I've been slowly reading through a draft of the big screen adaptation of IO Interactive's Kane & Lynch today, the movie set to star Bruce Willis as Kane, Jamie Foxx as Lynch. Screenwriter Kyle Ward has done some... interesting things.
The version of the Kane & Lynch script we got our hands on dates back to September 13, 2007, so what we're reading may not represent the final product. The 112 page script follows the plot of the original Eidos-published game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men fairly closely, introducing us to the titular characters. The names have been slightly rearranged, Marcus J. Kane and Lester Lynch, respectively, with their backgrounds fleshed out over the course of two violent flashbacks.
As in the game, Kane and Lynch are on their way to death row when a group of mercenaries, The Seven, plow through their prison transport bus and snatch up the two convicts. The two are informed they have just a few days to hunt down Japanese crime lord Retomoto Matsahushi, retrieve an important MacGuffin, or Kane's wife and daughter will be executed.
Here's where things start to deviate. Kane's daughter hates his guts, a fact pounded into the viewer during the film's opening scene, a feeling made much more ambiguous in the game. That makes it just a little harder to sympathize with the character destined to be portrayed by Bruce Willis.
Also unusually different from the video game is Lynch's character. He's still a heavily medicated schizophrenic, but his manner of speech in the script is, let's just say it's unexpected. Here's some sample dialogue from Lynch, ordering a drink at a Tokyo nightclub filled with yakuza.
Spoiler: Lynch does eventually order the Shirley Temple.
While every other character drops the words "fuck" and "shit" liberally, a script filled with foulmouthed bad-asses through and through, the Kyle Ward version of Lynch is wildly different from the IO Interactive original. Some of Lynch's choice dialogue includes "I don't think I appreciate your affectionate caress." after being manhandled by Kane and "Do you have any idea the magnitude of what you're confabulating about?" in response to learning what the two death row convicts will be doing in Japan.
The script does have some action scenes that sound like potential highlights, including repeated use of construction equipment to destroy people, places and things.
Another potentially interesting set piece is the gunfight conducted in a crowded public place, both parties armed with silencers, resulting in a shoot out in which nearby bystanders are blissfully unaware of the bullets whizzing by them—and the people who are killed as a result of the quiet gunfire.
Bloody, bullet-filled, and overflowing with coarse language, Kane & Lynch, the movie, feels as if it's trying just a little too hard to be edgy and crude, with two unlikable leads in a world of unlikable characters. But at least that feels true to the original game!
We're still going over the script, so expect a more fleshed out preview of the Kane & Lynch movie adaptation on Kotaku soon.