The Abridged Script
EXT. HICKTOWN, USA
So back in the 1920s, there was this thing called "prohibition" It made the sale of liquor illegal, which led to-
Okay, seriously, just how little credit are we giving the audience here?
You're a gritty action hero, but the audience is expected to identify with me, Shia Fucking LaBeouf. How much credit does it look like we're giving them?
Yeah, why aren't I the protagonist exactly? I mean, I'm a legendarily indestructible brawling bootlegger, who stands up to corrupt law enforcement and holy shit, how is it that my character isn't actually named "Tom Hardy"? That'd be perfect!
Although that'd make us The Hardy Boys. You're too masculine to pull that off, and I'm nowhere near masculine enough.
And I'm the third brother! I exist also.
Shush now, the developed characters are talking.
SHIA heads into town with DANE DEHAAN, the brothers' incongruously sweet and innocent helper boy and SHIA'S best friend. Also a cripple.
I'm going shopping for tombstones!
They run into MIA WASIKOWSKA.
Gosh, you're pretty! In a blandly non-descript way.
You too! I'm drawn to you inexplicably!
Not so fast! I'm a severe old-timey preacher man, and I want to keep my daughter away from worldy things, which are all sinful. HARUMPH.
Awesome! This way you get made out to be unreasonable for keeping your daughter away from the most dangerous, violent family of hillbilly criminals in town.
Meanwhile, TOM is taking delivery of his own love interest.
I'm sick of the noise and chaos of the big city, so I figure the solution is to get a job in a redneck bar in the moonshine capital of the world. So, do I get the job?
That depends. Do you promise to fall in love with me even though I communicate with you mostly through grunts and blank stares?
Why not, you grouchy, taciturn dreamboat.
But then who should show up but CAPTAIN FROWNY-FACE, also known as GUY PEARCE.
I'm the federal deputy something-or-other. I'm here for my bribes, you shitstains. Give me my bribes, NOW. FUCK YOU.
I ain't bribing you. Get off our property.
Wait, literally the first thing we did in this movie was bribe some cops. All of a sudden you're putting your family and livelihood at risk instead?
Yeah but, look at this guy with his prissy city clothes and his face like he just ate a bunch of lemon-flavored kitty litter. He's like if acid reflux was a person. Fuck him.
So, we'll take our chances with the law if the law is a dick. Rational.
I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS! Well, not you personally, of course. Your other, pansy-ass brother, when I'm sure neither of you two are around. That'll establish me as a credible threat!
At the next available opportunity, he BEATS THE LIVING SNOT OUT OF SHIA, thus immediately becoming one of the most beloved cinematic heroes of all time.
YAARH JESSICA JUST STABBED MY HAND IN SELF-DEFENCE!
I did what now? Hang on, that's the first actual thing a female character's been allowed to do in this movie, couldn't we have spared the extra twenty seconds it would've taken to show it onscreen?
ENOUGH TALK RANDOM FIGHT SCENE TIME!
The VIOLENT HICK and his VIOLENT HICK FRIEND try to slice up TOM and JESSICA, but then TOM bludgeons and hacks them to death. Shortly afterwards, however, some UNRELATED THUGS come and SLIT TOM'S THROAT EAR TO EAR.
WRITER NICK CAVE
Stab murder flay. Murder strangulate murder. Blood.
Oh no, Tom's dying! I better save him, and this is my last chance to actually be seen doing anything useful so don't you dare cut away to-
TOM is SUDDENLY IN THE HOSPITAL and we don't find out how he got there for another hour of screen time.
OH JUST FUCK RIGHT OFF ALREADY.
Shit! With Tom out of the picture, I guess it's up to me to make our moonshine deliveries. Come, Dane!
Wait, why is it up to you? Jason is fine.
Who? Oh, the other one. It's okay, nobody cares about him. Let's go!
They drive off with their truck full of booze, but they run out of gas halfway there!
Crap, we've stopped! And the law might be right on our tail eventually!
Yes, we must fix this situation quickly, because although nobody is pursuing us now there is always the theoretical possibility that a patrol might stumble upon us at some point! ISN'T THIS INTENSE?!
Using moonshine as fuel, they finish the delivery.
I drove a truck from one location to another! Truly I have proven my worth this day.
He sells the booze to local mob kingpin GARY OLDMAN.
Pleased to work with you, partner! It'll be interesting to see where this relationship goes. Perhaps I'll prove a useful ally in your fight with the law. Or just maybe it'll turn out you've bitten off more than
The brothers start to prosper. A montage shows SHIA and DANE pimping out the truck and going on more DARING DELIVERY RUNS, still never pursued by ANYBODY because EXCITEMENT IS FOR CHUMPS. But then SHIA foolishly takes MIA to see the top-secret distillery!
There's nothing more romantic than taking your sweet religious girlfriend to see your illegal booze lab.
Shia, you fool, you led Guy Pearce right here! What were you thinking, bringing a girl here? You know people can only follow you to a place if you're going there for frivolous reasons!
They BEAT UP GUY and GET AWAY, but GUY seizes the DISTILLERY and also DANE.
Your friends called me names and were mean to me! You know how I'm going to get back at them?
Well, I presume you'll be arresting them. Now that you have them dead to rights on any number of charges.
Huh, that'd make sense, wouldn't it? But no, I'm just going to murder you. Nobody said I was smart.
He SNAPS DANE'S NECK, because I guess he's secretly a GREEN BERET or something.
INT. HARDY HILLBILLY HOMESTEAD
Shia, I can't believe you endangered your family with your bullshit macho pride! That's MY thing!
Can't talk, I've got to go REVENGE GUY IN THE FACE for killing Dane! Although I didn't do the same thing after he had some guys slit your throat, so you know... read into that what you will.
He storms off all revenge-y.
I guess I'd better go after him to bail him out after he inevitably fucks this up.
No way! I can't stand any more violence, even if it's to keep your brother from getting himself killed by an asshole! If you go after Shia, it's over between us.
TOM goes after SHIA.
...Well, considering the fact that next time you see me I've been married to Tom for years, I think we can safely say that I'm full of shit.
EXT. COVERED BRIDGE-O-DOOM
SHIA storms up to GUY'S POLICE BLOCKADE.
ALL RIGHT, GUY, IT'S TIME FOR ME TO FINALLY MAN UP AND-
(shot, falls down)
Oh, that's right, I forgot. I suck. I suck so bad at everything.
But then TOM shows up, as well as JASON and EVERY MOONSHINE MAKER IN THE COUNTY. A MILLION BILLION BULLETS ARE FIRED, of which about SEVEN hit anything, and most of those consist of GUY shooting TOM.
Enough, Guy! We slightly-less-corrupt cops may have reluctantly stuck with you after you murdered that unarmed cripple, but we'll be damned if we stand by and let you defend yourself against a family of criminals who came here specifically to kill you!
Fuck, I finally alienated every single person in the world. Time to ham my way out of here!
EAT SHIT AND DIE, YOU INBRED HAYSEEDS! I HATE EVERYTHING!
Hold up, now that literally everyone in a thirty mile radius is on my side I might stand a fighting chance!
He runs after GUY and SHOOTS HIM MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE CHEST.
Huzzah, I killed Guy! Finally my painfully drawn-out character arc gets the closure that-
JASON stabs GUY in the back and GUTS HIM LIKE A FISH.
...Or that, I guess.
INT. HYPER-HAPPY HARDY HILLBILLY HOMESTEAD
TOM and JESSICA and SHIA and MIA and JASON all live happily ever after.
So yeah, we were all fine and everybody got married and had babies and it was all awkwardly cloying in context. Years later, a descendant of ours wrote a book in which he presented the most exaggerated family legends as fact, and then the book was made into a boring movie nobody saw. THE END.
Craig has been an author at The Editing Room for 4 years. You can support Craig and the rest of the site on Patreon.
Craig is a sheet metal worker by day, unsuccessful writer and filmmaker by night. Right now he wishes he had a website to link to.