What would you do if the American intelligence community was hunting you? Would you surrender or simply find a dark hole to hide in? Aaron Cross, the main character of the film, doesn’t have those options.
While the Central Intelligence Agency is in turmoil after the release of confidential Treadstone documents, Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner) is an agent of Treadstone’s successor, Operation Outcome. Cross (Renner) is on a training mission in Alaska and arrives at a remote cabin to rendezvous and restock on medications he’s taking for reasons that we’re not made aware of. In the cabin, he meets another agent named Number Three (played by Oscar Isaac). Their ultimate supervisor, Eric Byer (played by Edward Norton) decides Outcome and the agents in the program are a liability and send a predator drone to destroy the remote Alaskan cabin while activating kill switches in other operatives stationed around the world. After removing his tracking device, Cross force feeds it to a wolf that had been stalking him for reasons beyond understanding and begins his quest for more medication. Elsewhere, at a pharmaceutical company’s headquarters, a gunman murders all of his coworkers, with the exception of Dr. Marta Shearing (played by Rachel Weisz) and then turns the gun on himself. Shearing is understandably shaken after watching one of her coworkers murder all of the others and goes home. The Agency sends a team to Shearing’s home to assess her mental state, and assure themselves that she won’t reveal confidential information. At least, that’s how they got in the door. Once inside, however, they reveal their true purpose, eliminating one more witness who could testify about Outcome. Their attempt is thwarted by Cross and, next thing you know, he and Shearing are on the run together.
Now, during press interviews for The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon said that, while he might reprise the role of Jason Bourne sometime in the distant future, he and Paul Greengrass might have to call the next one The Bourne Redundancy. After seeing this film, I believe that should’ve been the title. Renner had already established himself as an action star and Rachel Weisz is capable, as always. That said this movie takes all the loose ends tied off by the previous films, unties them, and leaves even more simply to allow for the possibility of a sequel. Unless and until Greengrass and Damon reunite for a new film, I’ll consider Ultimatum the last film in the Bourne series. Skip it.