winner is obvious, so I’ll keep this one short.

Lady is a house dog, Nicky is a CIA agent who deals with black ops assassins.

Nicky is cooler.

Lady: 3 | Nicky 2

Congrats, Lady!

Tramp the assassin

So now an interesting question for you:

What if Tramp were a Treadstone agent? Let’s imagine that scenario for a second.

First of all, what would he look like as a human?

That’s an easy one. He’s played by Justin Theroux, so he’d probably look like Justin Theroux. Just a guy with dark hair and maybe a beard. And since Tramp likes to steal things, he probably would also have strange collections of various weird things, including, but not limited to, human teeth.

Tramp (Justin Theroux) | © Disney

Next, what is his special “thing”? Not that all agents need a special thing, but it’s probably more fun if you have one.

Not only does Tramp like to steal things, he’s also good at stealing things. So Tramp as a Treadstone agent would also be good at stealing things. Which, in spy terms, probably equates to stealing intel or something of that ilk.

He’s also good at being on his own, which makes him an ideal candidate for this job. Plus, he doesn’t really care for humans, which makes him an ideal candidate to be an assassin.

I also want him to have a call sign. I know that Bourne didn’t really have a call sign per se, at least not outside his pseudonym of Jason Bourne, but spies are cooler when they have call signs.

So again, going off of the aforementioned detail of Tramp being a good thief, I wanted his call sign to reflect that. I started with a call sign generator online, but that just gave me “Apollo.” Which yes, is cool, but Apollo wasn’t a thief. Hermes was kind of though, so maybe Hermes?

I also considered “Raccoon” because they steal stuff too but raccoons are silly. Then I thought about Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy who is a raccoon. So maybe Rocket?

And then I thought about those legendary outlaws from the Wild West. Butch Cassidy. Jesse James. The Sundance Kid. I really like “Sundance,” and that also gives kind of a nod to the renegade, rapscallion nature that Tramp exudes. So even though “Hermes” and “Rocket” are solid call signs, let’s go with SUNDANCE.

And then my last question is, would he even be any good?

If he were only sent on missions to steal things, then yes. If he had to actually kill people though? I don’t know. We don’t really see much about how violent or ruthless Tramp can be, so I can’t really make an informed guess.

In any case, he’d probably not be as good an agent as Jason Bourne.

Bourne the dog

So now let’s talk about Mr. Bourne—specifically about what he’d be like as a dog.

To get to the bottom of the question of what breed of dog he’d be, I turned to the only place that made sense.

Buzzfeed.

And I took the “What Kind Of Dog Are You?” quiz as Jason Bourne. I’ll write the questions and the answers I gave.

  1. It’s Friday night. What are your plans? Sitting at home
  2. How would you describe your body? Muscular
  3. Please pick a color. Black
  4. What would the name of your memoir be? “Life of the misunderstood hero”
  5. What’s your go-to dance move? Judging everyone from the corner
  6. What kind of exercise do you prefer? Sprints
  7. Pick an author. Albert Camus
  8. Which pop star do you identify with? Britney Spears
  9. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Chatterboxes
  10. Finally, how would your friends describe you? Introverted

The result? A Shiba Inu. Here’s the description:

“You sometimes get accused of being aloof but you’re just picky! You’re an introvert but that doesn’t mean you don’t love socializing with your core group of friends and family.” (I just want to interject here and say that’s exactly what an introvert is and whoever wrote this obviously has no idea that introverts love socializing, just with our people, not just a bunch of random weirdos. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.) “Plus, you can be very affectionate — just on your own terms.”

(Side note, I took the quiz for myself with lots of different answers and also got the Shiba Inu so I’m questioning how many outcomes there actually are.)

Anyway, not really that far off of a description of Jason Bourne. He’s aloof because he can’t trust anybody, but the people he does trust he loves deeply (Marie). He doesn’t love socializing but he will open up to the people he loves (Marie). He’s absolutely affectionate on his own terms (like with Marie).

But there has to be more. So I had did a bit more research on the Shiba Inu to get a better idea about the dog and if it’s the right fit for Bourne. Here’s what I found:

  • They can be territorial.
  • They’re highly active and can be very disciplined.
  • They’re cautious around strangers.
  • They’re highly intelligent and do their own thing.
  • They have a mischievous side.

So…I don’t know. It seems like a pretty good fit. Honestly I thought something more along the lines of a German Shepherd or even a Doberman would make sense, but I could get behind a Shiba Inu.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) | © Universal Pictures

One more question then: would he be the kind of dog you’d have as a pet?

Maybe?

He’d probably be an especially independent and stubborn Shiba Inu, so it’d take a lot of work to win him over and earn his trust. But once you did, you’d get a loyal friend for life.

Actually, one more question. If you successfully have your Jason Bourne Shiba Inu dog, what would you name him?

“Lucky” comes to mind because he does lucky a lot. Or maybe tough names like “Rambo” or “Rex” or “Titan.” Maybe “Ranger”? “Bandit”? “Shadow”?

Keep in mind the name you choose also needs to fit a Shiba Inu (you wouldn’t name a German Shepherd “Spot”).

I don’t have an answer. “Lucky” feels right but I like “Rambo” too. But also his real name is David Webb, so maybe you could call him “Spider-Man” as a dog or something.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Name him whatever you want. He’s your highly trained assassin dog.

Find your people

Okay, this one got out of hand and weird, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because Lady and the Tramp is kind of a whatever movie and The Bourne Supremacy is just a straightforward spy action thriller.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) | © Universal Pictures

I guess if there’s a takeaway, it would need to stem from what Tramp and Bourne both kind of learn: there are good people out there worth opening up to and trusting. Yeah, it’s hard to trust people and sometimes they can hurt you, but when you find those people who really matter, it’s worth the connection.

← Previous matchup: “Dear Simon, here’s your golden ticket

Next matchup: “Two wars, two men, and two tales of reflection

You can follow me on Letterboxd here, where I post my equally rambling — but always shorter — takes on movies I watch.

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Screen Play is a space for me to share thoughts, perspectives, and (sometimes) reviews on movies and TV. For all my film reviews, follow me on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/kimballrg/

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Kimball Gardner

Kimball Gardner

Editor, writer, and movie lover

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