Friend of the site Joshua James has a great blog where he chronicles his life as a writer (and family man) and today he posted a cool little article on what an “option” is. Although there’s no road map in securing that elusive six figure sale, having a few options in play definitely inspires more trust from buyers. Go read the article now!
Premise: An ex-inventor tries to reconnect with his daughter after a 12 year jail sentence.
About: Kevin Spacey, Camille Bell, Heather Graham, Virginia Madsen, and Johnny Knoxville to star. Pic will be produced by Krane Films and Trigger Street Productions, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti plus Jonathan Krane, Anthony Cohen, and Ken Barbet. Father of Invention was filmed in News Orleans. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was worried about the director, Trent Cooper. His only big credit is Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector. That’s not even the first Larry The Cable Guy. But hey, everybody gets their breakthrough shot, and after that you get to show what you’re really made of. If Cooper had anything to do with this script, I’m willing to give him a chance.
Writer: Johnathan D. Krane (current revisions by Trent Cooper)
Details: 109 pages (4-30-09)
Wow, what an unexpected treat. “Father Of Invention” is a script I’ve been avoiding forever because let’s face it: the title kinda blows. But now that I’ve finished it, I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I still don’t know exactly how to describe the screenplay. I know that while reading it I kept thinking it was like a weird bizarro companion piece to American Beauty. There are a lot of similarities between the main character, Robert Axle, and the nostalgia-obsessed Lester Burnham. Yet Father of Invention is its own unique experience. And as it stands, it’s one of the better scripts I’ve read this year.
Robert Axle has just been released from a dozen year stay in the slammer. Our hero used to be an inventor, or “fabricator”, as he likes to put it. He thinks up all of those crazy useless gadgets people actually spend money on at 3 in the morning watching QVC. Problem is that one of these gadgets ended up de-fingering 6000 customers (turns out if you used it for 19 hours straight it slid open and chopped your fingers off). So no biggie. All Axle had to do was forfeit his 1.7 billion dollar company and take a 12 year seat next to a building full of hardened criminals.
Now that Robert’s out, he can’t wait to seek out some new ideas. Even on his bus ride into town, he’s already trying to combine everyday gadgets into some new super-gadget that nobody’s thought of yet. But life on the outside is a lot different in 2009. And in one of the funnier moments, Robert spots a kid and starts pitching him on a new revolutionary invention he’s thought of: “Would you buy a phone that also reads…e-mail?” the kid takes out his phone. “You mean a Blackberry?” Yeah, it’s safe to say Robert’s a little out of touch. And then there’s his daughter, Claire. At one point she was the apple of his eye. But as soon as he made his first billion, she could’ve been an apple orchard and he wouldn’t have noticed . She’s never forgotten how he changed. So when Robert shows up at her door begging for a place to stay, she ditches the hugs and kisses in favor of a good old fashioned: “Get the hell out of here!”
Eventually the selfless Claire comes around but not without a strict set of laws. He can stay for one month (ticking time bombs people!) if he agrees to get a *real* job (nothing that has to do with inventing) and doesn’t bother her two roommates. That shouldn’t be a problem with Phoebe, an angry hot lesbian who hates Robert’s guts the second he steps through the door. At least there’s the eternally optimistic Donna, who lives life like her favorite song is always playing. But even her parents have told her to stay in her room where she’s safe from the “convict”. Ouch.
Of course, Robert can’t stay out of the inventing game for long. And after he’s fired from his job (which he doesn’t tell Claire) he gets an idea for a GPS type watch to keep track of your kids. Immediately he’s putting a plan together, targeting investors, building a prototype. The problem is Robert Axle’s name is poison. This is the guy that chopped off 12,000 fingers (the device took two fingers from every person it maimed). The label doesn’t exactly inspire confidence these days. This forces Robert to get creative and recruit the asshole who fired him to be his pitch man (I’m assuming this part will be played by Johnny Knoxville – who’s a perfect fit). But when Robert can’t come up with the money to pay for a prototype, he makes a really bad decision that will come back to haunt him, and ultimately destroy all that good will he worked so hard to build up.
The characters are so well-drawn in Father Of Invention. I kept having to sit back and admire the intricacy in which these people were crafted. It’s hard enough writing one memorable character. Having 5-6 is the equivalent of hitting the cinematic jackpot. I loved how you would think you had everybody tabbed and then, BAM, the characters would do a 180 and completely surprise you. But where this script really shines is in the complex relationship between father and daughter. We want Claire to love Robert again so bad that we’re continuously heartbroken every time they can’t quite make it over the hump. Here is one of those scenes, where Robert’s trying to erase a lifetime of poor parenting in 5 minutes.
INT. NEIGHBORHOOD BAKERY – MOMENTS LATER
Claire and Axle sit opposite each other. Claire’s head buried
in the paper. Axle watches her.
When did you learn to sew?
About six years ago, when I started
It’s nice, the sewing. Are you gay?
What kind of a question is that?
If you are, it’s cool with me. I just
want you to be happy.
Just because my life isn’t bogged
down by some man child who wants to
have a say in everything I do, who I
do it with and when it gets done?
…No I’m not gay. I wish it were
Well none of you girls seem to date
and I find it a little bit odd.
Donna has been engaged to three
different men and never gone through
with it. No man will ever measure up
to her father. Phoebe dates but
doesn’t bring girls home to meet us
because she thinks we would judge her
and I am very much looking forward to
falling in love but not until I get
my shit together.
See there, three things I’ve learned
about Claire Axle: started sewing six
years ago, doesn’t have time for men
and loves the paper.
Claire puts the paper down to address her father directly.
Two more things: My last name is not
Axle and I’m fond of boundaries.
Hence our thirty day agreement. Which
I refuse to budge on.
He takes a section of newspaper. Tries to give her space.
And I do have time for men, just not
love. I’ve been having, rabid, erotic
sex with men since I was twelve.
Axle is stunned silent. She lets him suffer then –
Kidding. I was seventeen.
He breathes a sigh of relief.
The guy was thirty nine.
Axle sits up straight. This is killing him.
Kidding about that too. He was
sixteen. …We did it in your office.
His head drops to the table, THUNK, like he’s dead.
On the desk.
He bangs his head again. She grins, loving this.
My first memory as a human being was
the house on Inverness Court. You
used to sit on the floor with me,
trying to get me to understand how my
stuffed animals and Barbies were all
linked together by atoms and
Your mom thought I was crazy. I knew
you were smart enough to know what I
was talking about.
I had no clue. I was just glad you
were on the floor with me.
She goes back to her paper. Axle reflects.
I realize I’m making this script sound pretty sappy but it’s actually hilarious. Phoebe is an actress’ dream she’s so funny. There’s a scene where her and Robert have to steal back Guitar Hero from her ex-boyfriend (yes, you read that right – she has an ex-boyfriend) that’s so ridiculous it actually works. Super-positive Donna’s optimism complements Phoebe perfectly, and when her world is shattered late in the story, instead of getting all mushy, they play it for laughs and it comes out pitch perfect. But Father Of Invention’s greatest feat is something I’m continually trying to tattoo onto your collective brains: Give us something unique and we will respond! Father of Invention simply isn’t like anything I’ve read before.
My only fear for the film is if they try to make it too kooky. It walks such a fine line between drama and comedy that this is one of those things you can screw up with even the slightest miscalculation in tone. My hope is that they’ll err on the side of drama so the film stays grounded. Either way, this was a fun read.
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] barely kept my interest
[ ] worth the read
[ ] genius
What I learned: A lot of movies start with the character at the lowest point in their life. Maybe they just got out of jail. Maybe they just had someone close to them die. Maybe they’ve been fired. This dramatic device works well because when we meet a character at his lowest point, we’re curious to see whether he can climb back up the ladder and find success again, or fall back into his own self-destructive ways. It’s a tried and true device and a great template for a story.
I know I know. You hate me. Once again, I’m relieving myself of reviewing duties for the day. But know that tis is only because I am extremely busy, building a better Scriptshadow for tomorrow, and more importantly, building a better world. I will be back to regular reporting duties Thursday at 12:01 AM with my review of Father Of Invention, a spec that sold with Kevin Spacey attached and that will be produced by his Triggerstreet Productions. As for today’s guest reviewer, you might recognize him as one of our most trusted and insightful commenters, Martin B. It was my idea to give him a shot at reviewing a script because I just really respect his opinion (probably because he always agrees with me). Anyway, the script he’s reviewing is a script that comes highly recommended by a very trusted source. He’s recommended about five scripts to me and I’ve liked all of them. So I’m letting Martin loose to decide if it’s 6 for 6 with …Gaza.
Genre: Drama, Human Interest.
Premise: A British mother goes to Gaza where her journalist daughter has been shot dead while reporting on the Fatah-Hamas conflict. There she must cope with a different culture and a different people, and a political game with very different rules, as she attempts to claim her daughter’s body.
About: Helen Mirren was attached, according to a 2007 report. Filming was initially to take place in Gaza, but switched to Jordan when Gaza became too dangerous. Since then there’s been no news, but it might be IMDb’s Untitled Helen Mirren Project of 2011. Frank Deasy (the writer), an Irishman living in Scotland, is listed by his agent as a playwright who also writes for television (for which he’s received an Emmy)and movies. He tackles difficult subjects — racism in Britain, depression, love in prison, abuse in children’s homes, a boxing alcoholic’s bio, rats invading Manhattan. Now he’s tackling the Middle East, but as you might expect from a playwright, it’s a character study rather than a political movie.The first draft of GAZA just managed to make the 2008 Black List with 5 votes.
Writer: Frank Deasy
Details: 105 pages, Third Draft dated 29/04/09
The story of Gaza concerns Ruth. She is a cancer specialist in London, living a disciplined and emotionally rigid life. Her late husband Simon has been dead for a year. Her television journalist daughter Joanna is on assignment in Gaza. They don’t talk much.
While Ruth examines the scans of a child’s tumor as objectively as she can, Joanna crouches in a car in Gaza frantically trying to contact Fatima, a prostitute. Nearby, Fatah and Hamas militiamen exchange gunfire. Joanna’s cameraman and driver, Sayed, films the action.
It is October 2007. Hamas has won the Palestinian elections of January 2006, but corrupt Fatah, in power since the Oslo Accords of 1993 with the backing of Israel and the West, refuses to hand over power in Gaza. So Hamas, the fundamentalist extremists, the ‘bearded ones,’ branded as terrorists because of their rocket attacks on Israel, must fight to assume the positions they were elected to.
The Fatah strongman and biggest gangster in Gaza, Majed Khazi, drives up to Joanna and Sayed. His men have fancy new weapons, obtained with the connivance of Israel. He comments on Joanna’s new hairstyle. This is significant because, as we learn later, Joanna cultivated prostitutes as informants and met them at a hairdressing salon. Most of the Gaza prostitutes are controlled by the same Majed Khazi.
Worried, Joanna and Sayed drive through the fighting to the salon. During the drive we learn that Joanna and Sayed are in love. As they arrive, the salon blows up. Fatima cannot be found. Joanna does a ‘stand upper’ in front of the bombed salon and is shot while on camera. She dies later in hospital, next to Fatima who lies there with a single bullet wound in her forehead.
This sets the scene.
In London, Ruth learns of her daughter’s death. She hesitates. “I can’t do anything without the facts.” She will learn, in Gaza the facts are forever changing.
She decides to bring Joanna’s body back to England for burial, but in Israel learns a shocking truth — Joanna and Sayed were married, and Sayed is the legal next of kin and wants to bury Joanna in Gaza. She cannot believe that her daughter would marry without telling her, and marry a Muslim (Ruth is a non-practicing Jew). What does this say about her as a mother?
Assisted by Ariel, an Israeli with a secret agenda, she travels to the Erez crossing point. She sees an old folks’ home nearby which has been struck by a Hamas rocket. She crosses into Gaza. There she meets Sayed, and the battle for Joanna’s body begins.
In the meantime Raja, a senior Hamas commander and friend of Sayed’s sister Hanan, siezes Sayed’s camera and tape. He says he doesn’t want to project a bad image of Gaza and frighten off journalists, but it is clear he has hidden reasons for being interested in the tape.
Sayed and Ruth have many arguments during which each party displays a great deal of prejudice, ignorance and ill-feeling. Eventually, a depressed Sayed concedes defeat, saying Joanna’s heart will always be in Gaza, and Ruth sets off with the body for the Erez border post. But nothing is this easy in Gaza.
On the way to the border they are caught in an Israeli military action, a reprisal for the rocket attack. Ruth sees how dwellings are destroyed by Merkava tanks, and civilians mowed down by machine guns. An Arab boy, Khalid, is shot near her. She stanches the wound and rushes him to hospital, where she assists the handsome Dr. Nazeem as he operates on Khalid. There is a definite spark between her and London-trained Nazeem, and the boy Khalid brings out in her a compassion she forgot she had.
Meanwhile, Ruth has become suspicious of Ariel, her Israeli contact. She deduces that Joanna sent vital information concerning Raja or Khazi via email before she died, and Ariel is somehow implicated. What she doesn’t realise is she herself is unwittingly feeding him information.
Ruth gets sucked deeper into events in Gaza. As a single woman with no family she must rely on Sayed and his family and Dr. Nazeem for help. The more contact she has with them, the more she learns that Palestinians are ordinary human beings with hopes and fears, many of them with a refugee background similar to her parents who had fled from Nazi Germany. And she also learns that there’s more to life than interpreting images on a screen. Sometimes you have to put your body on the line to help the ones you love.
But she is also a pawn in a larger game that she cannot influence. Matters between Raja of Hamas and Khazi of Fatah come to a brutal conclusion dictated by realpolitik. Ruth realises she cannot bear witness to what she knows because Israel has learned it must “control the narrative” and ensure its own version of events is the accepted one.
All she can do is try to help Sayed, the man she comes to accept as a son in law. And bitterly say, when asked who was to blame for her daughter’s death, “Someone without a face, without a name — men with power, men with agendas, someone in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or Damascus, or Cairo — someone in Washington or London. Someone who’s interests are served by murder and war.”
I thought this was a very human, very compelling drama. It’s a powerful and complex narrative with no comic relief. It brings to the screen a neglected and little-known region. Previously the West Bank got most of the press attention regarding Palestinians. Despite its universal theme of a mother dealing with the death of a daughter, it is too serious and deals with a region too remote to gain a large audience. Personally I thought it was impressive, but if the region doesn’t interest you it would still be worth the read.
Some background: The Gaza Strip is tiny; 40 km long and 12 km at its widest. It has a history going back 5,000 years when it was known as the land of Canaan. It has been ruled by Egyptians, Philistines, Persians, Alexander the Great, Imperial Rome, the Caliphates, the Crusaders, Saladin, Mongols, Egyptian Mamluks, Turkish Ottomans, Napoleon (briefly), Egypt, Ottomans again, and it became a British mandate after WWI. It was assigned to an Arab state by the 1947 U.N. partition plan, but administered by Egypt after the 1948 Arab-Israel war. Israel took over the administration after the 1967 Six Day War. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
When talking about the Middle East, there is always the question of bias. According to my background reading, the portrayal of the situation in Gaza is pretty accurate. One notable omission is suicide bombers. They are not mentioned at all, despite the fact that most suicide bombers come from Gaza. (In the first draft, Dr. Nazeem’s son is a suicide bomber. In the third draft he launches Hamas’ rockets.) So Frank Deasy is writing with a typical liberal bias, castigating Western and Middle East governments without whitewashing the nasty nature of the Hamas and Fatah militias, and without offering any solution.
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] barely kept my interest
[x] worth the read
[ ] genius
What I learned: It’s all about people. You can tackle the toughest and most controversial topics if you focus on the people and the choices they are forced to make. If you can convey people’s hopes and dreams, and show how they are affected by events, you can humanize a situation. Speeches, history lessons, armies and war; a mother’s concern for her child trumps them all.
Here’s a nice little article by Bill Martell on what happens during that process known as Development Hell, with stress on the “hell”. If you ever wondered how a script like G.I. Joe gets to the screen with a barely recognizable story in place, Bill’s peek behind the curtain offers some great insight.
What do you say about The Boondock Saints? For those recently dipping their feet in the Hollywood pool, the story behind The Boondock Saints is one of the more fascinating in the town’s eclectic history. I’ll definitely be getting some details wrong here but for the most part, this is what went down: Troy Duffy was a no-name bartender in Los Angeles who wrote The Boondock Saints in his free time off a rented computer. He somehow got the script into Harvey Weinstein’s hands at the apex of Miramax’s power. Weinstein agreed to buy the script for 300k, allow Duffy to direct the movie for 16 million, and to sweeten the deal (and cleverly nab some media attention), he even bought Duffy the bar that he worked at for him. It was one of those Cinderella stories that everybody loved to talk about. Well, except that a few months later Harvey changed his mind and stopped taking Duffy’s phone calls. Duffy, not exactly current on Tinsletown protocol, didn’t understand this meant his movie wasn’t happening anymore. Now a lot of what follows is rumor, but supposedly Duffy started stalking Weinstein and threatening him for backing out of the deal. We all know that Weinstein isn’t the shyest mogul on the block, and according to Troy, he began threatening Duffy’s life. Duffy went from future filmmaker to caged animal as he holed himself up in his house with a gun, waiting for Harvey’s assassins. Of course Weinstein denies all of this. But Duffy swears it’s true. This is all documented in the documentary, “Overnight”, which, while not as good as my description makes it out to be, is still a pretty strong doc.
Eventually Duffy got someone to put up money for his film and the movie pretty much went straight-to-video. Now, according to lore, the movie is now a “cult classic” because it made over six million dollars on video. I’ve never seen the film, nor do I have any desire to, but whether you believe it’s a success or not, it was good enough that someone put up money for a sequel. Roger has dug up the script for that sequel, and he shares his reactions with us…
Genre: Action. Crime.
Premise: The MacManus Brothers are living a quiet life in Ireland with their father, but when they learn their beloved priest has been killed by mob forces, the duo return to Boston to bring justice to those responsible.
About: Troy Duffy makes his directing return in this sequel to The Boondock Saints.
Writer: Troy Duffy
I have a few friends who color themselves Boondock Fans. I don’t judge them. Instead, I try to understand them. To prepare myself for this review, I had a conversation with my buddy, Ira, about why he likes “The Boondock Saints”. He’s a quarter Irish, and in-between pints of Guinness and Smithwicks, I asked him to tell me why the flick appeals to him.
“First off, these guys are Irish. And what do the Irish do best? They fight. They bleed. They die. Those are actual song lyrics by the way.”
“So you like the movie because the heroes are Irish?”
“Sure. But what makes them so great is that they have no idea what the fuck they are doing. They win all of their gunfights purely by accident. Happy accidents. Who are they when we meet them? They’re workers in a meat factory plant, I think. And don’t they like beat the shit out of a health inspector or something?”
“I don’t really remember.”
“The point is, these guys are just blue-collar second-generation Irish immigrants in Boston. Yet God calls upon them to punish the unjust. They’re like these killer saints that deliver the justice of God by the barrel of a gun. And I think that’s something we can all relate to.”
“Why not? Look at Willem Dafoe’s FBI detective character. He’s this guy who can’t always catch the bad guys. He has to work through the American legal system, our imperfect justice system. And a lot of the times, he has to watch people escape the system just to go commit the same crimes. And that’s why he likes the Saints so much. They don’t have to go through our flawed legal system. They are God’s legal system. They are God’s executioners.”
“Sounds like the last season of Dexter.”
“I’m pretty sure the writers of Dexter stole that from Boondock Saints.”
“Is that a serious statement?”
“Steal. Reference. Cite. Homage. Whatever. It just goes to show you that Boondock was ahead of its time.”
“I never really thought about it like that. Okay. So what’s your favorite scene?”
“Everything you need to know about The Boondock Saints is in the final scene. You got the cops in the courtroom at a loss of what to do. They are fucking agonizing that this Mafia Boss is gonna get away. It’s fucked up, you know? This crime lord is going to walk the streets, basically a taint upon Boston. Everyone’s just pissed. The failure of the court system strikes again. But then the Saints walk in and fucking pop this dude. BAM! BAM! In the middle of a court room! Can you not see the brilliance in that?”
“Well…okay. I do remember that. Hold on – what was that?”
“What was what?”
“You didn’t hear that?”
“Is that…is that a disembodied guitar riff?”
“I think…I think it is!”
Rockin’ music overtakes us as we DISSOLVE TO…
Just me at my computer. Thinking about this script.
Perhaps I just prefer my flavor of vigilante to be of the Charlie Bronson or Frank Castle variety, because to me, reading The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day was basically the equivalent of reading really horrible Quentin Tarantino fanfiction.
I kinda liked the first act though. Which just goes to show you guys I was willing to give the Saints a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance, right guys?
This motherfucker starts off in Ireland. The boys are now rugged sheep-herders with piercing eyes and luxurious beards. Think Alan Moore without the wizard costume and with more muscle on his bones. If the locale doesn’t prove to you that they are Irish, why don’t you fucking take a look at the Celtic Crosses inked to their forearms. Do you doubt their heritage now?
I thought not.
And if you’re bored, don’t be. Because someone, let’s call him CREW CUT, fucking murders a priest in the first five pages. I know. It’s fucking brutal! And if it’s not brutal enough, what if I were to tell you that this execution is intercut with wolves attacking the sheep Connor and Murphy are trying to defend?
What if I were to tell you that the priest gets a bullet to the back of his head and pennies put on his eyes? What if I were to tell you that a sheep dies? What if I were to tell you that this dude, Crew Cut, is using the modus operandi of the Saints whilst killing a man of the cloth to lure them back to Boston? What if I were to tell you that the boys blast away the wolf that kills the sheep and that the rest of the wolfpack runs away?
Would you think it’s not brutal enough now, faggot?
I think my friend Ira would say that everything you need to know about The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day would be in this one sequence of glorious intercutting.
And he might be right. Because it’s fucking symbolism. And everyone knows that symbolism is the fucking shit.
Cue MOODY MUSIC…
As the boys cut their hair and luxurious beards with sheep shears.
Apparently, a disturbance in the Force has informed them that shit has hit the fan in Boston. They must meticulously groom themselves and ritualistically fill in each other’s tattoos as if they were completing pages in a Celtic-themed coloring book so they can sneak back into the States by stowing themselves on a cargo freighter, The Killian Farris.
Once aboard, they successfully watch a cage match between a swarthy French giant and a pony-tailed Latino with a perpetual smile. Fucking awesome, right? Well hold the fuck on, because it gets awesomer! The Latino, even though he has a ponytail, the sides are shorn! And his hands are chained behind his back! So it’s like a manacled David fighting a froggie seaman Goliath! No, not semen (faggot), seaman! And get this, if you didn’t think this Latino cat was suave already, bobbing and weaving those brutal blows from the giant, let me tell you his name. Then there will be absolutely no doubt in your mind that this kid is the fucking shit. Hold on…wait for it…and while you wait for it…try to imagine some fucking cool music setting the mood…okay…his name is…ROMEO!
Yeah Jefe, you should fucking cheer.
And if you don’t think Romeo is tough, then FUCK YOU, pal! Let me shove some of his dialogue down your ear-hole so you know that he’s tough:
“You should never fight a Mexican, Frenchy. Pound for pound the toughest mother fuckers on earth. Know why? We like pain. We like it, Pierre. I mean think about it, ‘Tabasco sauce.’ What kind of fucked up people would even invent that shit?”
It’s a good question. Whom indeed, Romeo? Whom in-fucking-deed. Because according to Wikipedia, it wasn’t Mexicans. It was this mother fucking Maryland-born former banker named Edmund McIlhenny. Which sounds suspiciously Irish.
But no matter, this is enough to impress Murphy. The MacManus Brothers need a fucking mascot and if you got brains you need not apply.
But hold on. What is Duffy trying to say? Is there something deeper going on here? Is the writer of The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day suggesting that all Mexicans really wish they were Irish? Or merely that they wish they invented Tabasco sauce? Yes, what exactly is the subtext of this relationship?
Does it fucking matter?
Because as I was reading the script, I literally felt the phantom of an astral-projected Duffy whisper in my ear, “When reading this script, your name is no longer Roger. It’s Peaches, faggot! So don’t ask questions, Peaches. I locked the door from the outside until you reach the end. Keep reading, bitch!”
I felt like I was about to go deaf reading this thing. Dialogue is not spoken, it’s shouted. Intimate moments involve brotherly roughhousing during hits on bad guys. Whispers are frothy epithets and spittle catapulted out of mouths. If someone raises their voice it’s accompanied by gunshots and questionable one-liners. Both make you flinch. So it’s kinda like a double flinch and then you die.
Where were we? Oh yes.
The Saints need Romeo. He has connections in the Boston underworld that can help them find the killer of the priest and exact revenge on everyone involved while simultaneously clearing their names of the crime. Yeah. I know. But sometimes you just gotta fucking murderlize other human beings to clear your name of a crime you didn’t commit. They call that cleaning the slate.
It reminds me of that classic 1988 beat’em up arcade game, Bad Dudes. “A fucking priest has been murdered in your trademark style from when you were a vigilante. Are you a bad enough dude to clean the fucking slate?”
Romeo needs Murphy and Connor because he wishes he were Irish. And he wants to prove to his Uncle Cesar that he’s a bad enough dude to be the third wheel to The Brothers Boondock. Because that’s how you prove you’re truly macho. Their company is the litmus test of your manliness.
And unfortunately, my patience.
What about Smecker you ask? The Willem Dafoe character from the first film? I’m glad you asked.
Cue AWE-INSPIRING MUSIC…
And meet Special Agent Eunice Bloom. Smecker asexually reproduced her, I mean…plucked her straight out of a class at Quantico. His protégé. This is the character he truly wanted to be in the first film, fallopian tubes and all.
All you need to know about Eunice Bloom is illustrated in the Act Two Climax.
WHIP PAN TO…FANTASY SEQUENCE…WITH COOL COUNTRY WESTERN MUSIC!
Eunice is now in full cowgirl regalia: Leather chaps, rawhide coat, boots, cowboy hat, and a pair of gleaming six guns on her hips. She’s going to visualize the crime scene The Boondock Saints and Romeo left behind in a luxury condo while trying to murder a crime boss who locked himself in his custom-built panic room.
She screams, “YEEEEE HAAAWWWW!!!!!” as this fantasy sequence is intercut with the boys and their awesome shoot-out.
You see, this fantasy sequence is required because Eunice’s boss, Kuntsler, is trying to take over her investigation from the inside. Julie Benz needs to prove to him that she is a better detective than her blood-splatter analyst boyfriend slash serial killer boyfriend on Dexter.
And what better way for Eunice to do it than to show the audience that all these characters are just modern-day cowboys and outlaws up to their same old shenanigans?
Roger, come on. You don’t have to make scenes up. Seriously, what was your main problem with the script?
Like I said, I was interested in the first act. But this thing just seemed to lose my interest afterwards. It’s a one-trick pony repeating the formula from the first movie. The action sequences feel one note. The cops and Eunice stumble onto a crime scene where bad guys died. Eunice visualizes the crime scene to tell the police what actually happened. Over…and over…and over again.
Sure, the tenuous villain who drew the Saints out of hiding has a master plan, and it involves the father of the Saints. But it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t so much unfold as it’s haphazardly shimmied into the 3rd act. It feels like it’s coming out of left field.
This story is about a character that’s only in the script for maybe two or three scenes. It’s just bad architecture. The payoff is limp.
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[x] barely kept my fucking interest
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: If you want to be cool, you should rip the fucking period key out of your keyboard. That way you are forced to use more exclamation points. I think a ratio of 3:1, exclamation points to periods, is what you should shoot for. The more the merrier, right? Also, I think the more CUE ROCKIN’ MUSIC slugs the better. Except you should mix it up. Instead of ‘rockin’ you can substitute words like: ‘hauntin’, ‘festive’, ‘moody’, ‘hard core’, ‘pulsating’, ‘cool’, ‘Country Western’, ‘scratchy’, ‘thunderin’, ‘slammin’, et cetera. The possibilities are pretty fucking endless, if you think about it.