kingsman the golden circle trailer

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, this week’s edition asks “Who is your favorite movie spy (who is not named James Bond because that’s the easy answer and you have to try harder than that)?”

Ethan Anderton: Ethan Hunt from the Mission: Impossible Franchise

What can be said about Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt that hasn’t already been illustrated in the five Mission: Impossible movies we’ve seen so far? Not only has Hunt proven himself to be one of the most resourceful agents, but as a point man, he’s always leading the team and putting himself in the most danger. Hunt has faced being framed as a mole; a deadly virus (which we don’t talk about much); a seemingly unstoppable terrorist with ties to a mole inside the IMF itself passing around some kind of doomsday device; the dissolving of the IMF by the government, and a rogue organization that basically touted itself as the anti-IMF.

Throughout all these dangerous missions, Ethan Hunt has taken on unbelievable tasks, hanging from outside cargo planes and the tallest building in the world, breaking into some of the most secure, heavily guarded facilities on the planet (he broke into the CIA headquarters, the Vatican and the Kremlin!), and is always prepared to fix any glitch in the mission when the inevitable curveball is thrown their way.

But what’s great about Ethan Hunt is that he knows that he couldn’t do all these things without a team surrounding him. As fantastic of a spy Ethan Hunt is on his own, he would be nothing without his team to help him through every impossible mission thrown his way. At the risk of sounding like a cat poster or a self-help book, you can never underestimate the value of teamwork, and that’s really what makes Ethan Hunt the best spy in the business.

Vanessa Bogart: Harry Tasker from True Lies

In 1994 James Cameron graced us with the American (-ish)  spy that we so longed for. Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the perfect mix of James Bond, Rambo, and your dad. He juggles it all. While James Bond only has to worry about his string of sexy one-night affairs, Harry Tasker has to keep his spy life a secret from his teenage daughter, Dana (Eliza Dushku), and his loving wife Helen (Jaime Lee Curtis).

To his suburban neighbors, Harry Tasker is boring salesman. He uses far away conferences as a cover for all of his missions, but the constant traveling puts a strain on his relationships at home. When Helen becomes slightly enraptured by the over-the-top Bill Paxton, Harry finds himself facing two of the biggest evils known to this great nation: terrorists and used car salesman. Though he may have been a little ignorant to the effect his traveling was having on his family, he jumps into high gear to save his marriage…but can he also save America?

Of course he can! He is Harry Tasker! He chases terrorists on horseback, he is a perfect shot with any gun (and by guns I mean both firearms and his guns), he can sweep any girl off their feet but he wouldn’t dare cheat, and the man seriously knows how to tango. I really couldn’t be more in love with Harry Tasker. He is the spy you want to take home to meet your folks. He is a red-blooded, American(-ish), hero. He lets nothing stand in his way. He will fly a jet to save his daughter from the top of a skyscraper and still manage to deliver a hero’s one-liner as he fires the main terrorist attached to a missile into a helicopter filled with more terrorists. Because, America. Harry Tasker for president!

Chris Evangelista: Harry Caul from The Conversation

The spy I’ve chosen isn’t your typical movie spy. He has a few gadgets, but they’re not exactly mind-blowing. And he doesn’t wear sharp clothes, unless you count a translucent raincoat as sharp (which I sort of do, to be honest). My favorite movie spy is Harry Caul from Francis Ford Coppola’s haunting The Conversation. Harry is an independent surveillance expert; a professional eavesdropper who happens to record a potential murder plot. As played by Gene Hackman, Harry is the antithesis of the cool, collected, dashing spy. He’s a neurotic, paranoid mess who isn’t sure who to trust. As a neurotic, paranoid mess myself, I can really relate to that. I’m never going to be James Bond, and hell, I’m never going to be Gene Hackman. But I’m pretty sure I could be Harry Caul. Now all I need to do is find me one of those translucent raincoats.

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