The Bourne Ultimatum: Before Snowden There Was Jason

Bourne is brought out of hiding, once again. Why does this always seem to be happening? People still want him dead. Give this guy a break. But this time he’s lured out by a London-based journalist, working for the Guardian, named Simon Ross (Paddy Considine). He is trying to get to the bottom of a covert operation named Operation Blackbriar. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) sets up a meeting with the journalist but sees instantly that they’re being watched. The things that Ross tells Bourne trigger new sets of memories and Jason must uncover more of his past whilst dodging the efforts of the CIA who want him dead and buried.

As soon as Bourne thinks that they’re being watched, he goes into stealth mode. He directs Paddy by mobile phone, through a densely populated Waterloo Station whilst trying to avoiding a CIA sniper. Bourne has lost so much over this trilogy and I am not shocked at his great distrust of the CIA, with Pam Landy (Joan Allen) and  Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) both opposing Bourne in previous movies but now question thier boss, Noah Vosen’s (David Strathairn) wild tactics. He’s willing to do anything to eliminate Bourne. He is utterly ruthless with no moral compass whatsoever. Nicky’s perception of Bourne is the most harrowing as we see an amazingly edited and shot chase scene in Tunisia as well as another fight against  another one of the CIA’s assets, like Bourne. She sees that he’s suffering inside, and that he’s at breaking point. It’s quite soul-destroying to be honest.

Bourne in Waterloo Station
(The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal Pictures)

Jason’s adventure takes him to answers to the questions he was asking, but these answers are not pretty. These questions are about the behaviour-altering experiments that created him. As his memories come back, he begins to have tormenting flashbacks of his training. These include torture. The pain suffered then, enabled him to become the assassin he is now as well as being a contributing factor into his dwindling mental health. He was brainwashed into thinking that by signing up to the program, he was doing the right thing and that he would be serving his country well by saving American lives. When he finally remembers everything, he sees he must form his own ideologies and follow his own rules. Jason only does what Jason wants to do and not what the CIA want him to do.

He’s not a government lap-dog. He’s his own man, and the CIA think that’s terrifying. Eventually, dogs will bite off the hand that feeds them. In this movie, Jason is taking a round-the-world trip to places such as London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris and Tangiers while the CIA in America are running around trying to locate him like a bunch of incompetent bozos. It’s quite amusing to watch the damage one guy can do to an agency as big as the CIA. Even with all these resources, they’re no match for Jason Bourne. CIA pinpoint Bourne to within 100 yards of the CIA building in New York yet they still fail to  capture him. You’d think they’re playing “Where’s Wally?”

The ruthless and calculating Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) (The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal Pictures)

The ruthless and calculating Noah Vosen (David Strathairn)
(The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal Pictures)

Government corporations like the CIA, FBI and MI6 are known to be edgy and have been portrayed as ridiculously corrupt time and time again in crime movies and television series, most recently in BBC’s The Night Manager with MI6. Bourne Ultimatum shows the edginess of the CIA in Vosen (David Strathairn). There are branches of the CIA that run without a moral compass, ethics or decency. Vosen is a pathetic excuse for a human being and doesn’t have one shred of decency about him. He wants to kill Bourne to save his own skin. The CIA has been running a murderous, secret, uber-illegal, uber-immoral and uber-unethical black ops branch that shatters laws like they’re picking cotton candy at fun fair. They do it in America and abroad. Their reply is “Oh shit. Was that us?” This operation was previously known as Treadstone but now is under the name, Blackbriar. Changing the name always works…LOGIC.

There are chases across rooftops and through living rooms in the movie as well high-speed car chases through the streets of Europe. These are really well-directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne Supremacy). Then we have scenes back at CIA HQ where Nosen is constantly losing his temper every time Bourne apparates into a puff of smoke. Bourne is unkillable and he is uncatchable. How can one guy be so much trouble? Then we are reaquainted with Pam Landy (Joan Allen) who thinks Bourne is just a guy who wants to live in a peace. She helps him incognito, and pretty much turns whistleblower because Nosen can’t be trusted as he has his own agenda. It wouldn’t be a Bourne movie without flashbacks and they are here with a presence. I do very much enjoy those scenes.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) about to take on one of the other assets
(The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal Pictures)

The Bourne Ultimatum delivers an apt end to the trilogy for our favourite assassin and it’s a great movie in its own right. It is filled with great acting, cinematography, editing as well as a killer storyline and concept. Like the rest of the series, it’s relevant due to attacking very real themes like whistleblowing which is very prominent in the 21st century, here and now. Also things like the internet and technology are a big component of modern society. We rely on it to function on a daily basis and without it, the world would come to a standstill. All in all, a wonderful movie and my favourite of the franchise.

This movie was released in 2007. It’s been nearly ten years since we’ve seen Jason Bourne and he’s back this summer with Jason Bourne or as I like to call it, Bourne V which releases on July 27. It stars Matt Damon (The Martian), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) with Paul Greengrass returning to direct as well as being the man behind the story too.

Jason isn’t done yet and I’m hyped

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