The Abridged Script
EXT. NEW YORK CITY
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT zips across New York. He is COOL.
Nothing like being a bike messenger! Even though the rise of e-mails, text messages and FedEx has rendered my job almost obsolete, I love reckless cycling that endangers myself and innocent pedestrians!
Fellow courier WOLÉ PARKS zips by. He is NOT COOL.
Hey Joseph, I stole your next delivery for no reason! I'm your rival- the Gary to your Ash, the Sean Connery to your Alex Trebek, the artistic integrity to your George Lucas!
I want to steal your girlfriend too! Women are things!
Well that was called for.
WOLÉ zips away and EVERYONE forgets about him for AWHILE, including THE WRITERS.
Meanwhile, JAMIE CHUNG is meeting with an TRIAD BOSS.
Thanks for agreeing to help me, offensive Asian stereotype.
Get used to that. Every minority in this movie is either stupid or evil. And we're all over the top baby!
(draws a smiley face on a ticket stub)
Here. This is proof that your $50,000 has been laundered by me. Take it to my associate across town in three hours.
Can't you just call your associate and tell her my money went through?
Yes, but I already drew on the ticket stub so use that.
Can I e-mail a picture of the ticket stub to your associate instead?
Yes, but that would make the ticket stub drawing seem silly and unnecessary. Just hire Joseph Gordon-Levitt already.
INT. ILLEGAL GAMBLING DEN, CHINATOWN
MICHAEL SHANNON is losing all of his MONEY playing PAI GOW.
On no my money! I'll have to turn to criminal Dean O'Banion to-
Does this look like HBO to you? No, you're stuck with me. Go find Jamie Chung and steal the $50,000 ticket stub she has.
That's stupid. Instead I'll win my money back playing Pai Gow at a different gambling den using borrowed funds from a loan shark!
He DOES THIS, DOUBLING his DEBT and TRIPLING the number of CRIMINAL BOSSES who want to BREAK HIS LEGS.
Huh. I had no idea this movie was a comedy.
Sure it is! How else would you justify my massive ineptitude?
You're the antagonist in a movie written by the guy who co-adapted Angels & Demons. Now go get Jamie Chung already!
MICHAEL manages to KILL two THUGS with his SLAPSTICK ROUTINE as he leaves.
EXT. NYU LAW SCHOOL CAMPUS
MICHAEL corners JAMIE.
Give me the ticket stub! I'm, er, an IRS agent investigating the triad boss who gave it to you.
That's your story? Not only would this situation be investigated by the FBI instead of the IRS but that's clearly an NYPD badge you showed me.
MICHAEL starts PUBLICLY CHOKING JAMIE.
OK OK! I gave the package to Joseph Gordon-Levitt! If I wasn't so useless I'd bring police brutality charges against you!
Damn, I should have just arrested her.
MICHAEL corners JOSEPH.
Hey, give me the package Jamie Chung just gave you. She, er, charged it to the school's account and that's bad. I'm an administrator.
Nope. The Bike Courier's Oath says I must see this package delivered! Bye!
Damn, I REALLY should have just arrested him!
EXT. NEW YORK CITY
MICHAEL CHASES JOSEPH down the street in his MAZDA.
I'm chasing a kid on a bike. Heh heh!
OK now that I'm imitating Winslow from CatDog can we please admit this movie is a stupid comedy that isn't really trying?
WRITER-DIRECTOR DAVID KOEPP
I didn't admit that with Indiana Jones 4, Jurassic Park 2 or War of the Worlds and I won't admit it here!
MICHAEL's efforts to catch JOSEPH are SEVERELY IMPAIRED by his REFUSAL to even slightly damage his sleek, reliable, classy, affordable, safe MAZDA that will get you laid if you BUY ONE.
JOSEPH meanwhile has run afoul of Officer CHRISTOPHER PLACE.
Boy, you're being pretty reckless right now. Are you in some kind of danger that I, a uniformed Bike Cop, could help you with?
Yes I am but I won't stop and talk this over with you. Only cool people like me ride bikes-you're a poser!
JOSEPH finds an ESCAPE PATH using his escape path finding LEVITT-VISIONâ„¢ and calls his BOSS, AASIF MANDVI.
Why is everyone trying to kill me over this package? Is it drugs?
Probably. Considering all the more convenient methods of delivery open to the public, I assume every package we handle contains some illegal materials.
Well I won't deliver it! I won't be a part of anything until I find out it's morally justifiable or fun.
That's why you quit law school? I thought it was because you're a colossal dumbass whose ability to live in Manhattan on the meager and unstable bike messenger salary defies all logic. Anyway I'll have WolÃ© Parks deliver it so his existence in this movie can be relevant again.
JAMIE runs up to JOSEPH.
Joseph please help me! I'm only participating in these illegal activities to smuggle my son and mom out of China! They're being held as political prisoners because I wrote a paper about Tibet.
Ok I'll help you, but afterwards I'm going to teach you the difference between a political prisoner and a hostage.
JOSEPH zips after WOLÉ to get the TICKET STUB back.
Isn't this chase exciting?
It's not quite slapstick enough. It needs another bumbling idiot.
Right on cue, CHRISTOPHER PLACE arrives and TACKLES WOLÉ, whom he has NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
What is this, L.A.?
JOSEPH ESCAPES with the TICKET STUB before CRASHING into a TAXI CAB. It is EXTREMELY SATISFYING.
JOSEPH is MAKING OUT with his girlfriend DANIA RAMIREZ while WOLÉ watches in a PERFECTLY SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE way.
Oh Joseph, you're so cool. What's your secret?
I don't have brakes on my bike. Brakes are death.
What an ironic belief! Can we explore it further?
Nah. Delving into my hatred of brakes or profitable careers would be lame. Let's just get into a fight over it when the audience isn't watching, then make up when I snap out of this coma-induced memory.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY
JOSEPH regains CONSCIOUSNESS and finds DANIA bending over him.
Seeing your own stupidity catch up with you like that made me realize how much I love you. Let's deliver that package!
Great! I hid it in my bike's handlebars. Go deliver it while I have my massive internal hemorrhages seen to.
Instead, DANIA watches as MICHAEL SHANNON hops into the AMBULANCE JOSEPH is in and proceeds to FOLLOW it.
(punching Joseph's ribs)
Tell me where the movie stub is or I'll puncture your lungs with your own ribs.
Jesus when did you get competent? Uh, take me to the bike impound and I'll definitely give you the stub.
Agreed! This will work out perfectly.
Easy come, easy go.
They arrive at the IMPOUND LOT where JOSEPH and DANIA recover the TICKET STUB and BMX their way out of MICHAEL'S CLUTCHES.
(written out of movie)
JOSEPH and DANIA arrive with MICHAEL hot on their heels.
We need some kind of distraction so we can hide from Michael Shannon!
I know! I'll get Aasif Mandvi to organize a flash mob!
THIS HAPPENS. The MOB shields JOSEPH and DANIA.
Well this is the stupidest thing I've ever been a part of.
Is it, Commander Zhao? Is it really?
AASIF gathers up his CAREER and goes back to THE DAILY SHOW.
Curses! This mob of bike couriers keeps slapping me! If only I could scare them off with some kind of weapon issued to everyone in the NYPD that makes loud noises...
Unable to think of such a weapon, MICHAEL watches as JOSEPH delivers the TICKET STUB. He is then SHOT IN THE HEAD.
Wait, what? Who shot me?
I heard Joseph was in trouble so I called the Triad Boss's hit-man and asked for help. His name is the Sudoku Man and his existence will break this movie on every possible level.
MICHAEL is too DUMBFOUNDED by this GIGANTIC MIDDLE FINGER of a CHARACTER to DIE and just mutters to himself.
So that's everything. Jamie got her kid back, Dania tore the brakes off her bike and I managed not to have any kind of arc at all! Everybody wins!
WRITER-DIRECTOR DAVID KOEPP
(checking Box Office Mojo)
Everyone except me. Hmmm maybe lazy, racist film-making billed as 'fun' isn't the way to go after all. I guess it's off to the set of Jack Ryan to see if lazy, xenophobic film-making billed as 'tense' will work instead.
Tom is a freshly graduated filmmaker from Chicago. Major influences on his world view include the works of Stanley Kubrick and Tommy Wiseau.