Movie Title: The Bourne Ultimatum
Director: Paul Greengrass
Release Date: August 3rd, 2007
Date Seen: August 2nd, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A satisfying conclusion to the Jason Bourne storyline. This movie has the same director as “The Bourne Supremacy” and follows hot off the heels of the movie. I really liked this one. A lot more than Supremacy. It kept me on my toes and there was a satisfying conclusion – knowing who Jason really is, without just revealing every detail about his life – just enough to please you but keep you wondering at the same time.
I did notice one thing about this movie. And I’m not sure if it’s just because I don’t feel good tonight – but this movie’s camera worked seemed a LOT shakier than Supremacy. I would think with the same director it’d be the same, but I just noticed it a lot in this one. Maybe because there were a lot more in the office scenes? Not sure.
But anyway, good movie, go watch it
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
The movie being immediately following the moment when Jason (Matt Damon) was leaving the woman’s apartment in “The Bourne Supremacy”. If you’ll recall, he’s wounded and police are after him. We see Jason trying to hide from the police on a train, then jumping off it and escaping through the alley – and then seeing a pharmacy sign and breaking into it to try and heal his many wounds. He starts working on some of them and then starts to have flashbacks of himself in some type of facility a decent amount of time ago, being asked if he wants to “commit to the program” repeatedly. About that time, two police come up behind the wounded Jason. He knocks one out and leaves the other one alone, saying his “argument is not with [him]”.
Fast forward to “SIX WEEKS LATER” and we are at the CIA in Langley, Virgina. We see Landy (Joan Allen) again and talking to a director, Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn). They are listening to the tape that Bourne recorded of Abbott and discussing what to do about it. Landy points out that she thinks Jason is just trying to figure things out and retracing his steps. Kramer thinks that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so they’ll keep looking for Bourne, just in case.
In Italy, we witness a meeting between two men discussing Jason. One of them is later revealed to be named Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) and the other is ____________. ??????? asks Ross to turn off the tape recorder if he wants more details. We don’t see what they talk about, but next we see Ross arriving in London and telling someone on the phone that he is going to give them all the details on something called “Blackbriar”. Then the same time we see the London CIA and the US CIA being alerted that they overheard “Blackbriar” on the phone. Clearly it’s a big deal – the US now has pretty much all the details on the guy who said it – Ross, a reporter for a place in London. They are researching him like crazy now. Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) is the head of this CIA team. They want most to find the source of where Ross got the “Blackbriar” information and it’s super high priority.
In Paris, we see a man, arrive home and finding Jason waiting for him. He is Martin Kreutz (Daniel Bruhl), Marie’s brother. Jason came to tell him about what happened to Marie. Jason doesn’t lie to him and tells him straight up what happened, and that he killed the man who killed Marie. The brother asks “now what” and Jason says that he’s going to find the one who started it all. Now Jason, getting on a train picks up a newspaper. He sees an article by Ross, the “Security Correspondent” called “Who is Jason Bourne?” Jason starts reading it and the bits of the article we see shows that Ross has a LOT of details – even about Marie and generic details about her death. Jason has more flashbacks – some of him and Marie and her death, and others of him back in the strange facility being water tortured.
We see the CIA watching and tapping phone lines of Ross as we goes into work. While talking to his boss about how his source was “scared of Blackbriar”, a colleague comes in and says there’s a call on her line for Ross. The caller is Jason. He tells Ross he’s been reading his articles and reveals himself as Jason Bourne and tells Ross to meet him at Waterloo Station in 30 minutes. The CIA didn’t have that particular phone tapped so although they can’t hear what was said, they do see him leaving and continue to follow him. They also “activate the asset” which we see a man, in a hotel room, waiting on a phone call immediately be ready to go at the sound of the phone. At this point, it is very reminiscent of the other “assets” we know about, such as “The Professor” in Bourne Identity. So just taking a wild guess that the “asset” is a killer ready to kill the Blackbriar source if need be. At the train station, Jason buys a prepaid cell phone. We waits in the shadows and sees Ross arrive. He realizes Ross is being followed and Ross starts to maybe pick up on it as well. Jason walks by Ross and drops the cell phone in his pocket. Then he calls him. He points out all the men watching/following Ross and directs him to a bus stop. He makes him stand next to a man on a cell phone and turn around. The CIA is scrambling trying to figure out where the got that cell phone and getting access to it. Jason has led the CIA to think that this poor guy in the blue hoodie next to Ross is the contact. When a bus pulls up, the blue hoodie kid gets on the bus and the CIA people jump out to grab him. They inject him with something and drag him off into their van. One of the followers keeps his eyes on Ross and notices him walking away from the bus stop. Jason knocks out the agent who had eyes on Ross, so now of course everyone is going nuts trying to figure out what happened and get eyes back on Ross. Luckily (?) though, now the asset is there. Jason intercepts Ross under a bridge. He asks him who the source is – and Ross just wants to know what these people want. Jason asks about Treadstone and Ross says that his source said Blackbriar is like super-Treadstone, and that Jason was just the beginning, he was their “square 1” and knows who Jason really is. They separate and go on the move again as Jason sees some men approaching. They are talking on the cell phone again and Jason is giving Ross great directions such as “tie your shoe” to avoid being seen, both by the men in the station AND the cameras. Ross panics though and ends up getting seen by the cameras – so the CIA starts sending the mens toward him. Jason directs him to a back room in the station and stops all the approaching CIA men from getting to Ross. Afterwards, he looks up and notices a camera. He looks straight up at the camera. Vosen immediately recognizes him as Jason Bourne and is in shock for a minute. He tells his men to give “the asset” the green light to kill both men. Jason leaves Ross behind a door while he goes out to assess the area. Again, Ross panics and runs out – giving the asset a perfect kill shot. Jason grabs some things from the body quickly and then runs off to chase the man down. He doesn’t catch him but sees his face perfectly.
Vosen now knowing that Jason is somehow involved, calls Kramer and Landy. Landy meets with Vosen at breakfast. There is some tension between them, because Vosen didn’t really want to bring her on to the case, and she’s pissy that they let Bourne get away, etc. They head back to the office and her and her associate, Tom Cronin (Tom Gallop) are now going to be “quarterbacking” the investigation. She immediately wants a status update on the last known whereabouts of Bourne and what they’re doing to find him, which at the moment doesn’t seem much. But she whips them into shape quick. Landy also tells them that no way is Bourne the source of the Blackbriar information – it’s got to be a super high ranking CIA operative. They look into Ross’s phone records and what was found at his apartment. They find three names come up a lot – and then looking at some of the notes taken from Ross’s apartments they find some initals on papers talking about Blackbriar – N.D. One of the names on the phone list was Neil Daniels (Colin Stinton), a high ranking CIA person in Madrid. Uh oh, somebody’s in trouble. Vosen says that they need to try and find Daniels because if Jason isn’t the source of the information, then he’s probably looking for the source – ie Daniels, as well.
Jason goes to an internet cafe and starts looking at Ross’s notes for information. Some business name directs him to Madrid, Spain. Then, in Madrid at the same time, we see a news report talking about Simon’s murder. We see the man who met with Ross at the beginning of the movie take some confidential “Blackbriar” files and leave quickly. Guess who the man is? You got it! Neil Daniels! The next day, Bourne arrives there and rings the doorbell to the place, but Daniels isn’t there (obviously). So Jason goes to break into the Madrid safe house (did we see how he knows about it? If so, I missed it… or maybe it’s just one of those things he does remember). He finds a picture of Daniels and another guy together. The guy is the same man as in Jason’s flashbacks, leading him to the strange room where he is being asked if he will give himself to the program, and watching Jason be water tortured. Jason looks up to see some CIA men arrive at the apartment. Jason is ready for them. The men enter the apartment with a camera on their gun, so that Landy and Vosen can see everything. They notice that the safe is empty (so Daniels is gone) and that the alarm is down (Jason is/was there). Then men shoot through a door at what they think is Bourne – but it’s really a fan with a flashlight meant to screw with them. He knocks the men out and so the CIA are flipping out. The moment after this happens – Jason sees another person coming up to the apartment. OMG IT’S NICKY (Julia Stiles). She is shocked to see Jason there. The phone starts ringing – and it’s the CIA. She tells Jason she was moved there after Berlin. She answers the phone and Vosen asks who it is. She says it’s Nicky and he asks for an identity check. They see her chart says she will answer “ruby” if under distress. She answers “Everest”, which we then flash to see is her response when normal. Vosen and Landy doen’t suspect anything and so Vosen asks her about the situation there. She says she just walked in and found the two unconscious agents on the ground and there is no sign of Daniels. Landy also asks about Bourne. She wants to send Bourne a message (so maybe she does suspect he is there?). Vosen tells Nicky to hold on – and has a quick talk with Landy. Vosen wants Bourne dead and says he’s on a revenge mission and so is going after Daniels (hmmm). Landy just wants Bourne in alive and thinks Vosen is wrong. Vosen tells Nicky that reinforcements will be there in one hour. She hangs up the phone and Bourne asks how long they will really be before they get there and she says “three minutes”. Nicky also tells him that her car is out front and she knows where Daniels is. Bourne calls the Madrid cops on that phone saying he heard gunshots and americans at this address and then fires some off. He grabs (but not mean, she is willing to go with him obviously) and they leave. As they leave the apartment they are spotted and the men pull out their guns and head toward Nicky and Jason. But at that moment – the Madrid cops show up and give them a chance to escape.
Vosen is clearly pissed and he issues a standing kill order on Jason. Landy goes into Vosen’s office and asks him what is really going on. She wants to know about Blackbriar. He tells her that it started as a surveillance program but is now the umbrella program for all the black ops (literally everything, including experimental torture). They can even take lethal action against people. Daniels is revealed to have all the information on ALL the operations in other countries, including names of operatives, programs, etc. Vosen says that either way they need to find Daniels – and hopefully will find Bourne as well.
Nicky and Jason start heading 300 miles to Tangiers, which is where Daniels was headed. Nicky asks why Jason is back and why he is after Daniels. Jason shows Nicky the picture and asks if she knows who the man in the picture is with Daniels. He says that Daniels brought him to that room “on the first day” and “brought him to that man.” Nicky says all she knows is that the training that was done on him was experimental behavior modification – that they had to break him down. Jason then asks why Nicky is helping him and she says because it was “difficult” between the two. The looks she is giving him indicates that they had a romantic relationship. She also says the “you really can’t remember anything” and Jason gives a blank “no.”
Back at the CIA – they have gotten an alert on Daniels passport, and know he is in Tangiers. Cronin goes in to tell Landy that they are stalling him and are sending an asset to have Daniels killed. Landy tries to call Kramer and tell him – but he ignores her call, thus indicating he knows and doesn’t care. The asset has arrived in Morocco and is getting information on Daniels and is preparing for the kill. At the same time Nicky is looking up the information the CIA has – and finds it is blocked. So she knows they have found Daniels and are sending someone to kill him. They find out that they are sending the asset named Desh (Joey Ansah). She texts him and tells him to meet her at a cafe. He does and picks up a new cell phone from her then rides off. The CIA is monitoring that he has deviated from his course – and they find out that he is meeting Nicky. Vosen then tells the team to have the asset, Desh, to finish his job and then to go kill Nicky. Landy says oh hell no and asks Vosen “where does it end?!” and Vosen says “when we’ve won.” She leaves super pissed – but Vosen lets the kill order stand on Nicky. Desh is now en route to kill Daniels – and Jason is following him. He sees Desh drop a bag and then Daniels about to pull up in a car. Jason stops the car, and then sees Desh turn around to look athim. Jason then notices that the motorcycle was left running RIGHT where Jason stopped the car. Desh hits a button on his cellphone and the motorcycle blows up – and kills Daniels. So Desh is super smart. Jason now goes on a chase to try and get to Desh (or Nicky) before something happens to her. This scene was rough and nerve wracking to watch because you love Nicky. Nicky notices Desh getting close on his bike and realizes there must be a kill order on her. She goes into a busy part of the town to try and escape him. Jason pulls up not far behind and is trying to find her. So there’s a huge marketplace chase scene with flashes between all three of them. One thing about Desh is he always looks calm and collected. The police arrive making the chase even harder. It is a super cool chase though through the Tangier marketplace. and rooftops of the buildings. After a lengthy chase, a fight ends up happening between Bourne and Desh. Desh starts to best Jason and Nicky jumps in for a little help and gets punched but it helped Jason enough to knock Desh out. He takes Desh’s cell phone and has Nicky code it in like both of them are dead. Vosen wants to be sure so he sends agents to go pick up the bodies. Vosen then goes and calls someone. It appears to be Kramer. He also wants to be sure that they are dead because “they can’t afford to have it come back to them”. He also reveals that the real reason they brought Landy in is because if something goes wrong – they’re just going to pin all the Blackbriar stuff on Landy and then start over with the project in a new name.
Landy is seen going through Jason’s files – showing all of his sucessful missions – every single one of them completed, until his last, the Wombasi mission that he failed from Bourne Identity. She then goes on to read about his “training” and about how he showed resistance at agreeing to the program, and how they subjected him to the “tank” treatment multiple times and it was all lead by Dr. Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney). She also notices that the chief traning officer – was Neil Daniels.This is the man Jason sees in the room asking him the question over and over and in the picture. At the same time Jason is seen talking to Nicky about how he remembers the faces of everyone he killed, but not their names. Nicky grabs his hand lovingly…. and Jason simply says “they’re going to come for you again. You’re going to have to run now.” further confirming that he really doesn’t remember anything. She goes an cuts her hair and dyes it black. Then Jason walks her to a bus and says “it gets easier” as she gets on. Jason is then seen at a morgue or something looking at the items that were with Daniels. He finds something that does say CIA on it, but is all burned up.
Flash back to the CIA – and Vosen is informed that they found a body – but it’s Desh and not Bourne. At the same time, Cronlin shows Landy that one of Jason’s many passports was just used – but one that was never under his aliases so it wasn’t a giant red flag. So now they all know he’s alive – but are not telling each other (Landy and Vosen). Landy decides it’s a risky move but she is going to try and alert Bourne that she knows he is there. She does this by calling his passport name over the airport intercom with the “your party is waiting for you”. He continues on like normal – but we see him heading up to a tall building – and start watching Landy from the window. He also is watching Vosen and sees him lock up some documents in a safe.
Now a very important phone call happens – the phone call that happened at the END of Bourne Supremacy. Bourne calls Landy, she gives him his name, David Webb, and birthday, April 15, 1971 – and Jason says “she looks tired”. But what we also see now, is that Vosen had Landy’s phone bugged and thus was hearing the conversation. He gets the team right on searching for him. But also, again, not telling Landy. Landy decides to go outside thinking that Jason will come to her. Vosen has some men follow her. Jason sends a text to Landy telling her to meet him at a location. Vosen’s men intercept the text and he sends all other men, not already following her, to that location. Vosen also heads off to that location. We see Jason heading up some stairs and Landy arriving at the location. All eyes, including Vosen, are on Landy just standing there. Then Vosen’s phone rings. He picks it up – and shocker, it’s Jason. Vosen says if all he wanted to do was talk to him (Vosen) then Jason could just meet with him. Jason asks where he is then. Vosen says he is in his office. Jason says “well, if that were true, we’d be talking face to face.” and hangs up the phone. He pulls a fingerprint off something in the office and uses it to open the safe that he saw Vosen put stuff in earlier. He takes a quick glance at it – and it appears to show information on a lot of US citizens that the US had killed. Uh oh.
All the men start rushing back to the headquarters, and those in the office find the safe empty. Cronin picks up Landy and she tells him to head to 415 71st street – remember the birthday she gave Jason? Yep. Code. Jason is seen leaving the building and is chased. Vosen gives “shoot on site” authorization to all agents. Jason hot-wires a car and even though he’s being shot at, gets away for a second, and then steals a cop car. Back at the CIA – Vosen’s helper guy realizes that Jason’s bday is not in fact April 15th 1971. They try to figure out what 4-15-71 could mean – and call Vosen to let him know. He immediately recognizes it as the address to the training facility which is where Jason was trained, and probably all the other agents as well. Jason is being chased by an asset, Paz. They end up in a violent crash – and Paz is very wounded. Jason has a perfectly good shot but just walks away. Vosen calls Dr. Hirsch to give him the heads up that Jason is on his way. Hirsch isn’t worried.
As soon as Jason arrives, he recognizes the building. He is nearly in – and Landy appears in front of him. Jason isn’t sure why she helped him with the numbers. She said it’s because this “wasn’t what [she] signed up for”. Jason tells her to “do something about it” and then gives her the bag with all the evidence. She runs into a back room as she sees Vosen’s men coming up. She starts faxing all the files to some unknown number. Vosen goes to the security desk and asks them to replay all the tapes for the last three minutes – he sees where Landy went and goes in to stop her. Too late, as the last page is going through the fax machine right as he walks in. They stare at each other and she says “you better get yourself a good lawyer” and walks out. Vosen is left there in shock. At the same time Jason is seen going up the elevator, turning on the fire alarm (so no one else can use the elevator, thus slowing them down) and then heading back into some hallways – he seems to know the way and is having flashbacks as he walks down the hall. Things like the fact that he won’t remember who he is when they’re done with him. Then, the same voice appears behind him – Dr. Hirsch. Jason wants to know “why me?! why’d you pick me?!” Hirsch tells him that he volunteered “even after [he] was warned”. David Webb was a captain in the army – and was told he’d be saving American lives. We see more training type things – such as Jason asking “who is he? what did he do?” and Hirsch saying “it doesn’t matter” – and then after some contemplation and a clear change in David/Jason’s face – and then shooting a hooded man in the corner. So he went through training to simply brainwash him into not asking questions – he became a compliant killing machine who wouldn’t ask questions.
About that time, the men, including the asset Paz, are at the door. Jason jumps through a window and starts heading towards the roof. Paz follows. Jason has no way to get away – and is cornered by Paz. But Paz asks Jason – “why didn’t you take the shot?” and Jason says “Do you even know why you’re supposed to kill me? Look at us, look at what they make you give.” Paz still doesn’t shoot. Jason starts running towards the roof to jump off into the river below – right before he jumps, however, Vosen comes up on the roof and shoots Jason. We see his body floating in the water.
A few days later – Landy is presenting the Blackbriar information to US Senators – and Kramer, Hirsch, and Vosen – are being prosecuted. Nicky is seen hearing this story on the news, as she sits in a coffee shop. The newscaster then said that they are also looking into the disapearance of an operative, David Webb aka Jason Bourne – who was shot and fell 10 stories into the river. But after 3 days of searching, they couldn’t find his body. Nicky smiles, because she knows that means he got away and is alive. We then see Jason’s body in the river again – and it suddenly kicks and swims off. The end.
I liked this one better than “The Bourne Supremacy”. I think it’s because the Bourne Supremacy was simply the middle chapter. This movie was a good conclusion and had a plot all it’s own. And it brought back Nicky who we all love. I definitely recommended watching Supremacy just so that you can watch Ultimatum, which is awesome.