Timon -> RE: Spy Hunter (11/4/2006 8:27:47 PM)
I've never played the computer games of Spy Hunter but any film which has The Rock as an ex fighter pilot called Alec Sects (former F-15 pilot employed by International Espionage Services as a member of the Spy-Hunter team) with a grudge against the cloak-and-dagger types who sets about ridding the world of spies and assassins has got to be good.
The script is written by Stuart Beattie who wrote the excellent Collateral. He's also currently writing the scripts for the adaptions of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Without Remorse (Featuring John Clark instead of Jack Ryan).
Anyway, LatinoReview.com has a short script review AND some cool animatics of how the Rock's vechicle The Interceptor changes into a boat and a cycle and more…
Here's the script review
One of my earliest recollections of video games was me as a 10 year old in 1983 playing Midway's Spy Hunter feeding quarters to the damn machine because the game would never end. I recalled playing SPY HUNTER, RUSH N' ATTACK, and KUNG FU MASTER. All 3 games being scrollers. Spy Hunter just kept on going and going. It never ended. All you old school video game heads will also remember cheating at Spy Hunter back in the days by driving alongside the road where the weapons van drops you off. I also remember that Peter Gunn theme and it is in here in the script. I haven't looked at the recent reinvention of Spy Hunter series for the current set of consoles but have peeked at it here and there and the shit is much hotter than when I played it 20 years ago.
I will keep the spoilers as lite as possible so here it goes.
The script is hot. I enjoyed the hell out of reading it. A good old-fashioned balls to the wall popcorn adventure movie. It feels like Raiders of the Lost Ark but with the car – the G-6155 Interceptor. Hell on wheels. This is not a movie for the intellectual movie going types. This is your opening weekend escapist Hollywood testosterone adventure movie. You are going to this film to strictly see the gadgets and the car. There are 3 major set pieces, HUGE SET PIECES with the interceptor and all it's really cool – they pull it off and they will make the Bad Boys 2 car chase scene look like an NYU student film. We see the Interceptor in all it's glory in the first 15 pages, then we see it turn into a snowmobile in the 2nd act make a harrowing getaway in the Himalayas, and then in the 3rd act we watch the Interceptor become a jet ski. The animations should give you a strong hint of what to come. Watching the animations before reading the script made it easier for me to visualize the action. I am not dissing Beattie's talent either and the script is not just set pieces but good writing and a story well told. As a matter of fact, the script is your classic Joseph Campbell Hero's Journey adventure story. If you want to study Campbell and see his 12 major story steps of the Hero's Journey applied to current movies, check this out next year. All the major beats are there.
The script opens with a crawl ala Star Wars:
In the waning years of the cold war, the world's leading spy agencies suddenly found themselves facing a new threat: ROGUE SPIES. In response, six rival spy agencies formed an uneasy alliance to create a super-secret organization of elite SPY-HUNTERS. With global allegiances constantly shifting, the INTERNATIONAL ESPIONAGE SERVICE now finds its spy-hunters in ever increasing demand…
You see IES fights hidden war, a war most people never see nor hear about. With the right information, a single rogue spy can overthrow a government. Or initiate a terrorist strike. Even plunge entire nations into conflict.
And that's when we meet the Rock's character ALEX DECKER in El Salvador. Alex is there to arrest GLENN PALMER, a government contractor gone rogue, and retrieve Palmer's briefcase. The briefcase houses a laptop, which contains a secret military encryption code that Palmer designed, apparently a very important piece of software. The Pentagon issues all its commands via the Internet these days. Anyone who had Palmer's code could follow US troop movements, escape missile strikes, and counter attack air raids. Imagine fighting an enemy who knows every move before you make it.
The enemy that is trying to get their hands on Palmer's laptop? NOSTRA. A global defense contractor that makes money when countries go to war. The bad guys. Alex and Nostra bad guys deck it out all over the script. Nostra intercepts the meeting between Palmer and Alex and try to steal Palmer's briefcase. That is where our first fun action chase scene takes place with the Interceptor – Peter Gunn theme blaring and all. We have a really cool picture of one of the Nostra bosses QUINT DONOVAN with his breathing mask HERE. Quint rocks that breathing mask for a reason we see here in the opening sequence and tails Alex throughout the script.
Back at IES headquarters we meet the hero's usual gang of helpers including the cool IES tech officer who is Latino – RAMIREZ who is your hormonal young Latin man like yours truly. There is a funny meeting between Alex and Ramirez because Ramirez wants to go out on a date in the interceptor and Alex isn't having it.
So what is SPY HUNTER about without giving too much away? TERENCE MONROE breaks into IES and steal's Palmer's code. Who is Monroe? In the debriefing scene at the end of Act 1, we find out that Terence Monroe came out of Mi5 and helped create IES in 1983. He was one of the first spy hunters and one of the best. Unfortunately, he suffered a deep, personal tragedy a year ago and he's been on voluntary leave ever since. Monroe has gone rogue and he wrote the book on spy-hunting so he knows the methods IES will use in order to apprehend him. It is Alex Decker's mission to hunt Monroe and secure the code.
I think Monroe is the guy who drove the Interceptor in the 1983 video game because the script has a clever homage to the game. During the chase sequence in the Himalayas, Alex is making a getaway and using the smokescreen to evade NOSTRA agents who tail him and his passenger scoffs "We had that in 1983.” An obvious reference to the classic midway game. At the end of the chase sequence when the Interceptor changes into a snowmobile and makes it's getaway on skis, Alex returns the payback line, "Did you have that in 1983?” The passenger remains respectfully silent.
Like I said earlier an enjoyable kick ass balls hung high testosterone driven popcorn adventure movie and I have been fiending those lately. Spy Hunter is obviously better than Universal's other car movie Fast and Furious 3. There hasn't been that much escapist fantasy lately and Hollywood needs to start making movies fun and cool again and SPY HUNTER definitely fits that mold. Like the SPIKE TV mantra, a movie for guys who like movies.
Check back with us soon as we take a look at another marvel superhero movie.
Can you guess which one it is? Here are some hints. This character has been around since Marvel's inception and it's at New Line.
And here are the animatics;