Sam's spontaneous cossack dance nearly ended in tragedy.


Sam's spontaneous cossack dance nearly ended in tragedy.

MAN ON A LEDGE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. HOTEL ROOM

SAM WORTHINGTON opens the window and climbs out on to a LEDGE.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Strewth mate, I've only just had me dingo's brekkie and already I feel like I'm gonna chunder.

INT. FLASHBACK: SING SING PRISON VISITING ROOM

SAM is visited by ANTHONY MACKIE.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Don't worry, partner, I'm still looking for the evidence that will get you out of this joint, and I'm completely competent at my job. Oh, I should also mention your dad's dying.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Crikey, me old man's about to cark it? Holy dooley!

ANTHONY MACKIE

Where are you supposed to be from again?

SAM WORTHINGTON

I'm from old Boston town, cobber.

ANTHONY MACKIE

(sighing)

That accent is going to get old quickly.

It already HAS.

EXT. FLASHBACK: CEMETERY

SAM and his brother JAMIE BELL attend their father's funeral. SAM is being watched by INCOMPETENT GUARDS.

JAMIE BELL

You know what this occasion is missing? An old-fashioned family brawl.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Too right mate, that's how we do it in Oz! I mean, Boston.

They BRAWL. As the INCOMPETENT GUARDS try to intervene, SAM easily incapacitates them and spots an SUV.

SAM WORTHINGTON

What a bonza chance for a rip-snorter of a car chase!

SAM steals the SUV and leads the cops through a CAR CHASE. It is more WORKMANLIKE than RIP-SNORTER.

EXT. LEDGE

Police negotiator ED BURNS arrives on the scene.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Listen fella, I'm going to need a perfunctory love interest. For some not-at-all suspicious reason, it has to be Elizabeth Banks.

ED BURNS

OK, but I'm not happy about it as I distrust her. This will only give her extra motivation to prove herself; however if she can do that, she may earn my begrudging respect. Hey, sounds like a neat idea for a subplot!

Meanwhile at ground level, the cops are setting up an AIR MATTRESS and questioning the concierge, WILLIAM SADLER.

WILLIAM SADLER

There's inevitably more to my seemingly unimportant words and actions than meets the eye. But let's pretend we don't all know that.

(winks)

EXT. LEDGE

Second police negotiator ELIZABETH BANKS arrives to greet SAM.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Throw another shrimp on the barbie love, I'm about to lead you through a merry game that relies on me predicting with pinpoint accuracy when you'll make each of a series of discoveries about my past.

ELIZABETH BANKS

I should probably be more suspicious about this.

SAM WORTHINGTON

And get me a sanger while you're at it.

INT. POLICE OFFICE

ANTHONY MACKIE is searching for EVIDENCE with some RANDOM COPS.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Hey, why don't we pull Sam's family's financial statements? Maybe that will uncover some evidence.

RANDOM COP

Isn't that basically the very first thing you should have thought of doing?

ANTHONY MACKIE

I hope you're not implying that the only black detective in the city is incompetent at his job.

INT. ED HARRIS' OFFICE

ED HARRIS is presented with a watch by a RANDOM LACKEY.

RANDOM LACKEY

I trust this absurdly expensive watch will placate your equally absurd explosive temper.

ED HARRIS

Not a chance! Rage face!

(smashes the watch)

Now excuse me while I chew on this delicious scenery.

ED is thusly established as the primary ANTAGONIST.

EXT. ROOF OF THE JEWELLERY EXCHANGE ACROSS THE STREET

JAMIE and his girlfriend GENESIS RODRIGUEZ are preparing to break into the building.

JAMIE BELL

So, let's recap. We'll use explosives to a blow a hole through the roof, in broad daylight, in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. Meanwhile, my brother has helped us by masterfully organising the presence of a huge crowd literally across the street and news helicopters circling the block.

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

Well, we have been planning this for a year. That's definitely the best we could have come up with.

JAMIE plants the charges and signals to SAM via walkie talkie. SAM fakes out the crowd with a jump from the ledge as JAMIE blows the charges. Somehow the explosion goes UNNOTICED.

SAM WORTHINGTON

(over his hidden microphone)

Strewth, that was close. It's no fun pretending to be a jumper!

JAMIE BELL

You're telling me.

INT. JEWELLERY EXCHANGE

JAMIE and GENESIS are heading towards the vault. They come across a lengthy hallway under CCTV surveillance.

JAMIE BELL

So, I thought we'd drape ourselves in blankets and just skateboard down there in full view of the camera.

This actually HAPPENS.

JAMIE BELL

To bypass this next camera, I'm going to take a Polaroid of the room and sticky-tape it onto the lens.

Again, this actually HAPPENS.

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

PLANNING THIS FOR A YEAR.

They come across a newly-installed SENSOR of some kind. JAMIE radios SAM for advice.

EXT. LEDGE

SAM breaks from conversation with ELIZABETH.

SAM WORTHINGTON

(over his microphone)

From your vague and inarticulate description, I'm 100% confident it's a thermal sensor. I'm an expert or something.

ELIZABETH BANKS

I should probably be more suspicious about this.

ELIZABETH returns to the hotel room to review the case.

ELIZABETH BANKS

So, it seems Sam was a cop who went to jail for stealing Ed Harris' MacGuffin diamond from that jewellery exchange - the very same Ed Harris whose offices are in this hotel? Once again, I should probably be more suspicious about this.

Recognising the need for a lazy chunk of EXPOSITION, ELIZABETH returns to the ledge.

ELIZABETH BANKS

Could you help me out with a lazy chunk of exposition?

SAM WORTHINGTON

Fair dinkum, Sheila, I'll give it a burl.

ELIZABETH BANKS

Seriously, this is barely convincing as English, let alone as an American accent.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Oh, alright. Well, it turns out that Ed Harris framed me for stealing his MacGuffin diamond so he could collect on the insurance, and this is all part of my incoherently elaborate plan to prove my innocence.

ELIZABETH BANKS

So, how are you going to prove you didn't steal the diamond?

SAM WORTHINGTON

By stealing the diamond.

A TUMBLEWEED blows along the ledge.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Oh, and you should know Ed employs two dirty cops.

ELIZABETH BANKS

Dirty cops, you say? I'm finally suspicious enough to do some actual investigation.

INT. JEWELLERY VAULT

JAMIE and GENESIS break into the vault and root through the VALUABLES. The MacGuffin diamond is missing.

JAMIE BELL

Time to improvise. I have a feeling the brief remainder of our heist will rely entirely on coincidence, yet still come across as more professional than the rest of this ludicrous charade.

EXT. LEDGE

ANTHONY MACKIE arrives with EVIDENCE of something.

ANTHONY MACKIE

Look Sam, I have evidence of some stuff! It's completely unrelated to the incriminating files I recently discovered you had on me! Ignore the wildly suspicious fact that I just locked all the cops out, and come inside.

Suddenly a SWAT team rappels down the building.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Not on your nelly, chum!

SAM makes his crafty escape by entering the hotel through a DIFFERENT WINDOW.

INT. ED HARRIS' OFFICE

ED enters with the MacGuffin diamond, only to find JAMIE and GENESIS waiting with guns drawn.

ED HARRIS

Curses, if only I hadn't just inexplicably decided this million-dollar diamond would be secure in my coat pocket, instead of the fortified hidden safe that no one knew about!

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

So, what now? I guess we alert the authorities and prove that Ed has perpetrated a massive insurance fraud?

JAMIE BELL

Don't be ridiculous. Sam went to prison for stealing the diamond even though he didn't actually steal the diamond, so now we need to ACTUALLY steal the diamond, so Sam can use the stolen diamond as proof the diamond wasn't stolen.

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

That is some goddamn flawless logic.

JAMIE and GENESIS escape, passing the diamond to the concierge, WILLIAM SADLER, who heads to the kitchen and gives the diamond to SAM.

WILLIAM SADLER

(winks and mugs for the camera)

INT. HOTEL

ELIZABETH is on the phone to INTERNAL AFFAIRS.

ELIZABETH BANKS

So, even though you openly admit you have absolutely no proof, is there anyone you arbitrarily suspect might be involved in all of this?

RANDOM INTERNAL AFFAIRS AGENT

That depends. Is there a black guy with any dialogue?

ELIZABETH BANKS

Just Anthony Mackie.

RANDOM INTERNAL AFFAIRS AGENT

Yeah, it was him. And, let's say, Titus Welliver too.

EXT. HOTEL ROOF

Dity cop TITUS WELLIVER has captured JAMIE and GENESIS, and is engaging in an anti-climactic face-off with SAM. ED HARRIS arrives.

ED HARRIS

I'll take that diamond back. Yoink! Now someone shoot someone.

As ED leaves the scene, ANTHONY and ELIZABETH make it to the roof. ANTHONY shoots TITUS. TITUS shoots ANTHONY. ELIZABETH shoots TITUS properly.

TITUS WELLIVER

Well, that about justifies today's paycheck.

(dies)

ANTHONY MACKIE

Okay, so I'm a criminal, a fraudster, a terrible friend, incompetent at my job, and now I've been shot. At least afford me the dignity of a conclusive final scene.

SAM WORTHINGTON

No chance. Hooroo!

SAM spots ED HARRIS leaving the building, and makes a running leap off the roof onto the AIR MATTRESS. He recovers in SECONDS and catches up with ED, in front of a crowd of BYSTANDERS and COPS.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Crikey blokes, look, Ed Harris had the MacGuffin diamond all along! This proves my innocence. Now let me just assault him in full view of everyone.

EVERY SINGLE COP IN ATTENDANCE

We're going to allow this.

CROWD OF BYSTANDERS

Wait, that doesn't prove anything. As far as we know, you DID originally steal the diamond, and just had it with you all along.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Nope!

CROWD OF BYSTANDERS

Well, that's us convinced. Huzzah!

INT. A COP BAR

SAM has been released from prison, because the courts apparently have NO FUCKS to give about the massive CRIME SPREE he orchestrated. SAM, ELIZABETH, JAMIE, GENESIS and a bunch of COPS are making merry.

SAM WORTHINGTON

Elizabeth, let me introduce you to my dad, who's not dead after all. Cunning as a dunny rat, he is.

WILLIAM SADLER

Surprise! It was me all along! I totally had you fooled, right?

ELIZABETH BANKS

Not even slightly.

JAMIE gets down on one knee and produces a RING.

JAMIE BELL

Genesis, will you do me the honour of brazenly flaunting this evidence of the high-profile armed robbery we just committed?

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ

Of course! I mean, it's not like we're surrounded by a load of cops who should be itching to arrest us for that.

Dozens of COPS all conveniently look the other WAY.

END

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