Not even "Stripes" can escape a gritty reboot.


Not even "Stripes" can escape a gritty reboot.

THE MONUMENTS MEN

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. LECTURE THEATER - 1943

GEORGE CLOONEY is giving a private presentation to HARRY TRUMAN.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Hitler wants to destroy an entire culture by stealing their works of art. Also by shipping all of their participants into death camps, but mostly by stealing their paintings.

HARRY TRUMAN

Christ, some movies have lazy voiceover narration. We have a fucking slideshow presentation. What do you propose we do?

GEORGE CLOONEY

I want to get Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Hugh Bonneville and Matt Damon in a team together and steal the artworks back.

HARRY TRUMAN

Wait, we're going to put some of the finest comedic talents alive in a ragtag team of misfits? And send them to fight the Nazis? That's awesome! I can't wait to see Bill Murray and John Goodman trading barbs!

EXT. BRITISH TRAINING CAMP

GEORGE CLOONEY arrives to find the MONUMENTS MEN are now the best of friends.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Huh?

BILL MURRAY

No snarking for us! We've already gone through that bonding process other movies like to spend most of their time carefully developing.

JOHN GOODMAN

And we've just passed basic training, so there's no chance of "fish out of water" shenanigans either.

BOB BALABAN

But don't worry. It's still early in the movie. I'm sure we'll get the chance to show off our electric chemistry as-

GEORGE CLOONEY

In five minutes I'm splitting you all up for most of the movie.

BOB BALABAN

Fuck.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Gentlemen, I'd like to make a rousing speech. Normally we save these for just before we pull off a big score, but in this case it's going to be an hour of meandering around Europe.

JEAN DUJARDIN

I'd like to make a rousing speech too!

GEORGE CLOONEY

Come on! Right after mine?

JEAN DUJARDIN

Yep! I just want to say how close I am to my fellow Monuments Men, because there's no way for the audience to tell otherwise. Being part of the Monuments Men has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and- oh fuck I'm going to die, aren't I?

INT. PARIS

JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI meets up with MUSEUM CURATOR CATE BLANCHETT.

JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI

Good evening Cate. I am the evil Nazi officer, Doctor Steel.

CATE BLANCHETT

Doctor Steel? Is this another comic book movie?

JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI

No. I'm just here to keep you distracted while we steal all your painitngs!

(hops on train)

CATE BLANCHETT

Damm you Justus! I'll get you for this! I'll hunt you down with my all my museum curator powers!

JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI

EAT LEAD HIPPIE!!

(fires gun at Cate)

CATE BLANCHETT

Meh. I'm feeling too tired to take cover. I'll just trust those bullets to miss me.

JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI

Wait, why am I bothering to fire at you from a moving train? This is Nazi-occupied Paris. I could just send back the order to have you arrested. Heck, there's plenty of evidence tying you to the French Resistance. I could have had you executed days ago and gone off with the paintings then.

(fades from view)

CATE BLANCHETT

Well, time to set about getting that vengeance I promised.

(does fuck-all)

EXT. NAZI-OCCUPIED FRANCE

The MONUMENTS MEN make the LAZIEST, MOST LEISURELY LANDING on NORMANDY BEACH in CINEMA HISTORY.

DIMITRI LEONIDAS

As a German who ran away from the Nazi regime just years ago, this would be the perfect time to reflect on how I'm about to wage war on my former Fatherland.

(does fuck-all)

GEORGE CLOONEY

Okay gang it's time we split up. One of us needs to query the locals for information on the missing art. Jean, you're the only one of us who can speak French...

JEAN DUJARDIN

(puffs out chest)

GEORGE CLOONEY

...so I'll be giving the job to Matt Damon, who can only speak in comedic mistranslations. Hugh, I need you to go to Bruges to recover Michaelangelo's "Madonna and Child".

HUGH BONNEVILLE

...recover one of the most valuable artworks in human history. From the Nazis. By myself. Can't I take Jean and John Goodman along?

GEORGE CLOONEY

No, they'll be poking through some bombed-out buildings, very important. Bill Murray and Bob Balabin will be searching for the Van Eyck altarpiece. And Dimitri...

DIMITRI LEONIDAS

Continue being a human ornament?

GEORGE CLOONEY

Exactly.

BILL MURRAY

And what about you?

GEORGE CLOONEY

I'll be explaining to our superiors why art preservation is so important. Half of this movie is justifying the premise.

EVERYONE gets to work. JEAN and JOHN engage in ANTICS. Suddenly HUGH is killed trying to get MICHAELANGLEO'S "MADONNA"!

MATT DAMON

Hugh! Noooo! Not Hugh! Wait, which one was Hugh again? Did we spend more than five minutes with his character?

GEORGE CLOONEY

Dammit Matt! This is our Phil Coulson moment! It's supposed to bring us together! At least it would if we weren't split apart.

MATT DAMON

So what did we learn from this tragedy? That it's foolish to let aging curators run around Nazi-occupied territory with no plan, no support, no backup and barely any supervision?

GEORGE CLOONEY

No, but he did leave us more motivation. We are going to preserve the FUCK out of some art.

(pulls out letter)

As a matter of fact, he left us with our one hundredth speech about the Importance of Art Pres-

MATT DAMON

LOOK! A NAZI!

(jumps out window)

Meanwhile, BILL MURRAY and BOB BALABAN are looking for stolen art.

BILL MURRAY

Dammit we know there are Nazi art thieves hiding around here, but how are we going to find them? How, how...

NAZI ART THIEF

Hey, I heard you guys like art too! Why not come around to my nephew's farmhouse for dinner tonight? He has dozens of suspiciously good paintings that he displays in plain sight!

(beat)

I'm not a Nazi.

BILL and BOB find themselves having dinner with JUSTUS VON DOHNÁNYI.

BILL MURRAY

Okay, but how are we going to trick Justus into revealing he's an art thief? Surely this will require all our cunning and-

JUSTUS'S CHILDREN are stupid enough to give BOB the HEIL HITLER SALUTE.

BILL MURRAY

GODDAMMIT! Do we get to accomplish anything in this movie?

BOB BALABAN

Hey Justus, was answering the door in full Nazi uniform too subtle a tell?

EXT. FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE

JOHN and JEAN stop their car at a PERFECTLY HARMLESS HONEST TO GOD FIELD.

JEAN DUJARDIN

What an innocent-looking place! I think I'll just get out and pet the cows. I'm sure such a bright and cheery scene in a war film won't suddenly turn horrific.

JOHN GOODMAN

I don't know Jean. This scene doesn't appear to advance the story or character arcs in any way. Everyone in the audience is silently screaming that this is a trap.

JEAN DUJARDIN

Don't be silly John. I'm sure this is just an exercise in character-building.

JOHN GOODMAN

(eyes widening)

Character building? This movie doesn't do character building! Jean, get out of there!

JEAN is gunned down by GERMANS hiding in the bushes.

JEAN DUJARDIN

(choking blood)

Give this...tragic keepsake...to my...unnamed extra.

(dies)

JOHN GOODMAN

You know, this would have been a much better Phil Coulson moment than Hugh's death. Just saying.

EXT. WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRYSIDE

The MONUMENTS MEN are finally reunited.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Hitler just signed a decree stating that all stolen art is to be burned if he's defeated! And with the Third Reich on the brink of collapse, that means we're in a race against time to save art history.

DIMITRI LEONIDAS

Right. I suggest we continue at the same leisurely pace as we did before, but in mine shafts.

They poke through MINE SHAFT after MINE SHAFT.

JOHN GOODMAN

I'm getting the slow sinking feeling that this movie is less the "daring art heist" the posters promised and more "stumbling over things underground."

DIMITRI LEONIDAS

It's not so bad. I got to see a painting that I never got to visit as a child.

(beat)

That's it. That's my ENTIRE character arc. Why am I even here?

BOB BALABAN

At least you HAVE a character arc. I'm just here so Bill Murray has someone to talk to.

BILL MURRAY

Actually, I don't think I have a character arc either. I mention how much I miss my family, but that's resolved in five minutes. Does it count as an arc if it only lasts one scene?

GEORGE CLOONEY

All of you shut up! I think I found something!

They find NAZI GERMANY'S secret GOLD RESERVES, thus bankrupting HITLER.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Well done team! Our actions have effectively landed the killing blow to the Third Reich! The bad news is everything else in the movie is going to look anti-climatic unless we personally fight Hitler to the death on a narrow ledge over an erupting volcano.

MATT DAMON

(beat)

I think I step on a landmine later on. Will that do?

GEORGE CLOONEY

Not really, but that's still pretty...

MATT DAMON

And the landmine's a dud.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Oh for God's-

DIMITRI LEONIDAS

Guys! The stuff in this barrel isn't art! It's gold fillings!

Everyone takes a moment to appreciate the HORRIFYING IMPLICATIONS of this.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Huh. That's interesting. What are we doing for lunch?

EXT. PARIS

MATT visits CATE BLANCHETT.

MATT DAMON

We need you to give us information so we can recover the stolen art.

CATE BLACNHETT

And risk the Americans putting them in their filthy art museums? Never!

MATT DAMON

(beat)

You do realize that if you don't help us the art falls to the Nazis? You know, the guys who killed your brother, stole your life's work, and conquered your country?

CATE BLANCHETT

I don't care. I've completely forgotten my character motivation from when I shot at Justus.

MATT DAMON

Damn. Looks like I'll have to slowly build up trust and respect as our relationship continues to grow and evol-

CATE reads a newspaper article and decides AMERICANS are worth trusting after all.

CATE BLANCHETT

I LOVE AMERICANS! U! S! A!

MATT DAMON

(sighing)

I guess that could happen as well.

CATE BLANCHETT

Jump into bed with me!

MATT DAMON

No thanks. I'd rather lead you on and then bail the moment our subplot looks like it might get interesting.

(leaves)

EXT. CENTRAL EUROPE

The MONUMENTS MEN are moving art from A SMALL TOWN, I DON'T KNOW WHAT SMALL TOWN, THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME IN THIS MOVIE.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Germany surrendered! We have to get all the art out of here before the Russians arrive! Otherwise they'll politely ask us to hand over the art!

They remove all the ART from the mine.

JOHN GOODMAN

Huh. That was easy.

GEORGE CLOONEY

No! There's still one more piece of art! And by an amazingly contrived coincidence, it's the "Madonna and Child" Hugh died trying to save!

JOHN GOODMAN

What? You've said we recovered over 60,000 pieces of art throughout the war. That would make the chances of "Madonna and Child" being the last thing we recover over 1 in 60,000!

Everyone tries to push MADONNA AND CHILD out on a minecart.

JOHN GOODMAN

So, it's come down to this: pushing a minecart.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Eh, could be worse.

RUSSIAN SOLIDER

I need a sentry over here!

The MONUMENTS MEN win!

MATT DAMON

Yes! We've avenged Hugh!

GEORGE CLOONEY

Who?

INT. LECTURE THEATER - 1945

GEORGE CLOONEY provides a RECAP for HARRY TRUMAN.

GEORGE CLOONEY

...and that's how my friends and I saved art history though an endless string of lucky breaks and coincidences.

HARRY TRUMAN

George, although you saved thousands of pieces of art, you lost two fine men along the way. Was it worth it?

GEORGE CLOONEY

That's actually a very interesting question. But rather than grapple with it in any meaningful way, I'm just going to give another speech about the Importance of Art Preserv-

HARRY TRUMAN

LOOK! A NAZI!

(jumps out window)

END

Discussion