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American Ultra Ending Explained: Who Was Mike After All?

American Ultra Ending Explained
From American Ultra Featuring Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell and Kristen Stewart as Phoebe Larson

The action-comedy American Ultra, directed by Nima Nourizadeh, is one heck of a small-town action story. Initially, in the first opening minutes of the film, it really feels like just a romcom tell set in a small town. Usually, the ones we see in sitcoms, but in no time, the action element is brought in full force. Then let’s not forget the revelations that are made about the main character throughout the story. A store clerk turned CIA agent, or a criminal turned CIA agent? So what exactly went down? Here is American Ultra and getting its ending explained right.

American Ultra stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, and Tony Hale. An all-star team for an action flick, right. The fun had just begun. American Ultra follows a stoned clerk who realizes his life has a bigger part yet to play. He is not at all a regular guy who is just looking for some happiness with his girlfriend. But he is trained to take down big criminals. He doesn’t remember any of it until a cop comes hunting him down, believing he can’t be trusted.

American Ultra Plot Summary

American Ultra opens the story of Mike Howell. A completely stoned guy from Liman, West Virginia. He couldn’t figure out his life and works as a convenience store clerk for his living. He even wants to marry and fly away with his girlfriend, Phoebe Larson. But couldn’t because of his Panic attacks. After all the mess he puts up, he never really figures out his life, as well as the reason Phoebe stuck around this long for him. This all comes to closure when two men come attacking him.

Plot For American Ultra

From American Ultra Featuring Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell and Kristen Stewart as Phoebe Larson

CIA Agent Victoria Lasseter receives a warning that her sole survivor of a Wiseman Program is in danger. A program supposed to turn a criminal around and put their skills to better use for the country. The sole survivor is none other than Mike, and now Lasseter’s rival Adrian Yates is after him to make the kill. As Mike was part of Lasseter’s program, she believes it’s her responsibility to save him no matter what happens. She does send him codes, but Mike doesn’t understand any of them and ignores leading him to the two men who are bout to kill him.

The two guys are messing with Mike’s car, and once they spot him. They approach him to kill, but somehow, due to his training, Mike manages to take them down with a single spoon. This leads Yates to send two stronger men in the form of Laugher and Crane to take down Mike and Phoebe, who are at a sheriff’s station to report. As this goes on, Lasseter makes it to the city and takes help from her former assistant for weapons. Mike and Phoebe escape from the hands of Laugher and Crane to resurface at Mike’s drug dealer’s house. Meanwhile, Yates makes his moves by quarantining the city and putting Mike and Lasseter’s picture on the local news station.

American Ultra Ending Explained

Mike Comes To Realize About His Past

At the drug dealer Rose’s house, Mike realizes that he does have some military training. But he couldn’t remember where these came from or any of his past before landing in Liman and meeting Phoebe. Until then, Yates’ men charges in with lethal gas and takedown Rose and her people. Phoebe, amidst this, kills the attackers and lets Mike know what Gas can do. They leave, and Mike questions Phoebe about what went down. He finds out that Phoebe was another CIA Agent assigned to look after him.

What Happend To Mike?

From American Ultra Featuring Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell

Mike is heartbroken from this realizing it wasn’t true love, but it was work that was why she wouldn’t let him go. Until two more men barge in and capture Pheobe. Lassetter, on the other hand, rescues Mike and lets him know about his past. She tells him he was a criminal who volunteered for their Wiseman program. This will lead him to get his criminal record cleared as well as his memory erased. Phoebe was assigned to make sure he is settled as a good man, but she eventually fell for him and wanted to stay with him forever. The panic attacks were implanted to make sure he never leaves the town no matter what.

Also Read: The Life Of David Gale Ending Explained

Mike, Lasseter And Petey Team Up

Phoebe’s love for him encourages Mike to rescue his True love. So Lasseter and Mike join hands and first takedown Yates’s other strong man named Otis. Now his death worries Yates, who orders drone strikes. But Petey, in time, stops it and informs Yates’ superior Raymond Krueger about this mess. Meanwhile, Mike arranges an exchange for Phoebe. But the exchange goes wrong leading Mike and Lasseter to fight.

American Ultra Final Moments Of The Ending

From American Ultra Featuring Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell

Mike takes down most of Yates’ men except one who conspired. Lasseter takes a shot at Yates to rescue Phoebe, who wants to punch him too. But Raymond Krueger makes his presence felt, and killing innocent men for a mission didn’t fit with him. So Raymond Krueger executes Yates. Lasseter, on the other hand, gives Mike as an example of the success of the Wiseman program. The one turned a criminal into a good and honorable man fighting for a great cause.

The ending of American Ultra finally sees Mike and Phoebe taking a vacation to Manilla.  But it’s more than a vacation when Mike takes a break to meet some big-name who might be a criminal. The screen goes dark with shots fired. This suggests that Mike has turned into a full-on active CIA Agent working for his country alongside his love Phoebe, new friends Lasseter and Petey.

Also Read: Open Water 2 Ending Explained

Written By

Hello there, Rahul here, I am a writer and a passionate musician. I love writing since I remember I was a kid and was made to read a lot of books. You will find me writing about anime and shows here and there. You can reach out to me at RahulS@otakukart.com

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