"You're a traitor. You've always been a traitor. It's in your blood."
―The Asset's most famous quote and last words before getting killed by Jason Bourne[src]

The Asset (Real name: Unknown) was an ex-member of Operation Blackbriar and a professional assassin working for the Iron Hand program. He was sent to kill Richard Webb and later his son; Jason Bourne, whom he had sought to kill in revenge for exposing Blackbriar - which led to him getting tortured by the terrorists whom he had previously affiliated. After a brutal fight with Bourne, the Asset was killed by his archenemy.

He was the central antagonist in the 2016 action/thriller film Jason Bourne and arguably the overall secondary antagonist in the entire cinematographic franchise. He was portrayed by French actor Vincent Cassel.

History

Background

Sometime before the events of Jason Bourne, the Asset assassinated Richard Webb (Jason Bourne's father) via car bomb under orders from CIA deputy director Robert Dewey.

In 2004, he was a member of Operation Blackbriar and when Bourne exposed the program, he was captured and tortured by the terrorists in Syria whom he had infiltrated. The CIA took two years to free him from this. After that, he held a grudge against Bourne for all of this.

Jason Bourne

The Asset shoots Bourne and Nicky.

The Asset is introduced watching a soccer game on TV in Rome, Italy, and is summoned by Dewey to hunt down former CIA operative Nicky Parsons. Initially reluctant, he agrees upon learning that Jason Bourne is with Parsons in Athens. He leaves to carry out the task after executing the owner of a house which he had infiltrated. In Athens, the Asset tracks down Bourne and Nicky during a citywide riot and peruses them across the city until he crashes his vehicle into a wall in a narrow alleyway. However, he is then instructed to cut them off by making his way to a nearby rooftop where they’re projected to pass through and that he’ll have a vantage point from. After making his way there, he shoots and kills three random rioters just to clear the roof and set up a sniper’s nest to ambush the pair. When they eventually ride through, he shoots Nicky and causes Bourne to crash the motorcycle, but land on the ground relatively unharmed. Ignoring orders of Heather Lee - the head of the agency's Cyber Ops Division - to evacuate the building due to Athens police approaching, he holds his position to try getting a shot at Bourne since Nicky is lying on the ground badly injured and he suspects he’ll enter his line of sight to save her. When Nicky moves while trying to convince him to stay hidden since he tries to do just that, he coldly finishes her off by shooting her one more time in the back.

The Asset then leaves Athens and takes refugee in London, where Bourne is trying to track down and make contact with Malcolm Smith, a former Treadstone surveillance officer to get answers about his father. Meanwhile, The Asset is assigned to Heather Lee’s team after she suggests to Dewey and his superior, Edwin Russell - the director of National Intelligence - that they should let her meet with Bourne to try bringing him back to the CIA by appealing to his sense of patriotism (as Dewey initially seems to approve, he is actually against the idea since he know Jason will come after him if he discovers too much). After getting rid of his tracking device, the Asset ambushes and callously shoots and kills four other CIA agents that had been assigned to Heather to help her make contact with Bourne.

The Asset confronts Bourne when he interrogates Smith.

The assassin then goes to a position where he can snipe Bourne while he’s meeting with Smith, but he fails when he grabs Smith while there’s a crowd obscuring his view and brings him to another rooftop for interrogation. The Asset then goes up there to shoot Jason, causing him to realize that he killed his father under Dewey's orders. Bourne then uses Smith as a human shield, which gets him killed by his gunshots, and he then escapes by jumping off the rooftop, breaking his fall and getting away during the resulting commotion.

The Asset fights Bourne.

Later at a convention in Las Vegas, Dewey assigns him to assassinate Aaron Kalloor, the CEO of the social media giant Deep Dream, for trying to use a public debate on privacy rights there to expose his plan, that being to use his platform to spy on everyone and more effectively implement the CIA’s latest targeted assassination program, Iron Hand. He also ends up ordering him to shoot Heather after discovering that she’s conspiring against him with Bourne. However, Jason infiltrates the convention and blinds him with a bright light when he tries to shoot Aaron, which throws off his aim enough to only non-fatally injure him. After killing a security guard who discovers him while evacuating, the Asset leaves the building and is so not present nor aware that Dewey would be killed by Heather after saving Bourne, who then leaves the building also to confront the Asset. The assassin is spotted by Bourne and kills a S.W.A.T officer by knifing him from behind in order to stealing his S.W.A.T truck. Meanwhile, Jason takes someone’s car to chase after him since he decides to get revenge for his father and Nicky. During the intense car chase, the Asset plows the truck through at least two dozen or so cars that are stuck in traffic just to put a little more distance between himself and Bourne, completely demolishing and sending them flying all over the place. Eventually though, Bourne manages to make him crash into the casino, after which he abandons the S.W.A.T. vehicle and attempts to escape when fleeing into the sewers, only to be tackled by Bourne. They engage in a hand-to-hand brawl in which Bourne gets the upper hand, until the Asset comes across a whip which he uses to brutally beat Bourne - berating him for betraying the CIA as he strangles him. However, Bourne manages to turn the tables by attacking his vulnerable lower body, then going on to strangle him with the same cable until he snaps his neck, killing him and avenging the deaths of his father as well as Parsons and Smith.

Personality

The Asset was an extremely ruthless assassin who assassinated targets under Dewey's orders as well as people who were simply in his way; including the three random rioters on the roof of the building in Athens and the random drivers he most certainly killed or severely injured when he plowed the SWAT truck through them just to put a little extra distance between himself and Bourne during the climatic car chase. Unlike other assets from the cinematic franchise like Professor and Paz, who can have a sympathetic, humanizing side to them and were quite likely decent men once who were similarly corrupted into murdering for the CIA; the Asset was a pure psychopath who has absolutely no real relationships or connections with anyone, to the point of being very adamant about working alone. Even Dewey is just someone he looks to to get the okay for carrying out his missions, or of course, his personal vendetta against Bourne.

Trivia

  • Despite the Asset being the secondary antagonist in the movie, he is far more dangerous than Robert Dewey. Furthermore, he is the final antagonist in the movie.
  • Ironically, despite his real name never being given, the Asset has the most lines, the most importance in his respective plot/movie, and arguably the most personality out of any of the assassins Bourne has faced.
  • The Asset is the first major antagonist in the franchise to be physically fought.
  • Like Jarda, he attempted to strangle Bourne during their fight.
  • He was the most evil and depraved character of the entire cinematographic franchise because of his high body count for the series’ standards, his complete disregard for innocent people and fellow operatives alike who merely happen to be in his way and his very self-centered and hypocritical mindset.

References

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