RIDER (Screenplay)

The Girl with the Dragon tattoo (2011)

BLACK SCREEN

RIDER (V.O.)

Give me the time, give me the location. I’ll be there.

FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHTFALL

We see a map of a coastal Mediterranean town, and weapons on the table. The RIDER is talking on the phone, his face obscured by a distinctive black helmet. He is a lean figure in black motorcycle leather with red accents. He is standing at the window, staring out at the town and the ocean.

There is a hint of annoyance in his posture and voice. The room is darkly lit and a TV plays in the background, flashing strange shadows and lights across his helmet. It has an air of a cheap motel room. Temporary and anonymous.

RIDER

No. I don’t require backup.

Muffled sounds come from the phone, as the RIDER packs his things.

RIDER

No. I’m going dark now.

The RIDER hangs up and switches the phone completely off. Tossing it into his duffel bag, he lifts it onto his shoulder and leaves the room, closing the door behind him.

EXT. ROAD

The RIDER is weaving smoothly and deftly through traffic. The European city is beautiful, picturesque and traditional. Old-styled houses reflect off his helmet and there is only a hint of his narrowed green eyes beyond the visor.

His all-black motorcycle is quiet and powerful, and he takes a sudden turn off the main road and goes up a cobblestone alleyway, slowly making his way to higher ground.

INT. LUXURY YACT

The yacht is expensive, modern and tacky in all the right ways. Onboard, there are sounds of revelry and good times. It is anchored in the sea, lit up and loud.

A trim, fit, tanned, brutal RUSSIAN is dressed casually in shorts and a loose polo. He is expensive, rich and tough, eyeing his birthday party with a cool, professional eye. Women in glamorous dresses come up and wish him well. Men offer handshakes. He gives them all iron smiles.

Behind him, stand 3 bodyguards, suited and alert. The RUSSIAN nods to one of them. He is done with the party. He wants to come ashore. BODYGUARD 1 touches his earpiece.

BODYGUARD 1 (in Russian)

The Wolf wants dinner.

EXT. DOCKS

CHAUFFEUR, smoking a cigarette out of boredom, touches his earpiece and hears the call in his slick Mercedes and sticks his hand out the open window.

CHAUFFEUR 2 does the same. The two of them turn on their headlights and stand outside the doors, waiting for the RUSSIAN to arrive.

EXT. ROAD

RIDER watches them, from high ground and scans the route from the docks to the restaurant with his binoculars. A loud ship horn blares and he watches as the RUSSIAN leave the ship, and walk to the two Mercedes, where BODYGUARD 1 climbs into the first car with the RUSSIAN, whilst BODYGUARD 2 and 3 climb into the second with CHAUFFEUR 2.

Putting away the binoculars, RIDER kick-starts his bike and begin riding down. We see a compact suppressed MP5K submachine gun strapped to the side of his bike and side view of him weaving through traffic at dizzily fast speed.

We see the distinct headlights of the two car convoy ahead. The RIDER closes in.

INT. MERCEDES

The RUSSIAN looks out of his window. The lights of the city is attractive and a shopfront catches his interest. He looks back and sees the RIDER pull alongside the second Mercedes behind him, and open fire.

THUD. THUD. THUD.

A brief pause, as the RUSSIAN tries to process what happened, during which CHAUFFEUR 2 slumps over and crashes into a series of parked cars, deafening the previous silence with car alarms. The RUSSIAN turns to CHAUFFEUR 1 with a cold, and serious expression.

THE RUSSIAN (in Russian)

Go. Safehouse Alpha.

CHAUFFEUR 1 (in stressed Russian)

Alpha. Copy.

BODYGUARD 1 (in Russian)

All Units. Wolf convoy is under attack. I repeat, Wolf Convoy is under attack. All units converge of Alpha Safehouse NOW.

The RUSSIAN reaches into the door of his car and pulls out a P90 PDW, and permits himself with a smile.

BODYGUARD 1 does the same and the three of them duck, as the RIDER fires into the car, rounds shattering the rear lights.

EXT. ROAD.

We see helmet view of the RIDER, as he merges, ducks and weave through traffic.

Cut to gun-cam, as the MP5K continues to fire, punching holes through the rear window.

Cut to helmet-cam as the RIDER ducks his head as he sees return muzzle flashes from the interior of the car, as the RUSSIAN fires back.

The perspective changes again, as we watch the RIDER take evasive action against oncoming traffic, trying to move his bike ahead of the Mercedes.

The Mercedes suddenly swerves off the main road and hightails it up the hill.

RIDER

SHIT!

Cut to helmet-cam. Yanking his bike hard to the side, he chases after them, but looking down at the centre of his bike, he looks at the GPS and instead of following them down a fork, he goes an adjacent route.

INT. MERCEDES

The RUSSIAN looks behind them and frowns.

RUSSIAN (in Russian)

He’s gone. Drive faster.

CHAUFFEUR 1 does as he is asked, punching the gas and the car blasts along the alleyway at speed.

Everything seems OK, with BODYGUARD 1 even relaxing a little, when he is suddenly splattered with blood.

CHAUFFEUR 1 slumps over, a neat hole in the side of head and BODYGUARD 1 realising what is about to happen, tries to grab the wheel but it is too late.

EXT. ROAD

The Mercedes crunch into a tree, and the body of BODYGUARD 1 smashes through the windshield and lay on the smashed bonnet. The engine is still ticking over. There is no sign of the RIDER, but you can hear his motorcycle engine getting louder and louder.

The RUSSIAN, gasping and shocked, undoes his seatbelt and kicking open the door, staggers out.

He is still clutching the P90 and shaking his head, hearing nothing at all, taps the side of his head.

Suddenly the roar of a motorcycle becomes all consuming and he looks up …

Cut to helmet-cam, the RIDER is bearing down on the RUSSIAN and with a hard brake, does a forward wheelie and SMASHES the RUSSIAN hard across the face with the still spinning back wheel, and sending him flying back into the crashed Mercedes.

The RUSSIA, slumped over and shocked, looks up at the RIDER, clad entirely in black, and aiming a MP5K a him, and asks a slurred question.

RUSSIAN (in Russian)

Why?

The RIDER says nothing and cut to gun-cam, shoots him twice in the chest and once in the head, before strapping the gun to his bike and accelerating away.

The attractive Mediterranean coastal town yellow lights cast over the RIDER’s helmet and we slowly pan away and up, as the opening credits show the RIDER slowly disappear and merge into the city.

OPENING CREDITS.

~

Author’s Note:

So this is my first ever attempt at a proper screenplay.

It was very difficult to adequately tell a story, as well as convey little emotional notes for actors and express technical details on how a film should best tell this story.

I have absolutely zero experience in film, or film writing. This is just a mental exercise that I thought would be fun to attempt. So I looked up some screenplays from movies I liked, such as Gone Girl (2014), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and The Dark Knight (2008) for inspiration.

It was very difficult for me to apt the style of screenplays, because I usually let my stories take control of themselves. But this time, it was a conscious effort to dictate the pace and style of the events instead of running rampant with certain details that I would normally embellish if I was telling this kind of story.

A lot of details I skipped, because screenplays are meant to do that. We do not need to pain a picture of the world. The film is meant to do that for us. It is a visual medium after all. So a lot of it is meant for the director to put in his/her imagination and decide what location, cast, crew, camera angle, type of bike, exact colour of clothes etc.

The screenplay just helps visualise the sequence of events that you can “play” in your mind.

This was a lot of fun, so I will probably attempt more of these in the future. Especially if I want to participate in the 48Hrs Film Project again.

~ Damocles

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