revised draft by
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FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
MM revs. 8/28/03 (blue)
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MM revs. 9/01/03 (yellow)
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MM revs. 10/11/03 (goldenrod)
MM revs. 10/12/03 (buff)
9/18/03 MM revs. (blue) 1.
A1 INT. BRADLEY TERMINAL - BLURS - DAY A1
slide past in a 400mm lens. Then, entering a plane of focus is
VINCENT. He walks towards us...an arriving passenger. Suit.
Shirt. No tie. Sunglasses and expensive briefcase say
"confident executive traveler." The suit's custom-made but not
domestic. His hair and shades are current, but it would be
difficult to describe his identifying specifics...grey suit, *
white shirt, medium height. And that's the idea... *
CLOSE BEHIND VINCENT
OVER his left shoulder, walking through milling travelers *
towards the distant wall of metal and glass, sunlight streaming
- suit, blonde crew cut - walks to camera. Same sunlight, but
it hits him from the side. His trajectory is from the left.
His eyeline is slightly right. Just now, he looks down at a
ticket in his hand...
OVER VINCENT'S LEFT SHOULDER...
right now something catches Vincent's eye. And the two men bump
into each other...
You okay? Sorry...
Vincent puts down his briefcase. The man has a similar
(North London working-
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine, mate. Enjoy *
VINCENT GRABS THE BRIEFCASE OF THE MAN
with the North London working-class accent. And continues
towards the exit. Was it an accident? Was it a brush pass?
The Man's accent signified nothing to us except one thing:
approaches until he's in ECU...
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 1A.
A1 CONTINUED: A1
OVERHEAD SHOT: VINCENT
up from the bottom of the frame, departs across the floor with
the yellow tile, until we lose him into the milling hundreds of
Angelenos, heading out into Greater LA and its eighteen million
1 CREDIT SEQUENCE: 1
Images wipe across the screen, kinetic and abstract, floating
and dreamlike in SLO-MO:
Shades of yellow. Ribbons of silver. Shimmers of chrome.
Headlights sweeping past, flaring to white. Brake lights
flashing, halating red. Reflections of overhead fluorescence
flowing like liquid along windshield glass...
SOUNDS are dreamlike and abstract, reverberated and discordant,
bouncing off concrete walls: car doors OPENING and CLOSING.
Brakes. A BABBLE of multi-lingual crosstalk.
Racing Forms. A Farsi newspaper. African hands on a *
Blackberry. Max's hands do The New York Times crossword. A *
West African speaks French into a cell phone. Metallica in a *
headset. Hip-hop, Norteno... *
Mechanics hands change tires, replace air cleaners, close a *
2 INT. TAXI DISPATCH - L.A. - DAY 2
ORANGE and YELLOW FORD CROWN VICTORIAS are wiping screen. We *
find ourselves in a busy garage at change of shift. A balletic *
convergence of arriving and departing cars. One's door's flung
3 INT. ONE CAB - MAX'S HANDS 3
enter. They wipe the seats with paper towels and 409...a DMV
LICENSE fitted into the small Lexan holder. On it is a picture
Lights being checked. Indicators. Hazards. Switches. Similar
to a pilot doing an aircraft check list. Fast. All fine.
REVEAL NOW: MAX'S BRIEFCASE *
He opens it, preparing for his workday. CD caddy of personal *
mixes goes on a visor. Spreadsheet peaks out a worn Mercedes *
S500 brochure, clipped open. A submarine sandwich from Subway. *
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 1B.
3 CONTINUED: 3
LONG LENS: OTHER CABBIES - OTHER FACES *
load-in. Southern California diversity - some unshaven, *
swapping stories, counting cash, one stands on the passenger *
seat to shout over the roof to his pal, spills his coffee, *
couldn't care less... *
Not Max. His cab is fly. Among cabbies he is GQ.
And as CAR HORNS BLARE. AD LIB BANTER. CABBIES SHOUT. Max
gets behind the wheel, closes the door...
4 INT. CAB - DAY 4
...and WHAM! The noise evaporates. Welcome silence. Max takes
a moment to savor it.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 2.
4 CONTINUED: 4
He starts the engine. RAP MUSIC BLARES from the radio. Max
turns it off.
He dumps a CD into the changer. MOZART SONATA fills the cab.
From the open briefcase, Max also pulls out one last thing...
A TATTERED POSTCARD
which depicts the whitest sand and bluest sea you can imagine.
A dream place. An endorphin-releasing groove. Limitless
horizon. It's the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean.
slips the postcard under the rubber bands on the visor. He can
see it whenever he wants to. But not now. He flips the visor
up, puts the car in gear and pulls out.
5 EXT. LA DOWNTOWN - MAX'S CAB - LATE DAY 5
northbound on the 405 or Harbor Freeway, an on-ramp to the east *
105. It's all magical in the light. Max's cab, rocketing along
circulinear ramps into complexity of five traffic streams...
6 INT. CAB 6
...harsh reality intrudes. Max is driving a YOUNG PROFESSIONAL
COUPLE with carry-on bags, having a heated argument about...
...it's always you. Why is everything
always directed at you...?
...everything is not "always about
me." He was being sarcastic and you
goddamn well know it...
...I'm sorry, I didn't hear it that
...oh, bullshit! How about the dig
about the makeover...?
...what do you want me to do, punch
the guy out? I work with him. And
you're perfectly capable of taking
care of your own......
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 3.
6 CONTINUED: 6
...well, last I checked, you were
sleeping with me, so unless you wanna
start fucking him, I suggest...
Max endures it silently, invisible as furniture. He doesn't
exist as far as his passengers are concerned...
7 INT. CAB - LATE DAY 7
...as Max drops an elderly Asian couple in Little Saigon... *
Up ahead, he sees a cluster of CHINESE GANGBANGERS in their
early 20's wearing cheap suits, white shirts and no ties. Some
guy gets pushed to the ground, punched and kicked while four or *
five watch, amused.
Max's first instinct... *
Hey, leave-up on him, man...
One GANG MEMBER, eating take-out with chopsticks, hears, turns,
Say what? What you lookin' at, bitch?
(stream of hot Cantonese)
He throws his food container. Another throws a beer bottle.
Max hits the accelerator as the bottle bounces off the rear
8 EXT/INT. CAB - GAS STATION - LATE DAY 8
by the freeway. Mexican murals are coated with a patina of
corrosion from the fumes. We find Max cleaning Chinese take-out
off his cab with the water hose while the gas pump CLICKS OFF.
The Attendant he's known for five years finishes a taco. *
(in Spanish) *
How'd you get the chop suey all over *
the cab? *
(in Spanish) *
I didn't. The cab got in a fight with *
a gang of Chinese Cholos. *
(in Spanish) *
There's been sprouts by the passenger *
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 3A.
8 CONTINUED: 8
Max hangs the nozzle back, gets in the car... *
Max slips his credit card into the briefcase. We glimpse the *
Mercedes S500 catalogue again. And Max flips the visor down, *
staring at the island. Soothed by the blue.
We're seeing the most private of Max's rituals, the one he
doesn't share with anybody.
Now, he starts hustling for calls by posting himself in a nearby
zone. See Max work the computer. He bids and gets a next load. *
CUT TO: *
9 OMIT 9 *
10/12/03 MM revs. (buff) 4.
10 OMIT 10
11 INT. CAB - MAGIC HOUR - SUPERIOR COURT BUILDING - MAX 11
presumably, has dropped a load in front. He fills out his trip
sheet. A pedestrian businessman asks directions to LAX. Max ad
libs, directing him to the people-mover.
Yellow cylindrical stairs...a pretty young WOMAN descends into
the interior lobby.
Max finishes his notation.
The young WOMAN detours through media and the rush-hour crowd
while talking rapid fire into a cell phone, starts toward Max's
cab, waving at it...
Max doesn't see her, starts to pull away.
She gives up, turns toward a green City Cab behind her, but it
just picked up a load.
Then, Max catches sight of her and stops. Red taillights.
She turns and starts for the cab.
We SEE Max regard her in his rearview mirror. He ejects a CD
and loads a different one.
ADDENDUM: WILD DIAL FOR ANNIE ACTION while Annie's on the cell *
phone to UNHEARD LEGAL ASSISTANT/TRANSCRIBER... *
I need it transcribed... *
ASSISTANT'S VOICE (UNHEARD) *
Off of what? *
Off the line sheets. *
ASSISTANT'S VOICE (UNHEARD) *
'Cause I think it's him on there. In *
the gold Lexus on the cell. If it is, *
he's enhanceable, 'cause of priors in *
the late '80's... *
ASSISTANT'S VOICE (O.S.) *
What about tomorrow afternoon? *
10/12/03 MM revs. (buff) 4A.
11A EXT./INT. CAB 11A
The woman, ANNIE FARRELL, enters the cab. Everything about her
says "serious professional" from her suit to her briefcase and
purse. Still on her cell, her attention is focused on the call.
...no, the transcriptions need to be *
done by seven a.m.. Period. Okay? *
How ya' doin'? Where to?
Downtown. 312 North Spring Street.
Take Sepulveda to Slauson to La Brea.
La Brea north to 6th into downtown.
Max pulls away from the curb, starts the meter and turns left.
(into cell phone)
So you'll be up late. I'm pulling an *
all-nighter, too. Save the tears.
She ends the call, starts to check her voicemail on her phone.
Max's eyes in the rearview mirror...
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 5.
11A CONTINUED: (2) 11A
I'll take 105 east and up the 110.
(doesn't look at him)
105 to the 110 is faster.
110 turns into a parking lot around
This late, the 110 is moving, but La *
Brea north of the Santa Monica is *
110 north of the 10 you get people *
going to Pasadena and they drive slow. *
That's why I jump off at Grand. *
(looks at her)
But, hey, surface streets is cool.
That's what you want, that's what we
Annie looks up for the first time. Skeptically...
Are we taking bets? What if you're
Your ride is free.
You got yourself a deal.
12 EXT. OLYMPIC BLVD. - DUSK TO NIGHT 12
Max's cab maneuvers easily through light traffic past golf
13 INT. CAB - DUSK TO NIGHT 13
Annie glances up from a legal brief, noticing the lack of
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 5A.
13 INT. CAB - DUSK TO NIGHT 13
Annie glances up from a legal brief, noticing the lack of
9/1/03 MM revs. (yellow) 6.
13 CONTINUED: 13
Go ahead, say it. Go ahead.
...lucky with the lights.
You weren't "lucky with the lights."
What you were was right. I was *
(glances at his license)
She sets the brief aside, eyes tired anyway. She notices the
MUSIC playing faintly up front. Bach's "Air on a G String."
You mind turning this up?
Max doesn't mind at all. He tweaks the volume up. Annie leans
her head back to listen, closes her eyes.
You like Bach?
I used to play this piece in high
Let me guess. Woodwinds?
Viola. I never had the lungs for wind
Could'a fooled me, the way you were
unloading into that cell phone.
You know, if you'd only listened to
me, we'd be all bogged down in traffic
right now, and you would have made an
extra five bucks.
Yeah? Keep it. Buy yourself
something. Go wild.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 7.
13 CONTINUED: (2) 13
(off his silence)
A gentleman. I thought chivalry was a
necessary casualty of gender
Not a big thing, you know...?
How many cabbies get you into an
argument to save you money?
There were two of us. I killed the
other guy. I don't like
She's charmed by his deadpan.
You take pride in...being the best at *
what you do...?
This is temporary. You know. Pays
the bills. I fill in with this. I
WILL be the best at what I do, but *
that's something else.
I'm setting up something... *
Like tell me...?
...limo company I'm putting together.
Island Limousines. An island on
wheels. So I'm part-timing until I
get delivery, Benzes off leases, work
up my client lists, staff up, all *
An uncomfortable beat. He turns the conversation back to her:
You like being a lawyer?
9/26/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 7A.
13 CONTINUED: (3) 13
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 8.
13 CONTINUED: (4) 13
I'm starting an 800 hotline.
(off her look)
Caught your phone call. And even if I
hadn't, there's the dark pinstripe. *
Elegant, not too hip, which rules out *
advertising, plus a top drawer
briefcase, that you live out of, purse *
looks like a Bodega...
...Bottega. Guy gets in my cab with a
machete? I figure he's a sushi chef.
You? Clarence Darrow.
Annie can't help laughing.
Not quite. He worked defense. I'm a
14 EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING (NOT 312 SPRING STREET) - DOWNTOWN - 14
Max's cab slides in to the curb. Beat. Still a lot of
pedestrian and car traffic, people heading home for the night.
15 INT. CAB - ANNIE'S 15
smile fades as she gazes up at her building, some anxiety comes
You got us here fast...
She digs in her purse for the fare.
You never answered my question. You
like what you do?
10/12/03 MM revs. (buff) 9.
15 CONTINUED: 15
But not right now...?
No, I do...like I can't wait. ...I *
love standing up in that courtroom. *
At the same time...I always get this
clenched-up thing the night before the *
Clenched-up how...? *
I think I'm gonna lose. I think I *
suck. I think my case sucks. I *
haven't prepared enough. My exhibits *
aren't in order. People are gonna *
figure out that I don't know what I'm *
doin'. And I've had this charade *
going for years. I represent the *
Department of Justice of the United *
States government and my opening *
statement is gonna fall flat at the *
really important point and the jury's *
gonna laugh at me. *
Then I cry... I don't throw-up. A *
lot of people throw-up. I have a *
strong stomach. *
Then I get it together. And rewrite *
my opening statement. Work the *
exhibits. For the rest of the night. *
That's my routine.
(looks up with a smile)
In the morning, it starts. I'm fine. *
Max is focused on her eyes. *
You need a vacation. *
I just had...a vacation. On the
She takes money out of her purse.
10/12/03 MM revs. (buff) 9A.
15 CONTINUED: (2) 15
No. Not in a cab. You need your head
straight, gotta get your unified self
up, get harmonic...you know...
When was the last time you took a
I take little ones all the time.
Dozen times a day.
He flips the visor down, revealing the postcard of white
beaches, clear green water. It's the first time he's shared
this with anybody:
Maldives Islands. It gets heavy, I
take five. Go there.
9/8/03 MM revs. (buff) 10.
15 CONTINUED: (2) 15
On impulse, he slips the postcard free and offers it to her. *
No, I couldn't take that...I couldn't.
Yes, you could. You need it more than
(off her hesitation)
It helps. I promise.
She accepts the postcard, surprised and touched. Her gaze
lingers on his for a moment. She holds it.
Wow. Thanks for everything, Max...
She gets out of the cab, starts to walk away...
...but turns back, ducking into the cab's window. Looking a bit
flustered, she pulls a business card and offers it to him.
In case you ever...I don't
know...wanna start an investigation of
a Fortune 500 company or argue cab
routes or something...
And with that, she goes towards the three assistants waiting for
her outside the revolving door. Max is left somewhat stunned,
holding her card. He glances down at it:
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
15A INT. FEDERAL BUILDING, GARAGE - DOOR 15A *
A hand punches a sequence of numbers into a keypad. The garage
is visible beyond. The lock unlocks. We see it is Vincent who
walks into the steel interior staircase from the garage.
16 INT. FEDERAL BUILDING - VINCENT - DUSK 16 *
emerges from the interior staircase into the lobby in his good *
suit with the expensive briefcase. Casually, he glances to his *
right. We don't know why...
9/8/03 MM revs. (buff) 10A.
16 CONTINUED: 16
in front of him is a guard station and a row of tumbrils that
require an identity card to not trigger and alarm. Vincent
produces his card, scans it across the top. *
9/8/03 MM revs. (buff) 11.
16 CONTINUED: (2) 16
The indicator goes GREEN. Vincent slips the card into his *
briefcase and walks through, towards the bank of elevators. *
However, he doesn't take an elevator. He walks past them *
towards an escalator down to the street. Why did he walk into, *
through and out of the lobby of the building? *
FRONTAL CLOSE: VINCENT
and PAN RIGHT with him as he and we start a descent on the *
escalator from the stone foyer to the street level. *
PAST VINCENT'S HEAD, *
riding the "up" escalator is Annie Farrell and the group of *
lawyers. Vincent looks at her, appreciatively, then away. *
17 OMIT 17
17A EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING - VINCENT 17A
exits, approaches us, and ARM DOWN to include the yellow top of
Max still holds Annie's business card, marveling at it and her.
From the FRONT...
And Max can't hide his eyeline and interest...
Let's go to...
(Max isn't paying
You free? Or... *
Vincent starts towards another cab pulling up... *
Yeah, yeah, sorry...
Vincent gets in. *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 12.
17A CONTINUED: 17A
452 South Union Street.
17B INT. CAB - MAX 17B
pulls out, starts the meter.
(checks his watch)
How long you think this'll take?
Fourteen? Not fifteen? Not thirteen?
Two minutes to get onto the 101.
Transition to the 110 to the 10 and
exit on Normandie is four minutes.
North on Normandie is five minutes.
Two minutes to South Union 'cause
there's roadwork. Thirteen plus one
for "shit happens."
Vincent checks his watch.
Mind if I time you?
What do I get if you're wrong? A free
Max heads for the 100 on-ramp.
...I already offered up the free ride *
To who? *
...some girl. *
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 12A.
17B CONTINUED: 17B
Did you ask her out?
Vincent's read Max's mind. Max hadn't thought it through that
far. Now that he does, reality sinks in. Annie's out of his
league and he knows it.
Gone forever, Max jams her card under the rubber bands on the
18 EXT. 6TH STREET BRIDGE OVER 110 - NIGHT 18 *
Max's cab zooms across, heading out of downtown. *
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 13.
19 INT. CAB - VINCENT 19
Max changes the subject. *
First time in LA?
No. To tell the truth, whenever I'm
here, I can't wait to leave. Too
sprawled-out. Disconnected. You
know...? But that's me.
You like it here?
17 million people. This was a
country, it would be the fifth biggest
economy in the world. But nobody
knows each other. Too impersonal. *
But that's just me...you know... *
I read about this guy. Gets on the *
MTA, here, and dies. Six hours he's
riding the subway before anybody
notices. This corpse doing laps
around LA, people on and off, sitting
next to him, nobody notices.
I see your point. Yeah...
Vincent glances around the cab.
Cleanest cab I've ever been in. Your
Yeah. I share it with the dayshift
People are more relaxed, you know?
Less stress, less traffic, better
You get benefits?
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 14.
19 CONTINUED: 19
Like sick leave? *
Retirement? Health and welfare? *
It's not that kind of job.
Start a union.
Last thing I need is a reason to keep
driving a cab. It's temporary. I'm
fillin' in, you know, while this
other thing I'm putting together is
How long you been driving?
Really? What else are you putting
Max hesitates. He's not as secure as he was with Annie.
I don't talk about it. No offense,
None taken. Talkers and doers. Like
you, I like doers.
20 EXT. SOUTH UNION STREET APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT 20
A rundown, quasi-deserted area. Alienation in the twilight. A
lonely tenant watches the city from an open window. Max's cab
pulls to the curb...
9/24/03 MM revs. (green) 14A.
21 INT. CAB - VINCENT 21
closes his briefcase, checks his watch.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 15.
21 CONTINUED: 21
Fourteen minutes. Man, you're good...
Lucky with the lights.
Yeah, sure. You probably know the
light schedules, too.
Listen...I'm in town on a real estate
deal. A closing. One night. I got
five stops to make, collect
signatures. See some friends. Then I
got a six a.m. out of LAX. Why don't
you hang with me for the night...?
I'm not a hire car. It's against
Regulations? These guys don't pay you
(pulls his wallet)
How much you pull down a shift?
Two-fifty, four hundred. *
I'll make it six hundred. Plus an
extra hundred if you get me to LAX and
I don't have to run for the plane.
Vincent draws CRISP HUNDRED-DOLLAR BILLS from his briefcase,
fans them like a magic trick. Meanwhile, a car pulls up behind
double-parked Max. Vincent steals a glimpse of his PC. See a
real estate prospectus-looking display.
...take a chance.
Man, I don't know.
Yes, you do.
Vincent smiles, gives him a firm handshake.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 15A.
21 CONTINUED: (2) 21
Cool. We got a deal. Here's three
hundred down. What's your name?
9/2/03 MM revs. (green) 16.
21 CONTINUED: (2) 21
Max? I'm Vincent.
Vincent gets out. Max calls after him:
I can't double park here...
I'll meet you in the alley behind the
Understood. Vincent steps into the building foyer, while...
Max puts the car in gear...
22 EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT 22
...and pulls into the alley behind the apartment building.
23 INT. CAB - MAX 23
brings the car to a stop and notices Vincent's briefcase lying
on the back seat. A trusting soul. Max smiles.
Definitely not from around here.
He kills the engine. Silence.
There's a noticeable lack of city noise. DISTANT talk radio.
Spanish gospel from a Baptist church. An occasional car passes
the mouth of the alley.
Max trades Mozart for Beethoven.
Max checks his watch. Dinnertime. He turns to his battered
briefcase on the passenger seat.
It's filled with carefully arranged items. NAPKINS in the
pockets. UTENSILS in the pen holders. FOIL PACKS of mayo and
mustard and Thousand Island Dressing. 1.5 liter PLASTIC BOTTLE
of vitamin mineral water. The well-worn Mercedes brochure for *
the S500. A spreadsheet, like a handwritten business plan. A *
large submarine sandwich wrapped in two halves. Neat note pads.
Everything's in methodical order.
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 17.
23A EXT./INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - VERY CLOSE PAST VINCENT 23A
climbing stairs with palm trees and downtown behind...
23B INT. CAB - MAX 23B
spreads Thousand Island on the sandwich. He glances up at the
visor. He tilts it down, peering at Annie's business card,
wondering what to do. Will he call her?
He sits a moment, fighting a wave of sadness. Unhappy with
himself. With his life. His place in the world.
23C OMIT 23C
23D INT. CAB - MAX 23D
raises the sandwich to take a bite...
FROM THE FLOOR UP PAST MAX + THE STEERING WHEEL (VFX - GRN SCRN) *
up THROUGH the windshield is the twinkle of stars in the night
sky. Suddenly, a dark shape from above blacks out the sky. It
descends towards us. As Max takes a bite...
...WHAM! SOMETHING HUGE rocks the cab on its axles! GLASS rains
down. A HEADLIGHT EXPLODES! The windshield FRACTURES! Max
bounces off the ceiling. His submarine deconstructs all over
the interior. His coffee spills...
...and then abrupt, stunning silence.
What hit him. An earthquake? Max takes a dazed beat. He peers
at the windshield...
THE DEAD FACE OF A FAT MAN STARES AT HIM.
Max recoils with a yell, scrambles from the cab, heart
24 EXT. ALLEY - FROM ABOVE: CAB - NIGHT 24 *
A CORPSE is angled across part of his roof and windshield in a *
bathrobe. There's shards of window glass from upstairs
everywhere. It makes a halo around the cab.
Max is stunned.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 18.
24 CONTINUED: 24
He looks to see where the body came from.
MAX POV: 3RD STORY (SOUTH UNION LOCATION)
A window on the top floor is broken out. A white curtain flaps
in the breeze.
24A LOW ANGLE: CMS MAX 24A *
turns. Vincent has entered the alley and now stops. *
Max's first thought: this passenger will think Max ran into *
He - He fell on my cab...!
You always stutter?
Well, yeah. Yeah. Guy fell on my
motherfucking cab from up there...!
Max looks up, points again, as if Vincent might have missed it *
the first time. Vincent's focus hasn't left Max. *
I think he's dead.
...taken two .45s and did a high dive
onto his head. It's a good guess.
Max stares at Vincent. It's sinking in. Vincent, meanwhile, *
has to make his decision. About Max. Kill him and find
You - you killed him?
No. I - I shot him. The bullets and
the fall killed him.
A frozen beat. Everything's out in the open. Max realizes he's
in trouble. He backs away, thinking escape...
...and like lightning, Vincent's .45 H+K is in his hand. To Max
the .45 caliber bore is the diameter of the Spring Street
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 18A.
24A CONTINUED: 24A
Red-light-green-light? Light's red.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 19.
24A CONTINUED: (2) 24A
You can run, but you'll die tired.
Max nods. Shakily raises his hands.
Put down your hands.
Are you cool? Say "I am cool." *
You are cool.
You say you are cool.
I am...I'm cool.
Vincent decides. The gun disappears back into Vincent's
Okay. Help me out here. *
El Gordo decided to get some air and
not take the stairs. So we go to plan
B. Pop the trunk. *
(Isn't it self evident?) I can't *
leave him here. So unless you want
him riding up front with you...and
given the hygiene...
...and his sphincters let go...
Max reluctantly pops the trunk, circles to the front of the car.
Vincent reaches over the hood, grabs the corpse by the bathrobe
lapels, heaves the body into a sitting position.
Gonna roll him off the hood. *
(a homily for Max) *
Always lift with your legs... *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 20.
24A CONTINUED: (3) 24A
I don't think I can do this.
He's only a dead guy. On three. Uno. *
He rolls the corpse off the hood. Grimacing, Max gets a firm
grip under the arms. Vincent gets the legs.
They start shuffling toward the trunk. Suddenly, Max lets out a
YELL, almost dropping his end.
His hand moved! His goddamn hand
It's a spasm! Jesus, don't be such a
ANGLE FROM INSIDE TRUNK
as they heave the body inside, pausing to catch their breath.
(to heavy dead person) *
Never heard of a treadmill? *
He slams the trunk, shutting us into DARKNESS...
25 EXT. CAB - NIGHT 25
...and we find Max frozen like a statue while Vincent is dousing
the hood with Max's 1.5 liter bottle of drinking water.
Six liters of blood in the average
Angeleno, he's gotta dump all his...on
(a final dousing)
Okay, that's good enough.
Vincent heads for the car, notices Max's feet are frozen to the *
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 21.
25 CONTINUED: 25
Uh, look...why don't you, like, take
"Take the cab..."
Yeah. I - I'll chill. You know.
And...they don't check. You know?
They don't. They don't know who's
driving these things. You, me...
And you promise you will never tell
anybody? Right? ...get in the
Max does. Vincent gets into the back seat...
26 INT. CAB - MAX 26
behind the wheel, turns the key. The ENGINE GRINDS. He tries
again. MORE GRINDING.
Can we leave the scene of the crime, *
He turns the ignition again. GRIND. GRIND. Vincent's getting
It's not me!
The engine is already on. Put the
little pointer on the letter "D." "D"
stands for Drive.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 22.
26 CONTINUED: 26
Max pulls out of the alley...
27 EXT. STREET - AS MAX'S CAB 27
You're making me nervous.
I'm making you nervous? I'm the one
on a schedule...
...accelerates away, disappearing, another CAR appears.
27A EXT. UNION STREET 27A
It cruises down the street and stops in front of the apartment
RAY FANNING emerges from the car. Edged hair, an earring, *
sports clothes. A salesman or a player or a dealer. Forties, a
face with character and some miles. And something insistent
about his intent...
He heads towards the entry gate, rings a buzzer. Waits a
moment. Rings again. Nothing. Plus...he looks like he could
kick your ass if he wanted to.
He pulls a thin plastic card from an inner pocket of his jacket,
jimmies the door lock...
28 INT. APARTMENT BUILDING COURTYARD, THIRD FLOOR - FANNING - 28 *
approaches across the balcony walkway against the junky palms
and downtown skyscape.
He knocks on the door...causing the door to swing in slightly.
He glances down, sees the lock was pulled. Tensing, he fades to
one side, his hand going to his holster at his hip.
He draws a Beretta, reaches out and pushes the door all the way
29 INT. APARTMENT - NOTHING - NIGHT 29
A dark shambles. Old take-out. A TV. Fanning enters *
cautiously, alert for the slightest movement or sound.
Estas fiestando con una chica?
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 22A.
29 CONTINUED: 29
Nothing. Fanning cautiously enters the bedroom, worried now. *
30 INT. APARTMENT - FANNING 30 *
carefully negotiates the corners and slides along the wall to
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 23.
30 CONTINUED: 30
THE BROKEN WINDOW
Glass missing. He leans out. A dizzying drop. A halo of
broken glass on the alley below...in the center of which is a
big blank spot.
And he produces his police radio and we realize he's a cop.
31 INT. CAB, TRAVELING - MAX - NIGHT 31
Max winds his way through surface-street traffic, in shock,
sneaking anxious glances at Vincent in back. Vincent's got the
tablet PC from his briefcase, studying it. The silence is
Max's hand is shaking. He lifts it off the wheel, tries to
steady his fingers. Vincent diverts some attention to Max...
Try deep breathing.
Adrenaline's wearing off. You get
shaky after. Some people slip into
shock. It's not uncommon. Deep
Max starts drawing in breaths, letting them out slowly.
Is that better?
I think so.
They stop at a RED LIGHT. Max glances at the passenger seat.
Dressing and stray pieces of lettuce and mortadella. He parks
the gearshift and goes for the paper towels, cleaning up.
Vincent over the tablet PC, taking in Max. Softly: *
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 24.
31 CONTINUED: 31
What are you doing?
It's a mess.
Max keeps wiping, as if getting the seats clean might put
everything right again.
Lady Macbeth. Leave the seats. The
light's green. We're sitting here.
A CAR HORN HONKS behind Max. The car whips around them to get
through the intersection.
You no longer have the cleanest cab in
La-La Land. You gotta live with that. *
Focus on the job. Drive.
Right. Max puts the car in gear and proceeds.
(checks the PC)
7565 Fountain. You know it?
(checks his watch)
How long, you figure?
Max has to force himself to concentrate:
Seventeen minutes. Why?
Silence from the back. Max into the rearview, realizing:
Oh. Oh, no. You're kidding. We...
I told you we had other stops to make
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 25.
31 CONTINUED: (2) 31
You said you were visiting friends!
They're somebody's friends...
(changes display) *
You drive a cab. I make my rounds.
We both do our jobs, you might make it
through the night and come out seven
hundred bucks ahead.
I...I'm not trying to piss you off,
see? Okay? But I can't drive you
around so you can murder people...
Man, that's not my job...
Tonight it is.
You don't get it. I mean it. Really.
I'm not up for this...
Vincent realizes Max is on the verge of panic.
You are stressed. I understand that. *
Keep breathing. Stay calm.
Max starts deep-breathing again, exhaling slowly. Vincent stows *
the PC. *
Are you breathing?
Good. What else calms you down?
Candy? Cigarettes? Breathe.
Max turns on the CD. SOFT CLASSICAL.
Chopin prelude. Stodgy.
Here's the deal.
9/24/03 MM revs. (green) 26.
31 CONTINUED: (3) 31
You were gonna drive me around and
never be the wiser. But because of El
Gordo's high dive, we're into Plan B.
Now. We have to make the best of it.
Improvise. Adapt to the environment.
Darwin. "Shit happens." The I *
Ching...whatever. Roll with it...
I Ching? You threw a man out a
I didn't throw him, he fell.
What'd he do to you?
Nothing. I only met him one time.
Then how can you kill him like that?
I should only kill people after I get
to know 'em?
(off Max's look)
Six billion people on the planet and
you get bent out of shape 'cause of
one fat guy?
Who, who was he?
What do you care? Ever hear of
Rwanda. Yeah. *
Tens of thousands killed before
sundown. Nobody's killed people that
fast since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Did you bat an eye, Max? Did you join
Amnesty International, Oxfam or
(off Max's silence)
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 27.
31 CONTINUED: (4) 31
I off one Angeleno, you throw a hissy
Max stops at another RED LIGHT.
I don't know Rwandans.
You don't know the guy in the trunk,
If it makes you feel any better, he
was a criminal involved in a
Continuing Criminal Enterprise.
Oh, that makes it okay, then. 'Cause *
all you're doing is taking out the *
Something like that...
What you need to remember is that
nobody gets out of this alive. Even
if we quit smoking. Cut out red meat.
Suddenly -- A BRILLIANT GLARE OF FLASHING LIGHTS stabs at the
cab. Max sees --
-- an LAPD CRUISER behind the cab. The ROOFTOP LIGHTS
COP #1 (P.A.)
Please pull the vehicle over to the
Max complies. A second bright beam lights up the interior. TWO
UNIFORMED COPS emerge from the patrol car. Faceless
silhouettes, approaching cautiously.
Get rid of 'em.
You're a cabby. Talk yourself out of
The cops are now circling to either side of the cab, using
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 28.
31 CONTINUED: (5) 31
Vincent eases the briefcase off his lap, his hands clear his
field of movement, spread open his jacket to better reach his
waistband and his H+K.
Please. Don't do anything.
Then don't let me get cornered. You
don't have the trunk space.
I can't believe this...
Vincent's hand reaches...
Don't. I'll talk to them, I'll talk
A COP'S HAND descends to the driver's window, raps loudly, GOLD
WEDDING BAND catching the light as it taps on the glass.
Maybe that one's got kids. Probably *
his wife's pregnant...
I'll deal with it!
A FLASHLIGHT BEAM pops on at the driver's window. Cop #1
glaring light into Max's eyes.
A SECOND FLASHLIGHT BEAM pops on, this from Cop #2 on the
passenger side. Checking out Vincent in the back. Vincent
Max rolls his window down. Cop #1 leans down, and we see his
face for the first time. A clean-cut blonde guy.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 29.
31 CONTINUED: (6) 31
License and registration.
Max pulls them off the visor, hands them over. The cop examines
them by flashlight.
COP #1 (CONT'D)
Pulled you over 'cause your *
windshield's smashed. *
All of this current? *
From the other side of the cab, COP #2 lets out a laugh. He's
playing his flashlight beam across the seats. Mustard and mayo
Wha'd you, have a food fight in here?
Max gives Vincent an "I told you so" look in the rearview
mirror. Meanwhile, we HEAR dimly on the POLICE RADIO about a
domestic disturbance on 83rd and Hoover and some officers
Cop #2 plays his beam across the cracked windshield and damaged
hood. Faint reddish traces in the paint. His smiles fades.
COP #2 (CONT'D)
Is that blood? *
I hit a deer.
Over by Slauson.
A "South Central" deer?
Goddamn deer jumped out in front of
me. You believe that?
Why you still carrying a passenger?
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 29A.
31 CONTINUED: (7) 31
I was headed back to my depot, see,
you know? And his drop's on the way.
Yeah, but your cab's not safe to
drive. And we're going to impound it.
We need to do a vehicle inventory
while we wait for the tow truck. Pop
the trunk and step out of the vehicle.
(swings flashlight beam to
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 30.
31 CONTINUED: (8) 31
COP #1 (CONT'D)
I'm sorry, sir, you'll have to phone
for another cab.
Is that necessary, Officer? I'm just
a half mile from here.
I'm afraid it is. Please exit the
Max hears a SOFT CLICK behind him. The unmistakable sound of a
safety CLICKED OFF. He meets Vincent's gaze in the rearview *
mirror. A whisper:
You open that trunk, they go inside.
Behind Vincent, through the rear windshield, Max sees Cop #2
moving to the trunk, playing his flashlight across it...
Max, mouth dry...
Hey, man, it's been a long day. You
know? It's so slow, I pay this guy to
ride so I don't get lonely...
My first fare. How about a break?
I'm heading to the barn, anyway...
Get out of the car. And open the
Max tosses a hopeless look into the rearview. Vincent's staring
at him. No mercy there.
Max steps from the car. The cop escorts Max toward the rear,
Vincent smoothly pulls his H+K from his waistband and emerges on
the passenger side, gun held out of sight and a heartbeat away
from opening fire...
...a CRACKLE OF STATIC, a PANICKY VOICE COMES OVER THE POLICE
Officer needs help. We got a man with
a gun. Shots fired at 83rd and
Cop #2 to his partner.
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 30A.
31 CONTINUED: (9) 31
Off-screen radio talk from many responding units...
10/2/03 MM revs. (tan) 31.
31 CONTINUED: (10) 31
(to Max; leaving)
Get that cab back to your garage...
The cops pile into their black-and-white and ROAR off into the
Max and Vincent are left standing, gazing across the cab at each
Max starts deep-breathing as they get back in the cab...
32 EXT. HOTEL + PENTHOUSE - CORPULENT MAN - NIGHT 32 *
in an attorneys suit with rapper clients.
I thought Californians exercised...?
REVEAL Vincent looking at his PC. Vincent pulls from his
briefcase an identity card for a Notary Public and a second gun,
a .45 Cal Para-Ordnance back up. He moves the slide, checking
there's a round in the chamber. Max hears metal on metal, looks
up. As Vincent holsters it in the small of his back...
What are you lookin' at?
He gets out and enters the passenger seat next to Max in the
Hands on the wheel. Ten and two.
Like they taught you in driver's ed.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 32.
32 CONTINUED: 32
Because I say so. *
Max grips the steering wheel. Vincent has plastic ties and
proceeds quickly and efficiently to bind Max's hands to the
Cab's a disgrace. No wonder the cops *
pulled you over.
On the way out of the car...
DISPATCH RADIO (O.S.)
Max? Max? You out there, you son of
Vincent looks to Max...
Lenny, my dispatcher.
I know you're out there! Answer the
What happens if you don't?
He'll keep calling.
Vincent reaches across Max, pulls the mike off the dash, holds
it up to Max's mouth.
Don't blow it.
Max nods. Vincent thumbs the toggle.
Uh, yeah? Lenny? It's me.
I got off the phone with the cops. A
desk sergeant called to check you
brought the cab in...
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 33.
32 CONTINUED: (2) 32
Silence as Lenny waits for a reaction. Max and Vincent trade a
look. Vincent shrugs, thumbs the toggle. Say something.
So? So, aside from I hate talking to
cops, they tell me you crashed the
It got crashed! I didn't...
Do I care what, where or why? You're *
It was an accident. You're not
liable. (Tell him.) *
It was an accident. I'm not liable.
Bullshit! I'm making you liable! *
It's comin' outta your goddamn
Vincent stares at Max, expecting him to respond.
Tell him to stick the cab up his fat
I can't do that. He's the Man.
I need the job.
No you don't.
You still there? I'm talking to you!
Vincent abruptly puts the mike to his mouth, thumbs the toggle.
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 33A.
32 CONTINUED: (3) 32
He's not paying you a damn thing! *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 34.
32 CONTINUED: (4) 32
Who the hell are you?
Vincent glances up, tilts the visor down to see Annie's business
Richard Riccardo, Assistant U.S. *
Attorney. A passenger in this
taxicab, and I'm reporting you to the
Let's not get excited.
Not excited? How am I supposed to not
get excited, listening to you try to
extort a working man? You know *
goddamn well your collision policy and *
general liability umbrella would cover
the damages. What are you trying to
pull, you sarcastic prick?
I'm just tryin' to...to...
Tell it to him.
(shifts the mike)
Tell him he's an asshole.
You're an asshole.
Tell him next time he pulls any shit,
you're gonna stick this yellow cab up
his fat ass.
Next time you pull any shit, I'm gonna
stick this yellow cab up your fat ass.
Vincent clicks off, hangs up the mike. Looks at Max.
Beat. Max, taped to the steering wheel, nods.
Don't wait up, hon. I gotta work
9/24/03 MM revs. (green) 34A.
32 CONTINUED: (5) 32
He grabs the ignition keys, shuts Max's door, strolls away.
10/2/03 MM revs. (tan) 35.
32 CONTINUED: (6) 32
Max watches in the sideview mirror as Vincent vanishes into the
Max is left alone, trapped in his own cab in the alley.
Max jerks and strains against the duct tape, trying to free his
hands. He gives up, breathing hard.
32A OMIT 32A
32B INT. HOTEL, PENTHOUSE - NIGHT 32B *
The overweight LAWYER, SYLVESTER CLARKE, who we saw on Vincent's
P.C., separates from two girls and a second man, all watching
TV, to answer a phone...
SYLVESTER CLARKE *
He identify himself? *
Sure. Let him up. *
32C INT. LOBBY - VINCENT 32C *
in shades leaves the Hotel Security and enters the elevator. *
A32D INT. HOTEL, PENTHOUSE - SYLVESTER CLARKE A32D *
crosses towards the front door. *
32D EXT. HOTEL - ALLEY - MOVING IN ON MAX 32D *
He glances in the sideview, wondering where Vincent is,
straining for a glimpse.
Nothing. Just darkness back there... Mind racing...
HEY! HEY! OVER HERE! I'M IN THE
CAB! HEY! HELP!
The street traffic's distant; nobody's around.
HELP! GODDAMN IT! THERE'S A MAN WITH
A GUN! HE'S GONNA KILL PEOPLE!
Max thrashes wildly against the duct tape, screaming with
frustration. He starts head-butting the car horn...
BEEEEEP! BEEP-BEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEP! BEEP-BEEP-BEEEEEEEEEP!
He raises his head, checking the street traffic a quarter block
away. No one on the sidewalk takes notice of Max's cab.
10/2/03 MM revs. (tan) 35A.
32D CONTINUED: 32D
Oh, fuck me.
He shifts low on the seat, getting his knee under the dashboard.
He slams his knee up, hitting the RED EMERGENCY LIGHT BUTTON
concealed there. EMERGENCY STROBES START FLASHING at the front
and rear of the car...
...and still nobody notices.
GODDAMN IT, I'M FLASHING LIKE A
CHRISTMAS TREE OVER HERE.
He throws a look to the sideview mirror, sweaty and tense,
knowing he's out of time.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 36.
32D CONTINUED: (2) 32D
THE SIDEVIEW MIRROR
IN WHICH WE SEE Max's reflected eyes. Seconds ticking
breathlessly away as he struggles...
He head butts the horn again. BEEP-BEEP. BEEEEP. Flashers and
MEANWHILE the ANGLE SHIFTS in the mirror, leaving Max's eyes and
bringing into view the building and the penthouse at the top and
...TWO SILENT MUZZLE FLASHES light up the windows like
flashbulbs going off. Another death. Then A THIRD FLASH...then
nothing. Lights out. Meanwhile...
MAX (CONT'D) *
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. *
He is head-butting the horn. BEEEEP. BEEP-BEEP. And he checks *
the mirror. This time when he looks, he sees...
YOUNG WHITE GUYS. 20-25. They were on the sidewalk. Now they
detour into the alley and approach the distressed cab from the
back, shielding their eyes from Max's flashing lights.
Oh. Oh, thank God! Hey, hey, man,
help me out here!
WHITE GUY #1
I got my, my hands taped to the
steering wheel, here, by this guy,
who's taped me in the car, 'cause he's
up in the building somewhere...
CLOSER, now, the four are in baggies, hoodies and tattooed with
lightning bolts on their necks, swastikas on chests, one has
"5150" tattooed on his shaven eyebrow (police code for
WHITE GUY #2
You all trapped in there and shit?
...yeah, he's coming back. Hurry.
Get me loose so I can call the cops...
WHITE GUY #1 nods...and pulls a chromed .380 and points it at
9/22/03 MM revs. (yellow) 36A.
32D CONTINUED: (3) 32D
WHITE GUY #1 *
Fuck that, man, gimme your wallet.
9/22/03 MM revs. (yellow) 37.
32D CONTINUED: (4) 32D
The others have walked off down the alley, laughing. One tosses *
a beer bottle that smashes. Utter disbelief from Max...
Are you kidding me?
WHITE GUY #1
I will fuck you up! Hand it over.
My hands are taped to the damn
It takes a moment for WHITE GUY #1 to process this. He steps to
the window, presses the .380 against Max's cheek. It's utterly
terrifying, everything happening fast:
...don't shoot me, don't shoot me...
WHITE GUY #1
Then get your ass up, up...
Max pulls himself up by the steering wheel, trying to get his
butt off the seat to give the Young Man access. The White Guy
#1 gropes for Max's back pocket, trying to get the wallet,
pressing the gun to his face, the other guys down the alley,
turn the corner.
White Guy #1 pulls Max's wallet, pockets it...
...and pauses, seeing Vincent's briefcase on the back seat.
He yanks open the back door, grabs Vincent's briefcase, too, and
walks off after his friends. White Guys #3 and #4 turned the
corner. White Guy #2 lingers.
Max, still taped, is shaken. He can't believe what happened.
He looks through the windshield at...
WHITE GUY #1
...walking off, cocky as hell, about to vanish into the night...
BACK OF WHITE GUY #1
White Guy #1 turns, to see the silhouette of Vincent. He raises
his .380 side-handed, like he sees gangsters do on MTV. White
Guy #2 joins him.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 38.
32D CONTINUED: (5) 32D
That my briefcase...?
White Guy #1 approaches Vincent from the front...#2 from
WHITE GUY #2
May-be. And what the fuck else you
He closes on Vincent with the .380, held high and on the side.
Vincent's left slams aside #1's .380. Draws and FIRES from the
hip, putting TWO ROUNDS into #1. HAMMERS-ON TWO ROUNDS to the
sternum, pivots. ONE to the head of #2. All in 1.6 seconds.
White Guy #2, falling backwards, is dead before he hits the
ground. #1 never saw it coming. Vincent picks up his case,
retrieves something from #1's pocket, puts one more into the *
head of #1 on the way back to the cab...
...where Max saw it all. Frozen in horror. Astonished.
The rear door opens. Vincent hefts his briefcase into the back
seat. He gets into the front.
Vincent sits for a moment, staring off, not looking at Max.
Maybe ready to kill him.
Vincent raises something into view. Max's wallet. He tosses it
in Max's lap.
Vincent flicks his hand. CLICK-CLACK, a Reeves folding hunter
in dull metal, razor sharp...
Where's the button? Under the dash?
Vincent leans over and slices the plastic tie, freeing Max's
You mind turning it off?
Max doesn't move for a moment, then reaches under the dash and
turns off the strobes.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 39.
33 INT. CAB - MAX + VINCENT (TRAVELING) - NIGHT 33
Vincent in the back seat. (Juxtapose to a different continuity. *
Through the side window, we see Crenshaw Boulevard barbershops, *
music shops. We're stopped for a light.) Max is shell-shocked.
Collateral damage. People in the
wrong place at the wrong time.
(meets Max's gaze)
And you? You attract attention? You
are gonna get people killed who didn't
need to be. Understand?
I'm low on gas...
Pull in there.
33A EXT. GAS STATION, IN STREET - TAXI - NIGHT 33A
TIME-LAPSE - MACRO-CU: NUMBERS
race by. WIDEN. SEE Max filling up the taxi. Vincent is
positioned off the right rear corner from where he is line-of-
sight to everything. His affect is flat, distant. Max has
witnessed violent death and the full, lethal capabilities of
Vincent. Neither say a word...until softly...
Am I collateral?
Pause. A long one.
I haven't decided.
Max is silent. Absorbing this. Vincent checks his watch.
Unexpectedly, his mood changes up.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 39A.
33A CONTINUED: 33A
But, hey! New news. We are ahead of
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 40.
33A CONTINUED: (2) 33A
We got time to kill.
You like jazz?
Not that much.
Guy told me about a place off
Crenshaw. Leimert Park. All the West
Coast greats played there. Dexter
Gordon, Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker.
(off Max's look)
Buy you a drink. Expand your *
Max doesn't get Vincent's mood up-change.
34 EXT. SOUTH UNION APARTMENT BUILDING, ALLEY - CRIME SCENE - 34
COPS and FORENSIC TECHNICIANS. In the midst of it all is:
Ray Fanning. He wears his badge, visibly, now. We find him
turning as his superior, RICHARD WEIDNER, 50-ish, is entering
the crime scene.
...this informant of yours, what's his
Ramone Gallardo. Supposed to take him
for a drink. I come here, find this.
You been working him? *
Four months...a low-level player, he's *
been feeding me stuff on Felix.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 40A.
34 CONTINUED: 34
Reyes-Torrena? Forget Felix. Feds *
are all over that. They don't want us
anywhere near it.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 41.
34 CONTINUED: (2) 34
Since when is the LAPD working for the *
Besides, Ramone flew out a window. My *
C.I. flew out a window, he's got
Felix's handprints on his ass. Yes?
That makes it ours.
(as if to a child)
Where's the homicide, Ray? Where's a *
body? All we got is glass...
He spreads his hands at the alley floor in a gesture that says
"show me something besides glass."
FEMALE CRIMINALIST (O.S.)
And blood... *
FEMALE CRIMINALIST *
...blood...down here...in the
glass...here's some more...
A FEMALE CRIMINALIST (SID) examines the alley floor with Luminol *
and a handheld BLACKLIGHT WAND, picking out dark patterns. *
FEMALE CRIMINALIST (CONT'D)
...small splatter patterns here...all *
over there... *
SHINING FLASHLIGHTS pick out blood on the alley wall. Fanning
steps to where the cab was parked, stands in the middle of the
blank spot surrounded by the glass, points down:
Ramone flew out the window. Went *
splat. Here's the glass. *
Then some tires rolled over it. *
How's that spell homicide? Maybe he
Sure. He's depressed. So he jumps
four stories out a window onto his
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 41A.
34 CONTINUED: (3) 34
"Wow, that feels better!" Picks
himself up. "Now, I think I'll go on
with the rest of my day..."
PLAINCLOTHES COP (O.S.)
Two uniformed cops have approached. *
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 42.
34 CONTINUED: (4) 34
Weidner and Fanning glance up. A PLAINCLOTHES COP is leaning *
out of Ramone's broken window, dangling a clear plastic baggy.
He drops it. It comes sailing down... *
...right into Fanning's grasp. He glances down at it, shows it
TIGHT ON WEIDNER
...revealing two spent .45 cal. shell casings in the bag.
So, who's got what? Any witnesses?
We been knocking on doors?
Old guy across the street, lives above
the deli? Says he saw a cab parked
here earlier tonight. There were two
guys working under the hood.
Description. What did he see?
"Kinda" saw...guy's got glasses like
Did he "see" it or did his seeing eye
dog see it?
Late-model four-door Ford. Yellow or *
(off Fanning's look)
Maybe it was a taxi cab.
Four thousand taxis in LA County.
That's it. Uniforms go back to work. Photographer shows. He
doesn't know what to shoot.
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 43.
34 CONTINUED: (5) 34
Meanwhile, Fanning, lost in thought...
Remember fall, 2001? That Bay Area *
deal? Oakland. Cabbie drove around *
all night. Killed three people...
Then he flipped out, put the gun to
his head. So what? *
So the Oakland PD detective, *
whatshisname, never bought it.
The Cabbie had no criminal record. No
history of mental illness. Pops three
people, then himself? And the victims
weren't random. Two were involved in
some pharmaceuticals scam...
(off Weidner's look)
Anyway, the detective always thought
there was somebody else in that cab.
35 INT. "DANIEL'S" JAZZ CLUB - NIGHT 35
Dark and elegant - in an early '60's modern jazz kind of way
with a low ceiling, small tables, leatherette booths, history
soaked into the walls. A BLACK MAN in his late 50's, DANIEL, is
playing a muted trumpet on stage with a QUARTET.
CUSTOMERS are few, clustered at small tables or at a few curved
leather booths. The walls are lined with great FRAMED PHOTOS of
At one table, we find Vincent and Max. Vincent about the
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 44.
35 CONTINUED: 35
...a little '60's, early Miles thing *
I never learned to listen to jazz.
You don't learn to listen...anymore *
than you learn to breathe. Open your *
Vincent's attention's focused on the music. *
I get a beat. I don't really hear a *
...he's off the melody, behind the *
notes. Outside what's expected. *
Improvising off impulse. Kind of like *
Like tonight? *
This is nothing, if not "What's next? *
Right now. In the moment." *
There's people...ten years from now? *
Same job, same place, same shit. *
Everything the same; keepin' it safe. *
Over and over and over and over... *
"Ten years from now?" Man, you don't *
know where you'll be...ten minutes *
from now...tonight. *
(beat; re: saxophonist) *
That's what he's saying. Open your *
ears. You'll hear it...in his *
"dialoguing" with the trumpet... *
The WAITRESS arrives, an Asian woman with a tray of drinks:
'Nother Vodka tonic, hon?
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 45.
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
And one for my friend.
Who's on the tenor sax? *
That's Daniel, baby, he's the owner.
He is terrific. Would you be so kind *
as to invite him over after his set? *
I gotta buy him a drink. *
Sure thing, darlin'...
Vincent gives her a radiant smile and tucks a twenty dollar bill
into her apron as she leaves...
...and we find Daniel sharing more than a few drinks with
Vincent and Max, the place almost closed. Just the three of
...I was a young cat back then, about
nineteen, bussin' tables. Right here.
Didn't pay but shit, but that wasn't
the point. Being around the music,
that was the thing. And I was. Take
this one night...July 22, 1964...who
walks in. Mr. Louis Armstrong.
You're kidding me.
Right through those doors. The man
He was in town playing two gigs a
night at the Coconut Grove in the
Ambassador Hotel... After his last
set, he decides to come on down to
South Central to hang with his people.
That's how he was, you see. Never
forgot who we was. Money and fame an'
all that? Meant nothin', long as he
could blow that horn.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 46.
35 CONTINUED: (3) 35
So before you know it, he's up on that
stage, doin' his thing.
Was it great? Better than great, it
had to be...
Like Winton Marsalis says, it was
pure, spiritual essence. Louis was
playing. God was smiling.
You heard Armstrong play live. I've
never been this jealous. You get to
talk to him?
Did better'n that.
Vincent gives him a questioning look. Daniel smiles, raises his
hands, mimes blowing a trumpet.
Oh, my, yes.
Fella owned this place back then, cat *
named Dix Dwyer, he let slip to Louis *
that I played. So Pops, he just waves
me right up. My heart about stopped.
But I got up there all the same, and
we played for nearly twenty minutes.
...you hearing this?
Max is drawn into the story in spite of himself:
How'd you do?
How do you think? You ain't shit when
you playing next to Louis Armstrong.
But, Dippermouth, he was kind. He
could see me trying. He carried my ass
as best he could.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 47.
35 CONTINUED: (4) 35
Remember what you played?
(ticking them off)
"Potato Head Blues," "Sleepy Time Down
...then Pops laid some "Cornet Chop
Suey" on me, and left me in the dust
like a whipped dog.
Whipped dog? *
Whipped dog on a wet night. *
Crowd dig it? *
The crowd was most kind.
I was born in 1945, but that was the
moment of my conception. Right here
in the used-to-be crowded room. *
Daniel picks up the bottle to freshen up their drinks...
Crowds not here now?
Oh, jazz ain't the draw it used to be.
But the place looks great.
Only 'cause I got the wherewithal to *
finance keepin' it up on my own. *
What a great story. I'll tell the *
folks in Culiacan and Bogota that
...and Daniel's hand freezes just as he's about to pour. He
glances up at Vincent.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 47A.
35 CONTINUED: (5) 35
You know the people in Culiacan and
Max is glancing from one to the other, unsure what's going on.
Realizing it isn't good.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 48.
35 CONTINUED: (6) 35
And here I thought you were such a
I am a cool guy. With a job I was
hired to do. You know how it is.
There's genuine regret in Vincent's tone. Max feels his heart
pounding, but manages to keep his voice steady:
Let him go, Vincent.
I'm working here.
You're the one who keeps talking about
going with the flow. You like the
man, you like the way he plays. How
about a little jazz, huh?
Improvisation? That's funny from you. *
(thinks about it, looks to
Okay, some jazz for the jazz man.
How's this? I'll ask a question?
Jazz question. You get it right, we
roll. You disappear. Tonight. You
don't go home, you don't pack a bag,
you leave town...and nobody, I mean
nobody, ever hears from you or sees
How do I know you'll keep your word?
I never lie. Ask Max. Max, have I
Daniel looks to Max. Hope, fear, and desperation in the older
No. No. He hasn't lied... *
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 49.
35 CONTINUED: (7) 35
Daniel absorbs this, looks back to Vincent.
Means you're a man who lives on *
I will take your word. And I will
give you mine. If I walk out of here
tonight, I'd go so far away, it'd be
just like I was dead.
Vincent nods. We have a deal. He eases something from his
waistband. Max knows. His heart is in his throat.
And one more thing. Those guys and *
their man, here, what's his name, *
Tell them, if by some chance I get *
this wrong...you tell them I had to. *
They laid a grant of immunity on me. *
So it was flip and play ball or go *
back inside. I ain't goin' back *
Daniel pours himself that drink. He lifts his shot glass, hand
trembling slightly, knocks it back. Sets the glass down.
Lay it on.
It's simple. What was Louis' first
I know all there is to know about
Then let's have it.
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 49A.
35 CONTINUED: (8) 35
It was a trumpet! Wasn't it? Wasn't
it a trumpet?
Daniel shakes his head.
Coronet. Bought it from a New Orleans
pawnshop when he was a kid.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 50.
35 CONTINUED: (9) 35
Cost him five dollars. Got a two- *
dollar advance on his salary from a
fine Jewish family he worked for,
saved up the rest.
A frozen moment. An endless pause. Max not even breathing,
staring at Vincent, waiting...
...a beat of regret...
...and Vincent's gun came up so fast, Max didn't even see it.
THREE SMALL POPS. A different gun: .22 caliber Ruger with a
thick, silent barrel. Three small holes. And Daniel's head
falls forward. Vincent catches it, arranges Daniel's arms so
that Daniel's head rests on them as if he's taking a nap. And
Vincent did it gently, almost regretfully. A red mist of blood
swirls in the air.
Max is stunned beyond words, and powder-burned at such close
Silence now. No one's noticed. The waitress was in the
Tin horn. Cost him a dime. Rode the junk *
wagon and played for the neighborhood.
People sold them stuff. Rags.
Max sits frozen, unable to move...
36 EXT. STREET OUTSIDE JAZZ CLUB - NIGHT 36
...and they exit the club. Vincent heads for the cab, turns and
sees Max standing there.
What you mean, no?
I'm done. Find another cab.
Max turns, walking away. Vincent blinks at him, almost laughs.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 51.
36 CONTINUED: 36
Leave me alone.
I'm collateral anyway, so do it and *
stop making me a part of this! *
I don't wanna know you!
Vincent grabs the back of his collar, slams him against the
wall. Max's neck is a centimeter from breaking. Their faces
are inches apart.
I'm not playing.
You played him, man. *
(off Vincent's look)
He got the answer right, would you *
have let him go?
The question hangs in the air. Before Vincent can answer, the
DISPATCH RADIO CRACKLES:
Max? Maaax. Pick up, you dipshit.
What is it with this guy?
Vincent spins Max, controls him, as he propels him to the cab,
slams him against the fender.
Vincent releases him, points at him. Don't move. He reaches
into the cab, pulls out the radio mike, clicks it on.
You hassling my man again?
Who are you?
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 52.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
Same fare you talked to last time.
What are you guys, taking an all-night
We're gay lovers, what's it to you? *
Nothing! Aside from every night Max's
mother driving me crazy, I'm dancin'
on a rainbow! May he come on the
Max takes the hand mike, clicks it on.
Your mother's calling every ten
minutes. Why didn't he show? Are you *
all right? Where are you?
Show for what?
Tell her I can't make it tonight,
What am I, related to you? You tell
Lenny CLICKS OFF. Dead air.
Show up for what?
She's in the hospital.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 53.
36 CONTINUED: (3) 36
You visit every night?
Yeah. What difference does it make?
Cause if you don't show it breaks a
So people start looking for you, this
cab. That is not good. *
No. I can't take you to see my
Since when was any of this negotiable?
37 INT. HOSPITAL - ENTRANCE - NIGHT 37
Stark corridors, queasy fluorescent lighting, PATIENTS and STAFF
MEMBERS. A row of INJURED PEOPLE are seated along one wall,
waiting for attention.
The AUTOMATIC DOORS swing open. Max and Vincent enter, the
briefcase held at Vincent's side. As they enter and proceed up
Stay three paces in front of me and
one to my left...
Max, seeing the innocent people along the walls, complies.
Vincent sees in the ceiling a security camera mounted in a
Perspex hemisphere and averts his face towards Max...
Max turns, sees a row of FLOWER BOUQUETS at the gift counter.
Waste of money. Won't mean a thing to
Vincent pulls an arrangement, tosses the flowers to Max, pulls
his wallet to pay.
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 53A.
37 CONTINUED: 37
She carried you in her womb for nine
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 54.
38 INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT 38
The elevator arrives. Vincent and Max get on. Vincent presses
the button and the doors start to close...
Vincent puts his hand out, stopping the doors. A MAN slides in
the elevator with them...
38A INT. THE ELEVATOR 38A
...and turns around. Detective Ray Fanning. He doesn't see Max *
in the back corner. His back is to him.
Vincent hits the button. The doors close.
The three of them ride up in that awkward silence you only ever
experience with strangers in elevators. He glances to Vincent
at the control panel, nods.
Having a good night?
Vincent nods. Making do. The elevator stops. Vincent and Max
get off to the right. Fanning continues riding up one more *
39 INT. FIFTH FLOOR HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - ELEVATOR DOORS - NIGHT 39
open. Fanning gets off, turns a corner. SEE a sign indicating *
40 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM, LOWER FLOOR - MAX - NIGHT 40
(POSSIBLY INCLUDE CORRIDOR)
Enters with the flowers. Vincent appears behind him, hovering
in the doorway. Max moves toward the bed...
...where IDA RILKE lies hooked up to a heart monitor, a clear
plastic oxygen mask over her mouth. She opens her eyes.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 54A.
40 CONTINUED: 40
I've been calling and calling.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 55.
40 CONTINUED: (2) 40
I got caught up at work.
Why couldn't you call me on the
telephone? I'm lying here, wondering
if something horrible happened to
(to cut her off) *
I brought you flowers.
What am I gonna do with flowers?
You're gonna cheer up.
How? By worrying... *
...that you spend money on *
things...that all they're gonna do is *
wilt and die?
(to Ida, defensively) *
I didn't buy 'em. He did. *
Who? Come in. What I got is not *
Why didn't you tell me we had company? *
And what's your name? Sorry. My son
No harm done, madam.
She takes the flowers from Max, making a fuss over them:
You paid for my flowers? They're
beautiful. Max, will you introduce
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 56.
40 CONTINUED: (3) 40
Mom, Vincent. Vincent, my mother,
Vincent sets his briefcase by the door, approaches the bed,
offers his hand. She takes it. He glows with charisma.
I'm really happy to meet you, Mrs. *
Oh, call me Ida. To what do we owe
Vincent sits in the chair at bedside.
Well, I was with Max when he got the
And you came all the way here to see
Tell my son. You have to hold a gun
to his head to get him to do anything.
Tell me about it.
Vincent leans in, helps her adjust her pillows.
You must be an important client of
This catches Vincent slightly off guard. He glances to Max.
Client? I like to think of myself as
his friend. A mentor. *
Max never had many friends. Always
talking to himself in the mirror...
Hey, mom. How many times do I have to
ask you not to do that?
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 57.
40 CONTINUED: (4) 40
Talk about me like...I'm...not...in
the room, here.
What's he sayin'?
Ida, he says he's standing right here. *
In the room. Here. *
Yesss, you are, honey.
(back to Vincent)
I know. But I'm sure you're proud of *
(directed at Max)
Of course I'm proud. You know, he
started with nothing. Look at him
today. Here. Vegas. Reno...
Vincent looks at Max...squirming under the exposure.
Mom, Vincent's not interested.
No. I am interested.
What's your name, again? *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 58.
40 CONTINUED: (5) 40
I came to see you. I saw you. You
look fine. Let's go.
He's kissed her and wants to get out of there.
He drives famous people around, you *
Limousine companies? What an
Max heads for the door...
Visit again? *
I'm only in town tonight. *
When you come back? *
Sure. I promise. *
Well, nice to meet you, Vincent. *
He turns to find Max gone. He looks down, eyes widening.
So is the briefcase.
Vincent races out into...
40A INT. THE HALLWAY 40A
...and spins around, frantically trying to see where Max went.
Nothing but a FEW PATIENTS and HOSPITAL STAFF...
...and a door marked "STAIRS" swinging shut at the end of the
hallway. He runs in that direction...
40B INT. HOSPITAL STAIRWELL 40B
Vincent bursts through the door into the stairwell, hearing
RUNNING FOOTSTEPS below. He peers over the railing...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 58A.
40B CONTINUED: 40B
...and sees Max three flights down. Max freezes, looking up,
clutching the briefcase. A moment of eye contact...
Stop or I'll go back and kill her.
You'd do her a favor.
...and Max keeps going, vanishing from view. Vincent takes off
after him, plunging down the stairs at breakneck speed...
I'll tell her the truth!
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 59.
40B CONTINUED: (2) 40B
MOVING WITH MAX
careening dizzily down the steps with the briefcase, hurtling
from one landing to the next, FOOTSTEPS ECHOING on concrete.
MOVING WITH VINCENT
racing down the steps like a madman, yanking his H+K from under
41 EXT. HOSPITAL - ON REAR DOOR - NIGHT (OPTIONAL) 41
Max comes through the stairway door, racing like crazy along a
row of HUGE ROARING INDUSTRIAL WASHERS, trying to make it to the
EXIT DOOR at the far end...
...and Vincent bursts from the stairwell in pursuit, pausing to
whip his H + K up in a two-handed grip, aiming down the length
of the laundry room...
...as Max vanishes through the exit door at the far end.
42 EXT. HOSPITAL/ON REAR DOOR - NIGHT 42
Max races out.
42A OMIT 42A
42B INT. HOSPITAL STAIRWELL - VINCENT 42B *
racing down the stairs... *
42C EXT. HOSPITAL - REAR DOOR - VINCENT 42C
bursts through parking lot.
42D EXT. HOSPITAL - WIDE: VINCENT (VFX) 42D
See Vincent at end of parking lot running towards us. PAN LEFT
to Max running up a walkway over the freeway.
43 EXT. PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE - MAX 43
runs to camera along the bridge which we now reveal is above
OVER THE FREEWAY
Max runs up, exhausted. The stream of lights beneath them. Max
swings the briefcase back, preparing to hurl it...
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 59A.
43 CONTINUED: 43
...and Vincent's H+K is aimed at Max. Max looks back, sees
Vincent, gun aimed at him...
A heartbeat. A hesitation. And then...
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 60.
43 CONTINUED: (2) 43
...Max hurls the briefcase with all his might. Vincent watches
in horror as it spins lazily through the air and crashes onto
the freeway below where it's run over, flips in the air, is hit
by a truck and the tablet PC is de-constructed into useless
pieces of plastic and silicone. Vincent approaches.
What the fuck was that?
Max is suddenly on the ground, not knowing how he got there,
about to die.
Vincent, above, staring at Max.
You are screwing...with my work! My *
prep was in there. I'm coming up on
number four. The night is no longer
young. Are we getting adversarial? *
Each syllable like a bullet. Should Vincent kill him? Then,
Didn't know you could do that...
Let's see what else you can do.
...and he pulls Max to his feet.
44 INT. HOSPITAL MORGUE - NIGHT 44
Fanning's in the "cold room" with a MORGUE ATTENDANT.
(checking his clipboard)
We've had three come in tonight. Two
John Does. Maybe one's your guy.
The attendant nods at the first of four PLASTIC-WRAPPED CORPSES
lying on stainless steel tables. Fanning draws the sheet back:
Homeless Man with a beard.
No. Not Ramone.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 61.
44 CONTINUED: 44
The attendant makes a notation on his clipboard. Fanning nods
at the next corpse.
Try that one.
The attendant draws the sheet back. It's the Younger Man who
mugged Max and took Vincent's briefcase.
That's what's funny. These three came
in within half an hour of each other.
And the kid and that last guy (number
4)...they were done by the same
Why do you say that?
Fanning gets alert.
Same wound pattern. Two in the
sternum. One in the head. Add this
cat's shooting tight groups.
Double taps are a couple millimeters
Intrigued, Fanning steps to the fourth corpse. Attendant draws
the sheet back.
Fanning stares down at the dead face. Instant recognition.
45 INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY + AUTOPSY ROOM - MINUTES LATER 45
Fanning is on a pay phone, amped up, talking with Richard *
Weidner. (Weidner's at home, perched on the edge of his bed, in *
a crowded bedroom overlooking MacArthur Park or palm trees and
city lights, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. INTERCUT as
...yeah, I'm still at MLK. The John
Doe doesn't pan out. Not Ramone. But
you'll never guess who else is in the
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 61A.
45 CONTINUED: 45
Sylvester Clarke. Criminal-lawyer
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 62.
45 CONTINUED: (2) 45
"Sly" to his clients...
...including my high-diving informant,
Ramone, who he represented, who's
still missing. Both of whom were in
the exotic-substances business...
Ramone and "Sly" Clarke in one night?
In one night. Something bad is going
down. And I don't think the Feeb know
Weidner hangs up, hauling himself off the bed as we... *
46 INT. MAX'S CAB, TRAVELING - MAX - NIGHT 46
Max drives in self-conscious silence, feeling Vincent's gaze
on the back of his neck.
Vincent enters text into a cell phone/pager.
Hey, I'm not the one lying to my
She hears what she wants to hear. I
don't disillusion her.
Yeah, right. Maybe she hears what you
Vincent sends. Waits.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 63.
46 CONTINUED: 46
Whatever I tell her's never good *
enough. It's always been that way...
My three older brothers...their wives
made 'em move outta town.
Vincent closes the pager/cell.
You're goin' to a place called El
Rodeo. It's on Whittier Boulevard in
Where on Whittier?
Look it up.
What's at El Rodeo?
They project onto you their flaws,
what they don't like about themselves,
their lives, whatever. And then they
rank on you, instead...
How do you know?
I had a father like that.
Mothers are worse.
Mine died when I was one. *
He hated whatever I did. Got drunk.
Beat me up all the time.
I killed him. I was 12.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 63A.
46 CONTINUED: (2) 46
He was the first.
(off Max's look)
I'm kidding. He died of liver cancer.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 64.
46 CONTINUED: (3) 46
No you're not.
So driving this cab "temporarily" is *
It's not bullshit.
Twelve years is not temporary.
You gotta get cash together.
Insurance, bond, maintenance, tires.
Staff-up. Client lists. It's not get
the car, put asses on seats.
'Cause Island Limos will be more than
a ride...like a club experience, a
cool groove you don't want to end.
Like that. So it's gotta be perfect. *
Plus I got bills. She's been dying of
the disease since I was in high
47 EXT. EL RODEO NIGHT CLUB (ANAHEIM) - NIGHT 47
Headlights pull through the jammed lot. Max's cab. And it
pulls past the entrance to a parking slot near the alley.
48 INT. CAB - NIGHT 48
Max backs in, cuts the engine. Vincent checks it out,
concealing himself as much as possible in the shadows of the
Gimme your wallet.
9/14/03 MM revs. (cherry) 64A.
48 CONTINUED: 48
Vincent snaps his fingers impatiently. Max pulls his wallet,
passes it back.
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 65.
48 CONTINUED: (2) 48
I'll hold it for you in case they
In case who searches?
Vincent nods toward El Rodeo.
The people inside. Go in and ask for
Felix. He's expecting you.
Felix? Okay. What's he look like?
Dunno. Never met him.
Who is he?
He's from who hired me.
I don't get it.
You destroyed my work-ups. And number
four is due. Whatta you think,
night's over? Called on account of
Go be me. In there. Score the *
backups. He'll have 'em on a flash
drive or CD...
Why don't you go? *
Why me? I can't.
They don't know what I look like. And *
I don't meet people. Like in risk *
management. Protect anonymity. And
you're not going to screw that up.
How'm I gonna be you?
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 66.
48 CONTINUED: (3) 48
Max, who's SoCal Cab Company? Ralph
Ever met the owner? *
Well, I don't work for them. I work
for their bosses. They don't get to
meet me, either.
If...if I don't pull it off...?
They're gonna kill you. *
You got ten minutes. 10:01? I drive
the cab to the hospital and execute
your mother on my way out of
town...and don't pretend indifference.
I can't do this.
You threw my PC onto the freeway.
You've got balls bigger than Toledo.
If I pull it off, it's gonna get other
Out of options, Max. Take comfort in *
knowing you never had a choice.
Uh, how long you been doin' this? *
In case he asks.
Private sector? Six years.
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 67.
48 CONTINUED: (4) 48
You get benefits?
No. Nor paid sick leave. Quit
stalling. Get out of the cab.
Max hesitates, opens the door, gets out...
49 EXT. STREET - LONG LENS: MAX - NIGHT 49
Crossing towards the entrance.
FED #1 (O.S.)
Who is this?
FED #2 (O.S.)
Not Julio Iglesias...
...and we hear WHIRRING. ANGLE PULLS BACK...
50 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - NIGHT 50
Reveal FEDERAL AGENTS clustered loosely at a row of monitors, in
a hard location. On the monitors are multiple views of El
Rodeo's exterior entrances, two ND homes, the interior of two ND
cars. One agent watches Max cross to the El Rodeo entrance.
The room is littered with SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT and pizza
SENIOR AGENT FRANK PEDROSA, permanently agitated, stands. The
camera on Max ZOOMS in, tracking him.
50A EXT. STREET OUTSIDE "EL RODEO" - PARKING LOT, FOUR- 50A
FIXTURE LIGHT STAND
Move closer. REVEAL it's a camouflage housing, holding a video
surveillance camera that RIGHT NOW pans and ZOOMS IN on Max.
AGENT #1 (O.S.)
Mark the time.
50B INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - PEDROSA 50B
reacts to a SOFT KNOCK on the door. Fanning and Weidner are *
ushered in. Pedrosa glances at them, motions "hang on a
second," as he stares at the monitor.
51 INT. EL RODEO, ENTRANCE - NIGHT 51
Entrance does NOT have a crowd waiting to get in past disco
bouncers. Only light traffic flows in and out. But, it does
have extensive security. Max, hiding his terror, steps up to
two men at the door.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 67A.
51 CONTINUED: 51
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 68.
51 CONTINUED: (2) 51
Que pasa? Wha's up, homes?
I'm here to see Felix. He has
something for me.
Don't know no Felix.
That's it. Max failed. He won't make it past the front door.
Uh. Say...say it's Vincent. I'm
The two men trade surprised look. Suddenly cautious and
respectful. They lead Max inside.
52 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - NIGHT 52
Pedrosa watches the group exit into El Rodeo, then turns to
Fanning and Weidner for quick introductions: *
Lt. Richard Weidner. LAPD. Major
Detective Ray Fanning. LAPD. Major
Yeah, hi, okay. Agent Frank Pedrosa.
Thanks for seeing us...
Yeah. You're welcome. How can I
help? What's up? Why do you wanna
know about our case?
Has there been any unusual activity
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 68A.
52 CONTINUED: 52
As in a murder or maybe a murder spree
in Wilshire Central.
All quiet on the western front.
Various people are asleep. Various
people are not. They come and go in
cars, pickups and taxis. Other than
that, we're watching air move.
...your interest in our case?
Fanning trades a surprised look with Weidner. A taxi? Fanning *
gestures. Pedrosa nods okay. Fanning rushes to the monitors, *
sees Max's cab peeking out from behind the corner of the *
Hood's all beat to shit.
Weidner's fumbling on his cell phone, out, already dialing.
On what?! *
On that. *
10/4/03 MM revs. (blue) 69.
52 CONTINUED: (2) 52
What's the license number?
Technician on the joystick pans a remote camera to the cab,
pulling out his notebook and scribbling down the number...
53 INT. "EL RODEO" - NIGHT 53
...as Max is led into a cavernous, blue Day-Glo Sinaloan disco.
And they move through dancers, in Sinaloan style: white cowboy
hats, jeans, braided key chains, endangered-species cowboy
boots. Hot ladies in spandex and other couture by Earl Scheib.
As they approach a row of booths opposite a mural of famous
corrida singers...more sophisticated security appears. PACO
pats down Max. Another, Rubio, cautiously covers him. Then...
is led to a booth in which sits FELIX REYES-TORRENA.
- unlike El Rodeo's population - wears Hermes bought in Paris.
I thought you'd be taller.
He's not invited to sit.
Anyway I look at this, I see only one
thing. I see one thing with you.
Here. Tonight. I see trouble.
Gestures... Max sits, forces himself to meet Felix's gaze.
So. Vincent. Explain...
54 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - MONITOR - NIGHT 54
REPLAYS Max's entrance. It's enhanced and the audio is
filtered, eliminating RF interference and background noise. We
and they HEAR...
Don't know no Felix.
9/1/03 MM revs. (yellow) 70.
54 CONTINUED: 54
The reaction in the room is electric.
Did he say "Vincent?"
55 INT. EL RODEO - NIGHT 55
(light complaint) *
Vincent don't meet people. The jefes *
in Culiacan, Bogota, maybe. But he *
won't talk to you. But, now you are *
here. Okay. Why?
For a moment it looks like Max isn't even going to get the words
I lost my stuff.
"Stuff"? Your "stuff"?
I want you to listen to me real well.
Special teams put together that list *
Fingers. Informants. *
Signal intercepts, voice-recognizing *
software, surveillance...very *
expensive counterintel produced that *
An important list, wouldn't you say?
And you "lost" it?
Sorry? Sorry does not put back
together again Humpty Dumpty...
9/1/03 MM revs. (yellow) 70A.
55 CONTINUED: 55
Max is nearly pissing himself.
9/3/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 71.
55 CONTINUED: (2) 55
Do you believe in Humpty Dumpty?
Felix makes eye contact to PACO. Paco nods. Rubio, next to
him, has his hand on an SMG and moves right to get a better line
of fire on Max.
Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Neither do I.
But my children do. They are still
small. But do you know who they like
even better than Santa Claus? His
helper, Pedro Negro. Black Peter.
There's an old Mexican tale that tells
of how Santa Claus got so very busy
looking out for the good children that
he had to hire some help to look out
for the bad children. So he hired
Pedro. And Santa Claus gave him a
list with all the names of all the bad
children, and Pedro would come every
night to check them out. And the
people, the little kids that were
misbehaving, that were not saying *
their prayers, Pedro would leave a
little wooden donkey on their windows.
And he would come back and if the
children were still misbehaving, he
would take them away and nobody would
ever see them again. Now, if I am
Santa Claus and you are Pedro, how do
you think jolly old Santa Claus would
feel if one day Pedro came into his
office and said, 'I lost the list.'?
How FUCKING FURIOUS do you think Santa
Claus would get?!
Paco's gun is visible. Safety clicks off Rubio's SMG.
So tell me, Vincent. Tell me what you
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 72.
55 CONTINUED: (3) 55
He can't finish.
...I think you should tell the man
behind me to put that gun away.
What did you say?
I said. Tell him to put the gun away.
Before I take it and beat his bitch *
ass to death with it.
Felix eases back, measuring Max.
I picked up a tail.
You tell me. How do I know? So I
tossed the list and work-ups to
(sees his clothes)
...your Hermes, Facconable sorry ass.
Felix considers "Max."
You think I like comin' here? Like I
got stupid all of an instant? Shit
happens. You gotta roll with it.
Darwin. I Ching...
The fat man. The penthouse guy. The
jazz man. It leaves two.
(checks his watch)
Can you finish?
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 73.
55 CONTINUED: (4) 55
In six years, have I ever not?
56 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - NIGHT 56
...while the Feds go apeshit at what they've been told.
Meanwhile, Weidner answers his cell... *
...are you telling me Ramone Gallardo
and Sylvester Clarke were murdered
tonight? Both killed...?
...Sylvester for sure, Ramone...
We got another D.O.A. One "Daniel
Baker" in South Central...
That's three? He killed three in one
Fed #3 looks at Pedrosa. Mute.
For a secret grand jury, secret my
So who's left? Before you lose them,
57 INT. EL RODEO - NIGHT 57
In a carrying case, a ruggedized PC is brought to the table.
Felix turns it on. Enters a password. Downloads two "files"
(Targets #4 and #5) into a flash drive in the USB port.
The last two...
Felix unplugs the flash drive and pushes it across to Max. Max
takes it. Their eyes meet.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 73A.
57 CONTINUED: 57
Do not fail.
I never do.
Felix releases the flash ram. Max rises...
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 74.
57 CONTINUED: (2) 57
And as a token of appreciation...I
want to offer you a discount. Yeah.
All my services, here, tonight...
Twenty-five percent off.
Hell, make it fifty.
By the way. Daniel said he was sorry.
Felix nods. Max turns and walks out.
The moment he's gone, Felix glances to Paco. They're giving him
Go to Fever. He's met me. If it
begins to go wrong, close his eyes.
He cannot fall into their hands...
58 EXT. EL RODEO - MAX 58
exits, taking in a deep breath of night air, stunned that he's
59 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - MONITORS 59
The Feds swarm, remotely ZOOMING and capturing images, everybody
talks at once...
ALL THE FEDS
(chaotic, ad lib)
...his face, make sure you get his
face...Vincent the ghost...too grainy,
too much noise...plus twelve dB of
gain, you get noise or you get no
image...you getting this? ...yeah...
ANGLE SHIFTS to Fanning, cell phone to his ear, trying to block *
out the noise as:
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 75.
59 CONTINUED: 59
medium build, dark hair...are you
Meanwhile, Pedrosa has separated from the group and on both a
hard line and a Nextel is speaking urgently...
(into Nextel) *
LA101 to chase units... I want a
three-car revolving tail on that cab. *
LA102 is on him, now, at El Rodeo. We *
will do a take-down of the cab with
Vincent in it before he gets where *
(into hard line) *
Locate our witness, Peter Yip...wife, *
girlfriends, mommy, daddy, whatever. *
Get him evacuated. Get him safe. *
(into Nextel) *
On the cab, the assault team, when *
they are in place, will do the take- *
down. Do NOT spook him before. I
want Air Support up and to maintain at
(into cell phone)
E-mail me his license. Okay? I'll
Anybody else in that cab?
Weidner can't tell from the angle of the surveillance camera.
In the street below, Max walks to the cab...
60 INT. CAB - MAX 60
...gets in behind the wheel, feeling limp. He lets out a slow
breath, reluctantly passes the flash drive to Vincent, who
already has Max's PC ripped from the dash and in the back seat.
Vincent plugs the flash drive into the USB port. The icon
appears. Vincent double clicks the cursor on it.
Vegas odds would have compelled a
"don't pass" bet on you walking out of
...I'm very impressed.
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 75A.
60 CONTINUED: 60
Vincent enters a code. He sees what he needs.
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 76.
60 CONTINUED: (2) 60
Washington Boulevard. After-hours
dance club near Crenshaw called
"Fever." Know it?
Vincent quits the flash drive, looks at Max. Max starts the car
and pulls out...
61 INT. MAX'S CAB - VINCENT 61
looks at Max through the rearview mirror.
You'll be late. Jump on the freeway *
and get me to the 105 west. *
62 INT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION - NIGHT 62
While the Feds are departing to interdict the killer before he
can take their next witness, Fanning is trying to get a word in
edgewise to a fast-walking Pedrosa...
...according to the cab company's
dispatcher, this cabbie's been driving
that cab for twelve years...
...so, you're telling me this cabbie
walks into a phone booth and, shazaam,
changes into a meat-eater, super-
assassin? What's he do, squeeze 'em
in between fares?
No. Cabdriver Max is floating down a
storm drain. He is stuffed in the
trunk of a cab. He is being devoured
by flesh-eating stretococcus...
Fanning displays on his cell phone Max's picture from the DMV on
Max's license. It's blurred, low-res.
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 76A.
62 CONTINUED: 62
The guy, who walked out, looks like
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 77.
63 EXT. SURVEILLANCE LOCATION REAR LOADING DOCK 63
...and coming down the steps, fast, Fanning and Weidner at their
heels. Talking over his shoulder...
'Cause he picked a cabdriver who looks
What's Vincent look like?
Who knows. He's a ghost... Vincent's
not even his name.
I don't know...
(nods to Fed #1)
We see private-sector security working
for cartel groups in Colombia, Russia,
Mexico...hiring ex-Special Forces
types, ex-KGB all the time...
Guys with trigger time, skill *
sets...real tradecraft... *
...like, look like a "cabdriver."
They near their cars...
What are you gonna do?
Take down his ass. Save our witness.
...as Pedrosa and other Feds climb into a Cadillac and a Buick
and a third car.
What if they're wrong?
The guy identified himself as
"Vincent" and just met with the
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 77A.
63 CONTINUED: 63
Bullshit. There is something else
It's not our game!
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 78.
63A INT. MAX'S CAB - REAR SHOT OVER MAX - NIGHT 63A
to the 405 south on-ramp to the 105 west. Plus PROFILES *
(L to R) + FRONTAL driving shots of cab to an off-ramp. *
64 INT. LAX PARKING STRUCTURE - MAX'S CAB - NIGHT (GARY'S 64
enters and drives past CAM into the interior. Is Vincent
parking and leaving early?
VARIOUS LOCATIONS + ANGLES INSIDE PARKING STRUCTURE...
Max's cab drives up ramps under white strips of neon and crosses
the bridge to the adjacent parking structure at the northwest
corner of the parking area across from the Bradley Terminal.
64A INT. LAX PARKING - FBI MONTE CARLO 64A
darts in after Max's cab...hesitates, keeps a distance...sees
it's clear, then accelerates, tailing the cab.
64B INT. LAX PARKING, UP-RAMP - MAX'S CAB 64B
accelerates up an up-ramp...
A64C INT. MAX'S CAB, ROOFTOP - VINCENT A64C
has turned around in his seat and looks out the rear window. We
see why the FBI couldn't follow...
64C INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - FBI MONTE CARLO 64C
pulls in and stops. It's in sight of but doesn't approach the
latest up-ramp to the roof.
FBI AGENT #3
I follow him up there...we blow the *
65 OMIT 65
65A EXT. EMPTY ROOFTOP LOT - WIDE 65A
EMPTY PARKING LOT ROOF. Anybody tailing Vincent and Max would
expose themselves right here. It's called a choke point.
66 OMIT 66
66A INT. MAX'S CAB - VINCENT 66A
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 78A.
66A CONTINUED: 66A
Max starts towards the down-ramp.
66B INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - FBI MONTE CARLO 66B
FBI AGENT #4
LA103 to LA101. Pedrosa, Pedrosa...
(to Agent #3)
FBI AGENT #3
LA103 to Air 4...you still have him?
HELICOPTER PILOT (O.S.)
Air 4 to LA103. I lost him. You're
in controlled air space. I gotta stay
out until I get clearance from LAX
FBI AGENT #4
67 INT. PEDROSA'S BUICK - PEDROSA - NIGHT 67
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 79.
67 CONTINUED: 67
(on his cell phone)
...you lost him?
He can head anywhere out of LAX.
North or south on the 405, east on the
105, the 110...
Pedrosa's plan to intercept and take down Vincent just crashed.
He rapidly recalculates.
They locate Peter Yip?
On with the wife. She thinks he's at
Fever. They called. Can't get
Washington and Crenshaw. Move!
LA101 to LA103, LA104, LA105. Fever.
After-hours club on 2407 Washington,
near Crenshaw. Pico Union. Hit it!
LA105 to LA101. Copy that.
A67A OMIT A67A
B67A AERIAL - MAX'S CAB B67A
from inside the curve "cloverleafs" onto 105/110 interchange.
C67A INT./EXT. MAX'S CAB C67A *
under the interchange north (or southbound 110).
D67A INT. BLACK SUV D67A
One of Pedrosa's chase units with four SWAT-types in sports
clothes jams off the freeway onto an exit ramp to surface
streets, north on Western or north on Crenshaw.
67A INT. MAX'S CAB - MAX + VINCENT - NIGHT 67A
are riding in pensive silence through the neon visual noise of
Would you have called her?
10/11/03 MM revs. (goldenrod) 79A.
67A CONTINUED: 67A
Your lady friend. The one who gave
you her business card.
(Max is silent)
Or was she just being polite?
I don't know.
Why hold back? Why not act off your
impulse? Pick up the phone?
All I owe a fare is a ride, Vincent.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 80.
67A CONTINUED: (2) 67A
It's not what you owe me. Time is
fleeting. Life is short. Time is
luck. One day it's gone...
You make it out of this alive, you
should call her. That's what I
It's an important speculation from Vincent, given what's going
to come later. And meanwhile...
68-69 OMIT 68-69
70 INT. FBI CADILLAC - PEDROSA 70
with two or three agents in the other two cars. One checks
there's a round in the chamber of his .9mm, as the silent
neighborhoods pass by.
71 INT. S600 MERCEDES - PACO, RUBIO + TWO OTHER COLD-EYED 71
Rubio has a silenced .9mm with an Aimpoint laser sight.
72 INT. LAPD UNMARKED CAR - FANNING 72
at the wheel. Tailing the FBI cars at a distance, CROSSCHATTER
drifting from the police band...
72A EXT. OLYMPIC (OR?) - MAX'S CAB - NIGHT 72A
cruises east. Korean neon burns into the sodium-lit magenta
sky. The streets are empty at four a.m. Reflected streetlights
flow up the windshield, colors kicking off dented bodywork. The
streets are deserted; the city seems dangerous. Max and
Vincent's attention, suddenly, is taken by something else...
72B INT. MAX'S CAB - MAX + VINCENT'S POV: THREE COYOTES - 72B *
separate and apart lope diagonally across Sunset. Adult males.
Hunting. They're indifferent to urban habitation, as if they,
not we, own this city...
72C EXT. ALEXANDRIA STREET - ABSTRACT SIGNAGE 72C
becomes a frontal of Max's battered cab TO CAMERA and it turns
73-74 OMIT 73-74
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 81.
75 INT. FBI BUICK - OVER PEDROSA + HIS POV THROUGH 75 *
WINDSHIELD - NIGHT
A half block ahead he/we GLIMPSE Max's cab pull into the Fever *
75A INT. MAX'S CAB, APPROACHING "FEVER" NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT 75A
There's chaotic valet parking with Bentleys and a Lambo in
choice spots. The party-till-dawn crowd. And in the thick of
75B INT. FBI BUICK 75B
But they are preceded by a Porsche SUV, and a limo cuts them off *
and tries to disembark a diva, two girlfriends and two guys, *
with players heading into a club before Fever. Heavyweight *
Security has a fuck-you attitude towards Pedrosa's Buick and the *
SUV (LA105) until... *
76 EXT. KOREAN MALL - FEDS - NIGHT 76
in tactical vests with CAR-15's; side arms...deploy. Vanity *
muscle undergo instant attitude change. Pedrosa ad libs telling *
diva to shut up and get back in the limo. BUT Max's cab has *
disappeared from view.
77-78 OMIT 77-78
79 EXT. FRONT OF CLUB FEVER - PEDROSA - NIGHT 79 *
We get Yip out. You take Vincent. *
Clean shots! Watch your backgrounds.
Pedrosa approaching the front entrance, the non-HRT are with the *
BOUNCER, who, in response to a request we didn't see, is trying *
to get a response on his radio from people in the interior...but
fails, as his men enter. Meanwhile...
80 OMIT 80
81 INT. CLUB FEVER - VINCENT - NIGHT 81 *
propels Max past a bar, through screens of glass, frosted *
alcoves...jammed with people. *
Booth towards the back. That's where
he hangs. Fat Korean guy. Terminal
acne as a youth. You go first.
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 81A.
81 CONTINUED: 81
Fifteen feet in front and three to my
left. Wander, and innocent bystanders
get the first rounds. Clear?
It's all black lacquer and frosted glass.
10/6/03 MM revs. (pink) 82.
81 CONTINUED: (2) 81
Back rooms - in Korean luxo - are for karaoke or the Korean
hotties who hang by a counter, like a check-in area. Panels of
glass in semi-circles in front of planting, some with sheets of
water running down, separate the different zones. OR...it's
cheesy disco with flat screens playing Korean music videos and
stock market quotes with out-of-date Christmas decorations and
black-lit outer-space murals. Visually, it's as noisy as the
Korean hip-hop, which makes it impossible for anybody to hear
81A EXT. FRONT OF CLUB FEVER - FANNING + WEIDNER - NIGHT 81A
flash their LAPD badges, brush past the doorman, proceed in...
81B INT. FEVER - CLOSE: VINCENT 81B
with Max in front and to his left, snakes through the crowd,
swimming among them, scanning for Peter Yip, seeking his target
in the back booths...
81C PEDROSA + THE FEDS 81C
enter up the stairs. Staying as discrete as possible while
urgent, while Pedrosa shoots looks, his POVs, Feds move south
along east wall into densest part of the club...searching for
"Vincent," trying to spot him before he can assassinate Peter
Yip, searching for Yip, as...
82 INT. CLUB ENTRANCE - PACO, RUBIO + TWO 82
enter. They hang at the rear. Wait. Their job is to take out
"Vincent" if it looks like there's trouble, a double-takeout,
because "Vincent" must not fall into the hands of the FBI. He
knows too much.
82A PEDROSA 82A
searches, desperately, for Peter Yip, his last witness, to get
him to safety.
82B FANNING 82B
enters, scanning the crowd. Nothing. He and Weidner split-up. *
82C VINCENT 82C
deeper among the dancers, now SEES distantly...
for a moment. He's located towards the back wall across the
dance floor in a booth on a raised area in the semi-circular
room. With him are too-young Korean girls and a heavyset
Rapper. The view got blocked by an African-American and a
Korean bodyguard in suits near the booth, facing out.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 82A.
82C CONTINUED: 82C
Behind the booth are five or six Korean gangsters. But on the
dance floor, itself...
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 83.
82C CONTINUED: (2) 82C
an outer perimeter of security. Bodyguards within the crowd,
facing outward from the booth...looking for trouble before it
gets to the row of booths and Peter Yip.
receives the glance from Vincent. He's gestured down the middle
of the dance floor towards the rear. They work their way
through the mass of bodies. Meanwhile, Vincent casually smiles
at a girl and takes an oblique path, sliding along a convex side
wall. Vincent's path brings Vincent up behind Bodyguard #1, who
looks to the right as...
pounded in the kidney. His head is twisted around and torn
back, dropping him to the floor amid the bodies and noise.
Vincent's focus is already on BODYGUARD #2, as he kicks down
with ferocious force, slamming Bodyguard #1 into
Bodyguard #2 intuits, turns. Vincent's foot slams his knee
sideways, breaking it, Vincent's palm bounces the man's forehead
back, his fist slams into his exposed neck, that fast.
buffeted by dancers, saw, backs away, as...
BODYGUARD #3 *
saw the assault on #2. He grabs for Vincent...who breaks the
grab, pulls Bodyguard #3's head and neck down towards him, slams
his knee into his rib cage twice, breaking things, spins the man
backwards, rips his head sideways and back, a centimeter from
breaking, and holding it there with his left arm, Vincent's
right hand is filled with the H+K as he moves towards Peter Yip.
82D PEDROSA, 82D *
just then, SEES... *
PEDROSA POV: PETER YIP *
glimpsed in the booth from Pedrosa's angle. *
(to Fed #1) *
There's Yip! Get him out of here! *
And Fed #1 moves with Fed #2 along the wall on the opposite side *
towards Yip while Pedrosa crosses the floor, sees the *
disturbance and over his right shoulder, right there is... *
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 83A.
82D CONTINUED: 82D
PEDROSA (CONT'D) *
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 84.
82D CONTINUED: (2) 82D
Mad Dog Killer "Vincent."
(into lapel radio)
Middle of the dance floor! There he
82E FEDS + HRT WITH ASSAULT WEAPONS 82E *
push through dancers...
FBI! FREEZE, VINCENT! DON'T MOVE! *
FREEZE! HANDS IN THE AIR!
Max hears they spotted Vincent. Then he realizes the three, *
four weapons of cops fighting through crowd are all aimed at *
him. People who aren't falling away from him are confused. Max
is the loneliest man in the room...
Don't shoot! I'm not Vincent!
But Korean hip-hop thunders. Korean music videos are crazy
82F RAPPER 82F *
next to Yip thinks HE'S getting busted, wants to get out
BODYGUARDS #4 + #5
at either end of Yip's booth struggle to see from where the
threat is coming.
KOREAN GANGSTERS *
behind the booth put hands on weapons. They SEE Fed #1 + Fed #2
slide behind patrons, closing in, to get Yip to safety... *
VARIOUS FEDS (O.S.)
FREEZE! HANDS IN THE AIR! ON YOUR
KNEES! NOW! NOW!
KOREAN GANGSTER #1 -
pushed sideways by Fed #1, who's trying to reach Yip - sees the
weapon in Fed #1's hand. So he pulls his 9mm, which Fed #2
shoves sideways but the gun FIRES, hitting an incoming...
in the upper thigh, slamming him face first to the floor.
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 84A.
82F CONTINUED: 82F
AND WITH THE FIRST GUNSHOT, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE...
82G MAX 82G *
drops to the floor. Rounds are fired at him by Yip's Bodyguard
#5. A dancer is hit.
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 85.
82H PACO 82H
gives the look of Rubio, who's moved to within 30 feet from Max.
He nods "yes"...take out "Vincent," but...
advancing to the Yip booth, sees the red line through smoke and
the jewel of a laser point dance around Max's ear. Sees the
over nearly-dead Bodyguard #3, swings left and punches THREE
ROUNDS into Rubio...
sees Vincent saved his life. As...
ten feet away...
(looks from Vincent to Max
(he got the joke)
He drops to the floor for cover...to disappear...while...
82J MAX 82J
is on the floor amid destroyed furniture, overturned tables,
panicked patrons and...
...low, pushing through the chaos, gets a glimpse of Max.
Fanning shoves sideways to reach him, imbued with this mission *
for some inexplicable reason...
82K AT BOOTH - PETER YIP 82K
is protected by his confused scrum of Korean gangsters and
bodyguards. Girls dove under tables. The Rapper and one
Bodyguard struggles through crowd that traps them to get out,
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 86.
82K CONTINUED: 82K
- the only calm in the storm - has dumped Bodyguard #3 and is
moving on the cluster of protection at Peter Yip's booth,
FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF BODYGUARD #1
- breathing in rasps and risen from the dead - grabs for the gun
in Vincent's right hand as...
82L FANNING 82L *
gets to Max.
I'm Max! I'm a goddamn cab driver!
I know. I know!
Fanning grabs him, keeps him low, pushes his head down... *
FANNING (CONT'D) *
I'm Detective Fanning, LAPD! I'm *
getting you out of here.
...and they slide behind the back of the opposite banquettes,
seeking cover, and break towards a rear exit. While...
82M HEAVY KOREAN GANGSTER, ALSO... 82M
slams Vincent's gun hand with a short baton. Vincent's
disarmed. Two Men are on him.
A KNIFE IN VINCENT'S LEFT HAND
sinks into Bodyguard #1's leg, dropping him.
swings the baton for Vincent's head. Vincent steps inside.
Traps the man's arm. Takes his baton, releases his torqued body
and backhands it across the Gangster's neck. Vincent slams a
forehand across his ribs. As the Korean Gangster, concussed,
falls backwards, forcing Vincent to the floor...
coming up the middle from Yip's booth, where attention focuses
right now on the real threat: Vincent, FIRES A THREE-SHOT BURST
from an SMG. And, Vincent, retrieving his H+K, rolls concussed
Korean Gangster off of him, and...
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 86A.
82M CONTINUED: 82M
places FOUR SHOTS into Bodyguard #4. VINCENT'S ASSAULT WILL BE
IN A STRAIGHT LINE. Now, he rolls onto one knee, FIRES TWO
MORE, dropping African-American Bodyguard #5, who had two
handguns blazing. And RISING...
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 87.
82M CONTINUED: (2) 82M
VINCENT ALMOST AT YIP'S BOOTH
Korean Gangster is blown back. Another tries to help 300-pound
Yip escape over the back. He's HIT. Peter Yip falls back into
the banquette, his eyes wider because Vincent's coming. Vincent
reloads. As his thumb hits the slide release and it jacks
forward, he's already FIRED a round into Yip. And Yip's eyes -
at the fierce face of death approaching - are filled in his last
moments with Vincent, who FIRES four rounds. And one to the
head. That fast. And the wall of frosted glass with a plane of
water running down it behind dead Peter Yip is untouched,
82N WOUNDED PEDROSA 82N
Feds are shouting. HRT are searching. Bodyguards are
surrendering. Korean gangsters scream at each other. Inane
Korean infomercials, videos, while...
83 INT. BACK STAIRS - MAX + FANNING 83
race past karaoke and music recording rooms and escape down the *
back stairs. Fanning pushes Max ahead, covers their rear.
MAX + FANNING FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS
Oh, man, am I happy to see you! I
don't believe it!
Yeah. I know. Relax. Breathe.
Other patrons have collapsed on the stairs and huddle on the
landing. Max and Fanning slide by and step over them to get to
the exit door to the back alley.
I can't believe it. I can't believe
Fanning guides Max forward. Emotions flood out of Max. Ten
hours of traumatic stress. Max's nightmare is over. He's home
free. Tears stream down his face.
84 EXT. SIDE STREET BEHIND CLUB - WIDE: FANNING + MAX 84
emerge. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. Fanning is dead before he hits the
ground. Max is horrified. Vincent grabs Max, propelling him
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 87A.
84 CONTINUED: 84
He throws Max behind the wheel, gets in the back...
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 88.
84 CONTINUED: (2) 84
Max - numb - hits the gas, peels out, his door left open, hands *
barely on the wheel, driving and motor skills impaired, scraping
off the sides of adjacent cars. Dead Detective Fanning, now
inert, is left behind.
85 EXT. AERIAL SHOT: LOS ANGELES CITYSCAPE - NIGHT 85
STRAIGHT DOWN from above. Acid-mint streetlight in pools on
Olympic Blvd. The yellow cab is the only vehicle heading east.
Everything else streams west. Emergency vehicles. Flashers.
86 INT. MAX'S CAB - MAX 86
in shock. Back in purgatory...eternally in his cab's front
seat. As the lone yellow cab drives east...
SINGLE: VINCENT *
What a clusterfuck. Only thing didn't
show up was the Polish cavalry.
Max's life, controlled by Vincent, is a nightmare, perpetual and
You don't wanna talk, tell me to fuck
Vincent's attention is out the window at the streams of
emergency vehicles...at the earpiece, filled with LAPD and news
86A EXT. STREET - FRONTAL: THE ANONYMOUS YELLOW CAB 86A
heads east. All other traffic races to the debacle left
...blood, bodily fluid and death get
to you? Try deep breathing. Or
remember, we all die anyway...
You had to kill Fanning?!
9/29/03 MM revs. (salmon) 89.
86A CONTINUED: 86A
Who's Fanning? *
86B INT. CAB 86B
Why'd you have to do that? You
couldn't wound him? The guy had a
family, maybe parents, kids who gotta
grow up without a dad, he was a good
guy, and he believed me...
I shoulda saved him 'cause he believed
No, not just that.
Yeah, so, what's wrong with that?
It's what I do for a living...
How are you at math? I was hired for
five hits. I did four.
There you go...!
Whyn't you kill me and find another
9/27/03 MM revs. (buff) 90.
86B CONTINUED: 86B
'Cause you're good.
We're in this together. You
know...fates intertwined. Cosmic
coincidence. All that crap...
You're full of shit.
I'm full of shit?
You're a monument of it. You even *
bullshitted yourself, all I am is
taking out the garbage. Bad guys
killing bad guys...
'Cause that's what you said...
And you believe me...?
What'd they do?
How do I know?
But, they all got that "witness for *
the prosecution" look to me. It's
probably some major federal indictment
against somebody who majorly does not
want to get indicted... I dunno.
That's the reason?
That's the "why." There is no reason.
No good reason; no bad reason. To
live or to die.
Then what are you?
Vincent hesitates, then back out the window...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 91.
86B CONTINUED: (2) 86B
Get with it. Get over it.
...millions of galaxies of hundreds of
millions of stars and a speck on one
in a blink...that's us. Lost in
space. The universe don't care (about
The cop, you, me? Who notices?
What's with you...? *
Man, if someone had a gun to your head
and said: "You gotta tell me what's
goin' on with that person across the
street, there, what they think, who
they are, how they feel, or I will
kill you"...they'd have to kill
'Cause you don't have a
(struggling for the words)
...I don't think you, you have a clue, *
period. Did anyone "do" for you in
your life...? Ever? When you draw
breath in the morning? Open your eyes
in the a.m.? You
anticipate...anything? Want anything?
Expect anything? I don't think so...
'Cause you are low, my brother, way
low... and some standard parts that are
supposed to be there?...with you,
aren't. So what happened to you, man?
What happened to you?
...all the cabbies in LA, I get Max,
Sigmund Freud meets Dr. Ruth...
Answer the question.
Look in the mirror.
(on the attack)
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 92.
86B CONTINUED: (3) 86B
...with your paper towels...a bottle *
of 409...a limo company someday. How
much you got saved?
None of your business.
Your business "plan?" Someday?
"Someday my dream'll come..."?
And one night you'll wake up and
discover it all flipped on you.
Suddenly you're old. And it didn't
happen. And it never will. 'Cause
you were never going to do it, anyway.
The dream on the horizon became
yesterday and got lost. Then you'll
bullshit yourself, it could never have
been, anyway. And you'll recede it
into memory...and zone out in a
Barcalounger with daytime TV on for
the rest of your life...
Don't talk to me about killing. *
You're do-in' yourself. In this
yellow-and-orange prison. Bit by bit.
EXTREMELY CLOSE: Max is soaking up every word.
All it ever took was a down payment on
a Lincoln Town Car. What the hell are
you still doing in a cab?
The needle on the speedometer is creeping past forty...
'Cause I never straightened-up and
looked at it, you know...?
...myself, I should have. My brothers
Tried to gamble my way out from under.
(That was) Another born-to-lose deal!
Then, "it's gotta be perfect to go!"
You know? Risk all torqued-down.
Needle pushing sixty...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 93.
86B CONTINUED: (4) 86B
But you know what? It doesn't matter.
What's it matter, anyway? 'Cause we
are...insignificant out here in this *
big-ass nowhere. Twilight Zone shit. *
Says the badass sociopath in my
backseat. So that's one thing I got
to thank you for, bro... Until now, I
never saw it that way...
The cab goes blasting through an intersection on a red light. A
LOS ANGELES TIMES DELIVERY TRUCK SLAM ON ITS BRAKES as Max
swerves, barely avoiding a collision.
That was a red light!
Max glances in the rearview.
...not until now. So what's it all
matter? It don't. Fuck it. Fix it.
Nothing to lose. Right?
Vincent's H+K's aimed at Max's head. Max almost laughs.
Slow the hell down!
Why? What are you gonna do? Pull the
trigger? Kill us? Go ahead, man!
Their eyes meet in the rearview mirror. Vincent is arrested by
a look in Max that he's not seen before. It's the even,
confrontational look of a man with nothing to lose.
Go fuck yourself.
Max slams on the brakes and cranks the steering wheel hard
9/27/03 MM revs. (buff) 93A.
87 EXT. STREET - RIGHT WHEEL 87
hits a low divider...rear end comes unstuck, rotating over the
front right and flipping the cab into a violent roll onto its
roof, spinning down the street, SMASHING off other cars, pieces
falling off, spewing glass...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 94.
87 CONTINUED: 87
...and then settling upside-down, revolving slowly to a creaking
stop, antifreeze spilling across the pavement.
And then everything goes silent, motionless, still.
87A INT. CAB 87A
Wreckage. Steam from the ruptured radiator. Crumpled metal.
Missing hood. Disintegrated windshield...shattered glass.
Max is trapped upside-down in his seatbelt, his roof half caved
in, one side of his face streaked with blood. Alive but dazed.
Movement in the back. Sharp intake of breath. Then a voice...
Well. That was brilliant.
Was your seatbelt fastened, honey?
-- and a BLOODY HAND shoots from the darkness behind him, *
plunging an aluminum section that used to hold the perspex
screen in place. Max jerks his head aside and the aluminum rail
misses him by inches, ramming solidly into the headrest instead.
Max releases his seatbelt, dropping and hitting the ceiling of
the cab. Vincent, sardined in the reduced space in the back,
lunges forward. Max wildly fights to keep the knife at bay and
crawl out his window. We hear a POLICE SIREN. Vincent, eyes
glittering, kicks out the window on the other side.
Max, crawling away on the pavement, keeping low, the taxi
between them, looks back...
MAX'S POV: VINCENT
...in a glimpse, running off into the night. Vincent's hand
pulls the .45 Para Ordnance backup from his waistband.
Vincent's SHOES CRUNCH on broken glass. He vanishes into
darkness as the SIREN GROWS near...
Max pushes painfully to his feet. Looks around.
A surreal moment. Max standing by his overturned cab, the empty
city all around him, breathing the cool night air.
It strikes him in that moment. He's survived the night. The
blood pumping through his veins is a fact. It stuns him.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 95.
87A CONTINUED: 87A
How good is life?
The LAPD black and white screeches to a stop. A SERGEANT gets
12A75 requesting an RA unit at Grand
and 9th for a TC with injuries...
SERGEANT, looking at the truly wrecked cab...
Are you alright? What happened?
And the mundane beauty of the question makes Max look at him
like he's crazy, and there are tears streaming down his face.
The Sergeant approaches Max, gentle but firm:
(as if to a child)
You've been in an accident. An
ambulance is on the way to help you.
Do you understand what I am saying to
you? Sit down on the curb. Okay?
Anybody else in there?
Max shakes his head. The Sergeant shines his flashlight on the
passenger compartment, concerned about Max.
Don't worry about the cab. They'll
get you a new one. You okay? *
(finds his voice)
I'm...fine. Fine. Just dizzy and *
Sit there and breathe deep, sir. *
You'll be okay. *
The Sergeant, now at the rear of the cab, to make sure there's
no gasoline spill, suddenly freezes, his flashlight beam finding
the trunk lid ajar from the crash, and inside is the corpse of
Ramone Gallardo in a sprawled heap.
Put your hands where I can see 'em!
Get on your knees! Slowly!
10/2/03 MM revs. (tan) 96.
87A CONTINUED: (2) 87A
Sergeant's gun is out on Max. Max does as he's told, getting to
his knees on the pavement. Curious. The whole thing strikes
Max as insane. Absurd.
87B OMIT 87B
87C EXT. STREET - MAX 87C
Sure. Arrest me. Take me in. Police
station. LA County's good.
...and he's on his knees, hands on his head. Sergeant coming up
behind him, covering him. Per procedure, Sergeant holsters his
weapon, draws his cuffs, and grabs Max's right wrist, cuffing
One arm is brought down behind his back...
MAX'S POV: PUSH SLOWLY INTO DEBRIS
from the wreckage. Granules of shattered safety glass. Max's
on-board computer that Vincent used - upside down - and "ON"...
TIGHTER ON MAX (SLO-MO)
as he sees the display from Vincent's flash drive of the last *
two targets. Max's falls forward and flattens his face on the
pavement to see...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 97.
87C CONTINUED: 87C
MAX'S POV PUSHING IN
The split image. On the left is Peter Yip. On the right is...
ANNIE FARRELL. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY.
Breath goes out of him. Target #5 is Annie. As the Sergeant is *
struggling for Max's left hand, now, Max's lunges for... *
UNDER SHATTERED GLASS
the visible grip of Vincent's .45 H+K. *
pulls the Sergeant off-balance, whips the H+K around while still
on his back, jamming the gun to the Sergeant's head. Sergeant's
hand reaches for his holstered Beretta...
Get your hand off your gun!
Max jams the gun tighter to the Sergeant's head. He's not
certain where to point it.
Look, someone's gonna get killed if I *
don't, it's... *
(cuts in) *
PUT YOUR GUN DOWN!
NO! I gotta go, see, you don't... *
(cuts in) *
PUT THE GUN DOWN!
HEY, HEY! When did this become a
Max grabs the gun out of the Sergeant's holster and tosses it
under the car. He takes his second set of cuffs...
Cuff yourself to the goddamn door.
Sergeant cuffs his arm through the window frame of the open
squad-car door. Max tosses the key. Trapped.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 98.
87C CONTINUED: (2) 87C
You're in a world of shit...
Good! Do us a favor. Call the
police! I'm going to 6th and Fig. *
(running off) *
I got no time to explain... *
...and the last the Sergeant sees of him, Max is vanishing up
the street into the darkness.
A87D EXT. STREET - MAX A87D *
Stripped of everything now. Operating purely on instinct.
Vincent's gun in his right hand, handcuff dangling from his left
The city silent around him. The only sound is his feet hitting
TWO COP CARS rocketing through an intersection a block or so
behind him, SIRENS WAILING. Max veers for cover, not breaking
stride, pressing on...
More distant SIRENS, now, police units responding...Max, racing
up the middle of the street...
Seeing a late-night PARTIER coming out of The Standard with a
CELL PHONE, Max grabbing the phone right out of his hand as he
sails past him, the Partier spinning around to chase after
Max whips around, H+K snapping up.
The man does. Max keeps running, dialing, fumbling Annie's
business card from his pocket, getting the numbers wrong, trying *
9/2/03 MM revs. (green) 99.
87C CONTINUED: (3) 87C
...and he finally stops, gasping for breath, punching in the
final numbers. LOUSY signal. CAMERA CIRCLES AROUND MAX *
TO REVEAL... *
87D EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE 87D
Max runs up the stairs of a parking structure to get a better *
signal. He and we SEE... *
MAX'S POV: FEDERAL BUILDING
across the freeway. Dark offices. Only a few have lights on. *
Three floors that are completely lit, 14th through 16th.
(gripping cell phone)
C'mon, go through, go through...
Through intermittent CELL PHONE STATIC, we hear RINGING on the *
87E INT. FEDERAL BUILDING LOBBY - VINCENT - NIGHT 87E
uses a card similar to the one we saw in the front to gain *
access to the elevator lobby without setting off the alarms.
BUT this card's connected to a wristband with other key cards *
and an identification card of a heavyset black woman. We don't
beyond Vincent the lobby's vacancy is sinister... *
87F OMIT 87F *
88 INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT 88
Vincent rides up, watching the numbers climb...
89 OMIT 89
89A EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE - NIGHT 89A
Max waits, heart pounding, phone ringing, eyes scanning the *
He sees a FIGURE on the uppermost well-lit floor, 16, through *
the south windows cross an office to grab the phone. Annie.
9/2/03 MM revs. (green) 99A.
90 INT. US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - ANNIE - NIGHT 90 *
lays down some files and grabs up the phone, bleary from
exhaustion. She wasn't kidding about pulling an all-nighter.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 100.
90 CONTINUED: 90
(gasping for breath)
Max, the cab driver!
(glances at clock)
...kind of a strange time to be
Listen! Listen, okay? There's a man.
His name's Vincent. He's come to kill
He's...what? Where are you...? *
Kill you! He is coming to kill you!
Is this a joke? 'Cause it is not
A guy, Felix, hired him! Or people
Felix works for. He's already killed
witnesses, now he's coming after you!
He was scoping out your building when
I dropped you off. I don't know what
happened, but he got into my cab.
90A INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY - ELEVATOR DOORS 90A
slide open. Vincent emerges onto the floor, using a master key
card to enter the office...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 101.
91 INT. OFFICE - ANNIE 91
tries to decipher what Max is saying through the CELL PHONE
Did you say Felix? As in Reyes-
Torrena? How do you know about my
case? I don't understand...
It doesn't matter! Get out of the
92 INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT 92
...but it's too late, Vincent's at a wooden door in the wood-and-
glass office interior with an "Assistant U.S. Attorney Annie
Farrell" sign. He kicks in the door at the lock. It slams
open. He's through, H+K up...
Empty. No one's home. It's not the same office. Vincent steps
92A INT. 16TH FLOOR OFFICE 92A
Annie finally grasps what Max is telling her:
...okay, okay, Max, I believe
you...I'll get out of the building...
No, no, wait...!
93 OMIT 93
93A EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE - MAX 93A
sees across the freeway: Vincent looking through Annie's
office. It's on the 14th floor...
LOW ANGLE PAST MAX *
CAMERA TILTS UP to reveal Annie two floors above. She's frozen *
at a table in the law library on the south wall, phone to her *
93B INT. 14TH FLOOR, ANNIE'S OFFICE - VINCENT 93B
SEES purse, take-out, coffee cups...Vincent KNOWS she's still *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 101A.
93B CONTINUED: 93B
And the ANGLE becomes OVER VINCENT out the window to the parking
structure below and to the speck on the roof - Max, watching
93C EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE - MAX 93C
...he's two floors below you.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 102.
93C CONTINUED: 93C
In my office?!
Where are you, what floor?
Sixteen, law library and files. *
He doesn't know you're up there! Stay
right where you are! Call 911!
Max, are you sure?
Call the goddamn police! Don't move
from that spot...
94 INT. 14TH FLOOR - NIGHT 94
Vincent pauses from examining offices with half-glass interior
walls. His eyes going to a desk phone. Three banks of
extensions. All dark. ONLY ONE of the extension buttons is
GLOWING. Then it goes out. Then it lights up again. *
Glowing light. It's Annie calling 911. Next to it is typed the *
Files Section, 16th Fl.
Vincent looks up. He knows where she is. CAMERA TILTS UP of
95 OMIT 95
95A EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE - MAX 95A
sees, realizes Vincent knows where she is...
(into cell phone)
Hang up. Hang up! Annie, get out!
He knows where you are!
96 INT. 16TH FLOOR FILES SECTION - ANNIE 96
lost in CELL PHONE INTERMITTENT CUT-OUT...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 103.
96 CONTINUED: 96
Hello? Max? What did you say?
No use. He's gone. She punches a clear line, dials 911...
97 OMIT 97
97A EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE - MAX 97A
frantically hits redial. Nothing. No signal. SHRILL FAST-BUSY
TONE. No cell service.
Pure desperation. He glances over the abutment to the grass
slope below. No time to think. He acts. Fuck it. He jumps,
clumsily, falling, rolling...
97B FALLING DOWN THE SLOPE 97B
with Max. Desperate, not graceful, pushing to his feet, ankle
wrenched, racing/hobbling, grass-stained hoody, across...
97C INT. 14TH FLOOR - LONG LENS ON MAX 97C
...crossing the bridge over the Harbor Freeway to the office
98 INT. 16TH FLOOR FILES SECTION - NIGHT 98
...as Annie listens to the 911 RECORDING:
...call will be answered in the order
received. If this is not an
99 OMIT 99
99A EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING, LOBBY (GAS CO. WEST OVERVIEW) - MAX 99A
enters. The sidewalk is elevated above the lobby. Through the
brightly-lit glass walks Max sees the lobby is strangely vacant. *
No security guards. (Then he SEES a LONG SMEAR OF BLOOD across *
the white stone...)
99B OMIT 99B
100 INT. 16TH FLOOR FILES SECTION - ANNIE 100
finally hears a CLICK ON THE LINE as:
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 104.
100 CONTINUED: 100
FEMALE VOICE (FILTERED)
911. How can I help you...?
There's a man in the building! He's
trying to kill me. I'm...
100A INT. UTILITY ROOM, 16TH FLOOR - FIRE AX 100A
WHACK! Vincent swings it again, instantly severing the 16th
floor's power and telephone trunk line. Sparks emit from the
bundled cables in the thick conduit. He tosses the ax, exits
into the hallway, jabs the elevator button...
100B EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING, LOBBY (EAST VIEW) - MAX 100B *
appears. And SEES...dead NIGHT WATCHWOMAN squeezed behind the *
security desk... *
101 INT. FILES SECTION - NIGHT 101
...as Annie finds herself talking to a dead line:
102 EXT. BUILDING LOBBY - NIGHT 102
Max hurls a steel trash can at the glass wall with all his
might. It just bounces off.
Max pauses, stymied. He raises Vincent's H+K clumsily in one
hand, braces himself, squeezes the trigger. Nothing. Is there
a safety on this thing? He finds it.
He tries again. FIRES TWO SHOTS into the glass door. The gun
almost kicks out of his hand. But the door disintegrates. He
103 INT. 16TH FLOOR FILES SECTION - NIGHT 103
Annie, frozen with indecision. What to do? Stay or go?
(In keeping with the building's design, a WALL OF GLASS
separates this area from the corridor beyond, which is separated
by glass from other offices and the lobby. Normally, you'd be
able to see people working, walking the hallway.)
Right now, the corridor's dark. Terrifying.
She forces herself to move, to cross the office, run now...for
the door to the...
9/21/03 MM revs. (pink) 104A.
103 CONTINUED: 103
...but she only gets ten feet before she's stopped by...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 105.
103 CONTINUED: (2) 103
A door opening. A SOFT FOOTSTEP. Somebody's there. Somebody *
She backs up, against the floor-to-ceiling windows. Frozen. *
Heart pounding. Listening. Against the city at night out the
She backs up, further towards the windows, back into... *
103A INT. FILES SECTION 103A
...where she backs past file cabinets. Not deep enough.
Nowhere to hide. So she backs along the glass. Nothing now but
the CITY GLOW spilling faintly through the windows. Low shelves
of legal books. Tables offering no cover. While...
tracks against the city laid out to the south, the 110 and 10
like arteries carrying white and red cells (headlights and
ANNIE crouches under a table and crawls backwards. She can't
hear a thing. Her heart pounds. The silence makes her want to
A POV of empty, scary office. Over the table, b.g., is the
glass wall running the length of the office area. The corridor
A SHADOW...? Did she see a shadow pass against the murky
darkness out there?
A soft sound. Feet on carpet. Did she hear it? Is she
imagining it? The breath catches in her throat. Eyes wide.
in the bullpen by a corridor. It lurks, silently. Waiting.
And then he moves. Softly. Quietly...
TIGHT ON ANNIE
Under the table...by the windows. A huddled form against the
city lights and helicopters. Waiting. Not breathing. Still as
a statue. Then the urge is too strong.
She's got to get out, get out now!
Annie on her hands and knees, trying to crawl away,
8/24/03 MM revs. 106.
103A CONTINUED: 103A
...not realizing that walking upon her, SOUNDLESSLY, from the *
back is Vincent. She doesn't know. He's a shadow in the *
senses. Stops. Turns...and she sees the shape - twenty feet *
away - of Vincent...the Para-Ordnance .45 coming up. The .45 *
cal barrel like a tunnel into nothingness. *
are cold, indifferent. *
VINCENT'S FINGER *
squeezing off the slack on the trigger. *
sense. Stops. Turns. *
in a doorway. Aiming a gun. He's backlit by a red emergency *
light on a rear wall. For a moment, Vincent can't bring himself *
to believe it... *
Let her go.
Vincent smiles, it's harsh, almost canine... *
What are you gonna do, shoot m--
BLAM! A MUZZLE FLASH. Vincent got kicked in the head. He goes *
Max rushes up to Annie. Grabs her arm, jerks her away... *
He pulls her to her feet. Both of them backing away, running *
for the door. A GROAN. Max pulls her harder. *
rises, gets behind cover. Sitting up, eyes glittering, hand *
clasped to the side of his head, blood coursing through his
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 107.
103A CONTINUED: (2) 103A
Jesus, Max. You shot my ear off. *
He pulls his hand away, sitting on the floor, staring at the *
sheet of blood on his palm. He looks at the fleeing Max.
103B INT. GLASS CORRIDORS - MAX 103B
has the H+K aimed, backing for the elevator lobby...
103C VINCENT APPEARS 103C
around a corner, clearing space. Fast. His Para-Ordnance up.
Max and Annie running, now... Vincent sees vague shapes...
BOOM-BOOM! BOOM-BOOM! Gunshots punch through the glass, inches
from Max and Annie, collapsing walls revealing Vincent against
the LA-scape. Blossoms of white flame: BOOM-BOOM...
103D INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY 103D
...and a moment later the GLASS WALL EXPLODES into the corridor,
by a chair, CRASHING through it, followed by Vincent, into the
elevator lobby, while...
103E INT. ELEVATOR - MAX 103E
hits the ground-floor button and "close," the doors taking a
million years to do that. As they're sliding shut, he sees
Vincent across the lobby, raising the gun...
Max throws himself on Annie, both to the floor. BULLETS PUNCH
through the paper-thin sheet-metal doors. But the elevator's
103F INT. 16TH FLOOR HALLWAY 103F
...leaving Vincent behind. He darts for the stairs.
103G INT. ELEVATOR 103G
Max and Annie on the floor, breathing hard, staring at each
other in wordless shock. They reach the ground floor...
103H INT. BUILDING LOBBY 103H
...and Max drags her forward, the two of them racing across for
the exit, seen WIDE + HIGH in REAR SHOT (Gas Co. lobby, running
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 108.
103J INT. BUILDING STAIRWELL 103J
Vincent careens down the steps, the entire side of his head
bloody, his ear mostly gone. He SLAMS through a door into --
103K INT. LOBBY 103K
-- where he finds the elevator standing empty. He hears a door
alarm, turns, runs across the lobby...
103L INT. LOWER LOBBY - VINCENT 103L
enters and races down the frozen escalator to CAMERA. *
A103M INT. MTA - REAR SHOT: MAX + ANNIE A103M *
enter and run through the interior hall OR down the lower *
103M INT./EXT. MTA - LOW/WIDE ANGLE: VINCENT 103M
entering from the street, diagonally, down to CAM. (The office
building is behind him.)
104 OMIT 104 *
105 INT. BOARDING PLATFORMS (GREEN LINE) - MAX + ANNIE 105 *
race towards the boarding area. *
Hardly anyone in sight, except for an OLD WHITE HOMELESS GUY *
with a TV set in a shopping cart powered by a car battery. *
CALL THE POLICE!
He stares at them like they're nuts. They run towards the empty *
platform. No train! *
Neon-lit, strange art, like dead people floating in a pool, *
hangs from the ceiling. *
Max and Annie run, turning this way and that, trying to decide *
what to do. *
A105A OVER MAX + ANNIE - SAME A105A *
They run down ANOTHER STAIRCASE where we see the BLUE LINE *
PLATFORMS, running at 90 degrees. No train there, either! They *
race down, anyway to get away, because... *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 108A.
105A EXT. TOP OF STAIRS TO GREEN LINE PLATFORM - REAR SHOT: 105A *
runs into frame, SEES Max and Annie 50-75 yards away, racing *
down the stairs to the Blue Line...a difficult shot, Vincent *
aims, elevates the front sight...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 109.
105A CONTINUED: 105A
BOOOOOM! BOOOOOM! BOOOOOM! Vincent FIRES THREE ROUNDS... *
105B INT. BLUE LINE PLATFORM - MAX + ANNIE 105B *
cut by .45 caliber bullets chewing craters in the ceramic tiles *
inches from them.
106 INT. BLUE LINE - MAX + ANNIE 106 *
HEAR, NOW, A TRAIN PULL IN. BUT it's upstairs on the Green *
Line. They run down the platform for the stairs back UP! *
A106A INT. GREEN LINE PLATFORM - VINCENT A106A *
running, SEES the train arriving on the OPPOSITE PLATFORM. He *
looks down to the stairs to the Blue Line. A train pulls in *
there, too! Decision time. *
B106A INT. GREEN LINE, THE FOURTH SUBWAY CAR - MAX + ANNIE B106A *
...are discovered crawling into the car. They collapse, low on *
the floor, waiting for the doors to close, the train to pull *
out, hoping Vincent hasn't followed... *
has to decide, has to second-guess Max. A beat. The train sits *
there for seconds. It seems like hours, like fucking forever. *
Vincent riveted to the spot. Max + Annie praying Vincent *
doesn't appear. *
The doors start to close, sliding irrevocably shut. *
Then he knows. With no hesitation, he leaps off the platform *
onto the rails as the train starts to pull out. *
C106A INT. FOURTH SUBWAY CAR - MAX + ANNIE C106A *
are at the sliding which adjoins the fourth car to the *
third car. The train's picking up speed. Where's Vincent? As *
a precaution, they start for the third car. *
D106A EXT. MTA - HELICOPTER FROM ABOVE D106A *
...we're out of the subway on the surface... *
106A INT. THIRD CAR - MAX + ANNIE 106A *
low, down the aisle of the third car, rising for the door. And *
Max turns and looks: *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 109A.
106A CONTINUED: 106A
standing in the fourth car, staring at him. *
106B OMIT 106B *
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 110.
106C INT. SECOND CAR - MAX + ANNIE 106C *
race in as ROUNDS pound through glass into the second car. *
ROUNDS SLAM through metal and glass. *
106D INT. FOURTH CAR - VINCENT - NIGHT 106D *
is coming... *
...and the SEQUENCE BUILDS, Vincent working toward the front...
Max and Annie desperately looking for cover. City racing by.
Train racing by city. A few RAGGED PASSENGERS trying to huddle
out of harm's way with nowhere to go. As the TRAIN THUNDERS AND
SHRIEKS over the track junctures...
THE FIRST CAR
Max and Annie rush in, slide the door shut. This is as far as
they can go. They drop into a crouch at the door, breathing
hard, terrified, Max with his back against the wall, arm stiffly
keeping the door handle wedged tight, his head just below the
door's window. A harsh, ragged whisper:
Where's the next station?
A frozen moment. Eyes locked. Knowing they're probably going
to die together, even though they hardly know each other.
THE TRAIN GOES BLACK, LIGHTS DYING AS THEY SHRIEK OVER ANOTHER
JUNCTURE...then the LIGHTS RETURN, stuttering.
Max rises slightly up, peers over the lip of the window. Here
comes fucking Vincent down the aisle of the second car. He sees
Max. He shouts, barely audible from here...
YOU CAN'T WIN, MAX! I DO THIS FOR A
...and he keeps coming, .45 at his side, a sheet of blood down
his face from the missing part of his ear.
...the visage of Vincent, the .45 in his hands, scares the shit
out of the early-morning passengers.
...and Max clutches the H+K, takes a deep, shaky breath, his
eyes on Annie's, not even sure in that moment what he's going to
do, probably die, and he lunges up, Vincent not ten feet away...
AND THE TRAIN GOES DARK.
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 110A.
106D CONTINUED: 106D
A BLIZZARD OF MUZZLE FLASHES, both men FIRING THROUGH THE
WINDOWS at each other, GLASS SHATTERING between the cars and
getting sucked away by the wind, Max screaming, face lit only by
the GUNFIRE, clumsy in how he holds Vincent's H+K, firing one-
handed, not aiming, not looking where he's shooting...Vincent's
Para-Ordnance BOOMING OUT MASSIVE ERUPTIONS OF FLAME...
9/30/03 MM revs. (cherry) 111.
106D CONTINUED: (2) 106D
...and then abrupt silence as the LIGHTS RETURN, Max looking *
down, his expression nearly childlike with terror. He stares at
the H+K in his shaking hand, sees the slide is locked back -
gun's empty. He rises up. His look says, "go ahead, kill
me..." through the shattered window.
Vincent's standing in the other car, right where we left him.
Watching Max. A little smile on his face.
107 INT. VINCENT'S CAR - NIGHT 107
Vincent ejects the empty magazine. Before it even hits the
floor or at his feet...Vincent's hand loading a full mag, the
weapon pointed at Max, like it was when he reloaded and shot
Peter Yip the first time.
Odd, though. His fingers aren't working that well. His
brilliant sleight-of-hand seems gone. He fumbles the reload, in
The magazine of stacked .45's drops, landing at his feet among
the expended casings. A few fresh droplets of blood patter
Vincent considers picking up the mag, but it suddenly seems like
way too much trouble. He blinks at the .45 in his hand, as if
confused, then turns and starts unsteadily back toward the back
of the car.
The .45 slips from his fingers, clattering to the floor.
Max watches Vincent walk away.
Vincent only makes it halfway. He has to sit. He grabs an
aluminum pole, eases himself onto the seat, trying to catch his
Max slides his door open, steps across the bridge between cars.
Slides the second door open. Enters.
Vincent turns his head slightly, watching Max draw cautiously
nearer. Max stares down, seeing the blood spreading across the
floor beneath Vincent. Turning into quite a pool.
Vincent tries to speak, can't quite manage. Max sits across
from him. Annie appears in b.g., watching them.
VINCENT + MAX
sit there, riding the train. Softly:
We're almost at the next station.
10/9/03 MM revs. (yellow) 112.
107 CONTINUED: 107
Vincent smiles faintly. He leans his head toward Max as if
conferring a secret. In a halting whisper:
Guy. Gets on a subway. Dies.
(off Max's look)
Think anybody'll notice?
looks into Vincent's eyes. It means "I'm that guy" and "will
anybody notice me when I'm gone?"
leans back, gazing straight ahead now. Rocking gently with the
motion of the train...
...and with much effort and to Max's amazement, Vincent emits a
soft, rasping wheeze, but it's a faint laugh all the same.
Max has no idea what's so funny to a dying man. Vincent looks.
Max follows his gaze. There, right across the car, among all
the ADVERTISEMENTS near the ceiling, is:
The whitest sand and bluest sea you can imagine. A dream place.
Limitless horizon. *
107A INT. VINCENT'S CAR - MAX - DAWN 107A
Vincent's no longer laughing. In fact, Vincent's no longer
doing anything. Ever.
Annie comes to Max and sits. She shivers. Max takes off his
zippered, hooded sweatshirt and puts it around Annie. It's a
small gesture. But it's a protective and confident act... She
takes his hand. Dawn lightens the sky ahead. They ride the
train together, side by side, neither saying a word. For now.
The train pulls in to a station...
WIDE ANGLE OF SUBWAY CAR
...and Max pulls Annie to her feet. The doors open. They
silently get off. The first sideways streams of yellow light
shaft into the station.
The doors close again. The train pulls out.
8/24/03 MM revs. 113.
107A CONTINUED: 107A
WE HOLD ON Vincent for a while. Riding the train by himself,
into the dawn, his head back as if sleeping, alone in the car, *
as the sun rises.
Another dead guy on the subway...riding into a new day.
And Max, in his Polo shirt and dirty pants, an arm around Annie, *
wearing his stained sweatshirt, rises to us up the *
escalator...freeways, arteries of traffic behind them. *