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Thursday July 18th 2024

The Bourne Ultimatum | 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Waterloo Station, London SE1
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: avoiding the hitman: Waterloo Station, London SE1

Saving the best till last, Paul Greengrass rounds up the trilogy with a corking thriller as tricksy with locations as its predecessors.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Bahnhof Lichtenberg, Berlin, Germany
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Bourne escapes at the ‘Russian’ railway station: Bahnhof Lichtenberg, Berlin, Germany

The film starts out where The Bourne Supremacy left off, with Berlin once again standing in for ‘Moscow’. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is discovered plodding through the snow on Frankfurter Allee, and ducking into the entrance of Bahnhof Lichtenberg (Lichtenberg Station), posing as ‘Kievsky Train Station’, where he evades the Russian police by boarding and and then leaping off a train.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Cafe del Principe, Plaza de Canalejas, madrid
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: journalist Ross meets his contact in the ‘Turin’ cafe: Café del Príncipe, Plaza de Canalejas, Madrid | Photograph: wikimedia / Tamonian

The café, in which Guardian journalist Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) meets up with contact Neal Daniels (Colin Stinton) to research Jason Bourne and first hears about the covert Blackbriar operation, is supposed to be in ‘Turin’, but don’t let that establishing shot of the Piazza Vittorio Veneto fool you.

Part of the story is set in the Spanish capital, Madrid, and here, the city doubles for Italy. The café is Café del Príncipe, Plaza de Canalejas 5, just east of Puerta del Sol.

Paris is real, though, with Martin (Daniel Brühl), the brother of Marie (who was killed off in The Bourne Supremacy), leaving the Métro Sèvres Lecourbe station, on Boulevard Garibaldi, at Avenue de Breteuil, to find Bourne waiting for him in his apartment.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Gare du Nord, Paris
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Bourne picks up The Guardian and heads to London: Gare du Nord, Paris

After telling Martin of his sister’s fate, Bourne pauses only to pick up a copy of The Guardian before catching the Eurostar from Gare du Nord – which is where he made use of the left luggage facilities in The Bourne Identity.

In the US, ruthless CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), discovering that Ross knows about the existence of Blackbriar, heads to New York and the ‘CIA Deep Cover Anti-Terrorism Bureau’ at 104 West 40th Street at 6th Avenue, in the Bryant Park area, just south of Times Square.

The interior of the spooks’ HQ, though, was filmed in the UK, in the conference rooms, offices and boardrooms of the science park complex, BioPark, Broadwater Road, in Welwyn Garden City, about 20 miles north of London in Hertfordshire.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Hatton Garden, London EC1
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Ross is kept under surveillance at the newspaper office: Hatton Garden, London EC1

Vosen is keeping Ross under close surveillance at the newspaper for which he writes in London. There’s a brief aerial shot of the real Guardian offices at 119 Farringdon Road, in Clerkenwell, but once we’re at ground level, Hatton Garden stands in, with 78-83 Hatton Garden, EC1 taking over as the paper‘s office.

Hatton Garden is the centre of London’s diamond business and, as such, is no stranger to the screen, appearing  in films such as Snatch, A Fish Called Wanda and High Heels And Low Lifes. For Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, a stretch of the street was transformed into ‘Greenwich Village’.

As the film was made before St Pancras International took over as the London terminus of Eurostar rail link, Bourne arrives in the capital at Waterloo Station, the rail link’s original arrival point south of the River Thames, where he sets up a meeting with Ross.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: York Road overpass, Waterloo, London
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Bourne guides Ross to the station: York Road overpass, Waterloo, London SE1

In one of the film’s most brilliantly orchestrated sequences, Bourne guides the journalist from York Road across the overpass linking the Shell Centre building to the station and through its bustling concourse under the noses of the CIA squad.

Vosen’s trump card, the assassin Paz (Édgar Ramírez) waits in the Malmaison London Hotel, 18-21 Charterhouse Square, EC1, near the Barbican, until activated when, despite Bourne’s best efforts, a bullet to the head seals Ross’s fate.

For convenience of filming, the Jubilee Line platforms of Charing Cross underground station stand in for ‘Waterloo’ as Paz manages to slip away on a tube train (in an homage to Frog One’s subway escape in The French Connection).

You won’t find Charing Cross on the Jubilee Line today. The line used to run south from Green Park to end at Charing Cross but, when the Jubilee was extended to Stratford, the Charing Cross stop was closed and the new route ran via Westminster. The disused Charing Cross platforms (which are inaccessible to the public) can now be rented out as a filming location, avoiding the need to close down a working station. They station was used in 2004 horror film Creep, 28 Weeks Later and Skyfall.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Scootercaffe, Lower Marsh, London SE1
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Bourne looks for clues at the internet cafe: Scootercaffe, Lower Marsh, London SE1

it’s back to the real Waterloo, and the street known as Lower Marsh, which runs behind the station, to find Scootercaffe, 132 Lower Marsh, Waterloo SE1. Originally a Vespa repair shop, it’s oddly metamorphosed into a trendy scooter-themed café. It’s here that Bourne searches the internet for leads from Ross’s notebook and discovers the address for Daniels in Spain.

In ‘New York’, Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) is summoned to a frosty meeting over breakfast with Vosen, to be informed she’ll be working alongside him on the Bourne case. Once again, things are not what they seem.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Chancery Court Hotel, High Holborn, London
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Vosen and Landy meet up in ‘New York’: Chancery Court Hotel, High Holborn, London

The posh hotel restaurant was the CC Bar, now revamped as the Holborn Dining Room, of the Rosewood London Hotel, 252 High Holborn, in London WC1. The hotel occupies the magnificent old Pearl Assurance Building, which had stood empty for years, supplying interiors for films including Howards End, Richard III and The Saint, until its rebirth as a luxury five-star retreat.

Bourne arrives in Spain at Madrid’s main Atocha train station, heading for ‘Sewell and Marbury’, supposedly at ‘334 Calle Norte’. The real office, on which Bourne spies from the narrow Calle de los Jardines opposite, is Calle de la Virgen de los Peligros 10 (just to the north of the café which stood in for ‘Turin’ earlier).

With a little help from Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), Bourne makes another narrow escape, but the stay in Madrid is not long, as he discovers Daniels has already hotfooted it to Morocco and that traditional hotbed of spying, smuggling and all manner of general naughtiness, Tangier.

In the Forties and Fifties, the city was an International Zone, a playground for thrill-seeking hedonists and boho artists, including writer William S. Burroughs, who reinvented the city as the Interzone in Naked Lunch.

Daniels is tracked to the Hotel Velazquez, 13 Rue Khalid Ibn El Walid and, fittingly, it’s at one of Tangier’s most notorious haunts, the Café de Paris, Place de France at the western end of Avenue Pasteur, where Nicky exchanges cell phones with hitman Desh (Joey Ansah).

To the north of the Velazquez, at the northeastern end of Rue Khalid Ibn El Walid, Daniels is blown up and the frantic foot chase through the city’s old walled Medina begins.

Among Daniels’ effects in the morgue, Bourne finds a slip of paper with the Manhattan CIA HQ address (which is oddly given as ‘105 40th Street’), so it’s off to New York for the final act.

The Bourne Ultimatum film location: Family Court Building, Lafayette Street, New York
The Bourne Ultimatum film location: the Treadstone training facility on ‘71st Street’: Family Court Building, Lafayette Street, New York

Bourne takes a cab from the airport over the Queensboro Bridge, arranging to meet the supportive Landry at Tudor City on 42nd Street. You might recognise the faux-Gothic apartment complex as the home of Tom Hanks in Splash or as the Green Goblin’s Manhattan penthouse from Spider-Man.

The meeting is just a diversion, of course, as Bourne infiltrates Vosen’s office for the incriminating Blackbriar dossier.

Suddenly Bourne is three blocks west, stealing a car from the roof of the New York Port Authority parking lot, and careering down the ramp between West 40th and West 41st Streets at 9th Avenue.

The subsequent car chase along 7th Avenue doesn’t make a great deal of sense, since Landy has ingeniously conveyed the Treadstone training HQ address (disguised as his birth date) as ‘415 East 71st Street’, which is way up north on the East Side.

The almighty smash up which ends the chase, though, is in the opposite direction, on South Street, beneath Franklin D Roosevelt Drive, near the the Brooklyn Bridge and the South Street Seaport.

Nevertheless, the limping Bourne manages to make it on foot to ‘71st Street’ without being intercepted by CIA agents.

If you’ve scoped out this address, you’ll have been disappointed to find it’s not the location seen in the movie. In fact, the HQ is much closer to the crash site. The Family Court Building, 60 Lafayette Street, north of Federal Plaza, in the Civic Center district, is decked out with fake street signs to stand in for the secret facility.

It is up to the city’s real East Side to find the building from which Bourne makes one last escape. Bourne dives from the roof of the Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, which conveniently juts out over Franklin D Roosevelt Drive (which runs through a tunnel beneath the building) to give a clear drop into the waters of the East River.