LET THE BULLETS FLY
The Abridged Script
EXT. CHINA â€“ 1920
GE YOU and his wife CARINA LAU are merrily travelling along in their TRAIN powered by equal parts HORSES, STEAM ENGINE, and HOT SOUP, when they are ATTACKED by a HUMAN MAH JONGG SET! Their GUARDS spring into action!
Quick, soliders, remember your training! Point your rifles straight out the windows and fire blindly! Be sure the barrel is well visible so the enemy knows where not to be! And for God's sake don't look around or change your aim, you might hit something!
From a short distance away, bandit leader WEN JIANG fires his GUNS towards the HORSES. NOTHING HAPPENS.
Huh, guess you missed. Should we...
Let the bullets fly a while.
What, literally? You do know bullets are fast, right?
I'm the writer, director, and star of this movie, the bullets will go only as fast as I damn well want them to.
Sure enough, the HARNESSES snap loose, having only lasted this long thanks to a RUSH OF ADRENALINE or something. The TRAIN has a BIG HUGE NOT-TERRIBLY-CONVINCING CGI CRASH!
Geez, THAT was underwhelming. Please tell me we didn't just blow half our special effects budget?
Oh, not at all. That was more like 70%.
The BANDITS take GE YOU and CARINA LAU hostage!
Please don't kill us! I'm the new Governor of this province, I can make it worth your while. Except I'm really not, but we'll learn that later on.
That's okay. I'm going to pretend to be the new Governor that you're pretending to be, and swindle towns out of all their money.
I'll pretend to be your wife!
And I'll pretend to be the Counsellor to your fake Governor based on my fake Governor!
So we're only ten minutes into this three-hour epic and already, everyone has at LEAST one level of assumed identity. Is this only going to get worse?
Yeah, basically this plot is like Inception times a billion, only it's all really happening.
EXT. GOOSE TOWN
The GANG arrive in GOOSE TOWN, which is called GOOSE TOWN.
I bring greetings from our local crimelord, Chow Yun-Fat. Since he likes to piss off new authorities as quickly as possible, he has not come in person, but instead sends this fedora.
What a rampaging asshole! You might as well dig up my grandmother and shit in her mouth! This Governor has never been so insulted!
How about when bandits attacked his train and blew it up, then kidnapped him and his wife? How does that rate on your insult-o-meter?
The WEN-JIANG CLAN formally enter the town. From his palace, CHOW YUN-FAT watches them through a SPYGLASS, accompanied by his BODY DOUBLE who is played by CHOW YUN-FAT ON CRYSTAL METH.
That's right, new Governor, I've got my dramatic AND comedic chops loaded and ready for you. Bring it on.
BLAAAAAAAARRGHLLEEAAHH!!! WACKA WACKA WACKA!!!!
Maybe we'll emphasize the drama though.
INT. GOVERNOR'S HOUSE
So now we fleece this town for all it's worth and move on, right?
New plan! I'm going to actually try and fulfill my duties as Governor. ALL my duties. Which include fucking your wife, I guess. Oh well, heavy lies the crown and all that. I didn't ask for this responsibility.
Well, it's not like my wife will simply go along with it. Right, honey?
(furiously banging Wen)
Sorry, did you say something? I was distracted by all the rock-hard cock in my various orifices.
I was saying that your loyalty would prevent you from...
Oh, whoops, I was wailing with unfettered orgasmic pleasure just then. Could you repeat that?
Nothing. I guess you're just a power whore.
Gosh you're right, I should get an education and start my own business and oh wait I'm a woman in 1920s China. Sorry for not wanting to live on the very lowest rung of the social ladder, asswipe.
WEN JIANG meets with brothel madam PU MIAO.
I want to reach out to the community, and for some reason this whorehouse seemed like the best place to start. Because, er, lower taxes.
Hmph. I have doubts about this change in political leadership, which I shall express by engaging you in a SOLO RECURSIVE MEXICAN STANDOFF!! Which is where I point ONE gun at YOU, and point ANOTHER gun at MY OWN HEAD! Trust me, this TOTALLY works.
Riiiiight. Is this going to be a theme?
Well you have to admit, it does suit the snake-eating-its-own-asshole nature of the overall story.
CHOW YUN-FAT has deviously arranged for BANDIT #2 to stand trial for DINING AND DASHING.
I submit that you ate two bowls of jelly, but paid for only one.
No, I ate one bowl.
Hm. Well, perhaps I might convince you by SLICING MY GUT OPEN AND PULLING OUT MY OWN STOMACH AND OPENING ITS CONTENTS RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF EVERYONE AND THEN DYING.
(collapses in heap of own guts and bile)
I stand corrected.
Dammit! New plan!! Chow will pay for this!
Hey, he's just lucky he wasn't charged with adultery.
INT. BACK AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE
I've arranged for us to have dinner with Chow, where you can get revenge by stealing all his money.
Sure. Actually, wait.
What was that?
I decided we'll also kill Chow. See, me and my gang have a super clever birdwhistle code, which allows us to communicate whole sentences in under a second. Which is great for changing our entire plan on the fly, but for those poor bastards trying to follow along by reading the subtitles? HOO BOY. Those guys are FUUUUUUCKED.
INT. CHOW'S PALACE
Greetings! Make yourselves at home. I presume you keep three people tied up in your foyer at home, so to be hospitable I've done that too.
Excellent! Let us discuss our plans at great length, merging them into a common plan, which has nothing to do with our actual individual secret plans, which will themselves change before dinner's over.
We must discuss what to do about the bandits. I will use leg metaphors to describe my plans.
I will be one of your strong legs!
I'll be your firm, thick third leg!
Forget I said that.
Marvellous! With our combined leg strength none shall stop us!
(kills second hostage, but not really)
Have some diamonds!
New plan! I agree!
Who were you talking to when you said "new plan"?
Both of you! And my men outside, by whistling! And my leg!
I'm on to you, but maybe not!
(kills third guy, but again not really, because okay hold on, let me rewind and try and figure this out, I'll get back to you)
So we're agreed, we'll team up to get the bandits, who are you, but I don't know that, but maybe I do, and in the meantime we'll both continue to fuck each other over!
Okay, new plan.
INT. GOVERNOR'S HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
A group of CHOW YUN-FAT'S MEN arrive disguised as WEN JIANG'S MEN in order to kill WEN JIANG and his MEN but manage only to kill CARINA LAU before being themselves killed by WEN JIANG.
To avoid blowing my cover, I'll grieve over my pretend wife's body with an over-the-top parody of her actual husband's grief. That being you.
That's kind of a dick move. Are you sure you're the hero of this piece?
(pointing to self)
Writer. Director. Star. What don't you get about that?
EXT. CARINA LAU'S FUNERAL
WEN JIANG uses the funeral as an excuse to have his BANDITS disguise themselves as THEMSELVES and KIDNAP CHOW YUN-FAT and two other RICH ASSHOLES.
Ha ha, those silly bandits only kidnapped my wacky double!
Dammit, we, I mean they, were fooled! I mean, thank goodness!
(aside, to Ge You)
Alright, let's extort a hefty ransom from the villagers, collect it, and then give it back.
Why the hell are we jumping through all these hoops instead of just having it out with Chow and his men?
Because it's vitally important to these two ruthless, armed gangs to have the support of a batch of gullible, downtrodden peasants, of course. Duh.
INT. CHOW'S PALACE AGAIN
All right, we must disguise ourselves as the gang Wen's gang was disguised as, which was their own gang, and steal back the money they returned to the people they extorted it from.
We must confuse everyone!
NOW... NOW you say that?!? Oh man, can't we just get pummelled by Jason Statham instead?
INT. GOVERNOR'S HOUSE AGAIN
WEN JIANG summons the BANDITS to a sit-down.
Okay, men, I have to ask... did any of you disguise yourselves as you disguised as yourselves to help Chow Yun-Fat's men undo our plan of undoing our previous plan?
Oh God, I almost understood that.
That only proves that we can't ease up in the confusion war. Look, I've been hiding an eight-year-old the size of a grown man, and his mom, in my rooms this whole time!!
WHAT THE FUCK GE YOU.
New plan! Give them the diamonds!
YAAAAAY! ARE WE ALL TRIPPING NOW BITCHES?!?
Now let's challenge Chow's men to a street battle where everyone on both sides is disguised as Bandit #4, so that utterly nobody knows who is on who's side, least of all the audience!
They DO THIS, resulting in Chow's henchman PUPPY being killed; and also, the audience realizing one of the henchmen was named PUPPY.
INT. CHOW'S PALACE YET AGAIN -- WHAT? IT'S A NICE PALACE
CHOW is interviewing professional bandit impersonator JUN HU.
Yo dawg I heard you like impersonating bandits
So I'm going to hire you to impersonate a bandit who's impersonating a Governor who was impersonated by a con man who's now impersonating the Counsellor to the Governor the bandit is impersonating
Sounds reasonable. What's that crazy device you're holding though?
It's supposed to be a land mine, even though it looks like a leftover prop from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Anyway, it blows up, so I figure we'll plant it randomly in the countryside and hope for the best.
INT. BACK AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE YET ONCE MORE
CHOW confronts WEN with an old picture of GE YOU and this sparks YET ANOTHER round of crazy deceptions and half-truths and aliases and HOLY FUCK PEOPLE, I mean in OUR blockbuster movies we don't even have ONE GUY pretend to be ONE OTHER GUY without an ENDLESS PARADE OF LEAD-BALLOON TIPOFFS and DEAD GIVEAWAYS and ABSURD MISSION IMPOSSIBLE MASKS and you know maybe this tells us something.
So before we go fight the fake version of myself in order to help Chow Yun-Fat even though I'm working against him, are there any more layers of deception we need to air out?
Oh, at least five. For starters...
(huge explosion cuts him in half)
Aw crap, Chow's land mine got me!
Actually, that was grenades thrown by the audience. I think they finally reached their bullshit limit.
Well if I can't double-pretend to be not disguised as someone impersonating myself, I don't see the point.
INT. BACK AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE -- OKAY, YES, THERE AREN'T THAT MANY SETS, IT'S NOT LIKE WE KNEW BEFOREHAND THIS WOULD BE BREAKING DOMESTIC BOX-OFFICE RECORDS
WEN JIANG gathers his remaining bandits.
Listen up, this is the final new plan. We'll rally the public to our side and attack Chow overtly; or in other words, accomplish in ten minutes what we've just spent two hours failing at. Not that it won't be tricky, as the town is only 25% behind us.
Where the hell did you pull that number from? You did an Ipsos-Reid poll or something?
Never mind that. Now, since these people have had wealth thrown at them and taken away again about ten times this week, let's start by throwing money at them, but explain that THIS time it's for realsies.
They DO, but the town only becomes RELIANT on SOCIAL ASSISTANCE and starts mainlining CRACK.
Still only at 40%. Cover the streets with guns! Everyone loves those.
They DO, but CHOW passes a bill requiring BACKGROUND CHECKS, causing all the guns to INSTANTLY TELEPORT INTO HIS LOCKED VAULT.
That got us to about 55% support, but we need more. How to stir up a rebellion...
I know, we can do a big homage to Les Miserables! The heroes come out okay in that, right?
They launch a BIG HEROIC CHARGE against CHOW YUN-FAT'S PALACE but are cunningly out-smarted by CHOW having built a FRONT GATE some number of YEARS before any of this got started, so NICE TACTICAL AWARENESS THERE WEN JIANG.
Hey, remember me? I'm back and I brought Chow Yun-Fat's double with me! Also we ran into Bandit #7, and together we had an exciting detour involving a house full of flying daggers and a crouching tiger and you've forgotten all about us haven't you.
Yup. But you've given me an idea. Hey, Chow double, come over to this execution platform with me.
Chow Yun-Fat is dead! That means his gates and locks won't work any more! Come on everyone!!
The townspeople STORM the PALACE and start LOOTING it! Off to one side, WEN ZIANG and CHOW YUN-FAT sit down to do some post-game analysis.
See, now that they think you're dead, you have no more power over them.
And me walking around out in the open isn't changing anyone's mind, is it.
Hey boss! We're moving on to the next town. Also Pu Miao is marrying me.
Did we remember to set that up even a little bit?
Come on, surely if you've learned ANYTHING in this whole sorry mess, it's that women do not give a single solitary fuck WHO they're married to. Now are you coming or what?
No, you all go on ahead. My story... is done.
(checks box office)
Er, I mean, wait for me! LET THE BULLETS FLY 2: FLY HARDER isn't going to write/direct/star itself!!