>> I/ Rush Hour I

I/ Rush Hour I

: I/ Rush Hour I.

I/ Rush Hour I

FADE IN:

EXT. LOS ANGELES - DAY

The whole dysfunctional megalopolis, beige and blurry in the summer smog. If this is the American Dream, do me a favor and wake me up.

EXT. LAX - DAY

The traffic loop outside the terminals is gridlocked -- mostly with stretch limousines.

INT. LAX - (INCLUDE NEWS REPORT MONTAGE) - DAY

Inside, the airport is done up with festive posters, streamers and banners: Welcome - Pacific Partners Summit

A planeload of cheerful CHINESE DELEGATES come into the crowded terminal. Some sport red T-shirts with a picture of Mao wearing Mickey Mouse ears.

They get onto the people mover, passing by a TV REPORTER:

REPORTER (to TV CAMERA) Eager to mend its tarnished image, Los Angeles has really put out the welcome mat for tomorrow's summit. The city promises quite a party as leaders from Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, the U.S. and others begin talks for the largest free-trade treaty in history.

The SCENE changes to TAPE of DELEGATES from other countries arriving.

Then, we see massive SECURITY PREPARATIONS all around the city.

REPORTER (VO) (continuing) The one sour note is North Korea, the only Pacific Rim country not participating. There are rumors of secret meetings with North Korean representatives, but U.S. officials insist the North must first hold democratic elections, and halt its nuclear weapons program -- as they claimed to have done back in 1995.

We CUT TO a heated debate in the UN SECURITY COUNCIL.

Then ARTILLERY FIRE over the Korean DMZ.

The SCENE returns to LAX.

REPORTER (VO) (continuing) Tensions remain high since last year's skirmishes between North Korea and the U.S. So any chance of the communist North joining the Pacific Partners seems highly unlikely.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FREMONT PLACE - DAY

An exclusive, walled-off section of Hancock Park. There's only one route in and out, past a manned guardhouse on Wilshire.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

A Colonial-style mansion, surrounded by an imposing, wrought- iron fence. There is a bronze plaque, in English and Korean, next to the entranceway: Consulate of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The driveway gate opens and a long, black Mercedes with tinted windows and diplomatic license plates glides out.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

An alert North Korean CORPORAL watches the perimeter MONITORS. He pushes a switch to close the gate behind the Mercedes.

EXT. UTILITY POLE - OLYMPIC BLVD - DAY

From atop a pole outside the south wall, a man with binoculars overlooks the private streets of Fremont Place.

HIS POV - THROUGH BINOCULARS

as the Mercedes cruises through the quiet neighborhood.

BACK TO SCENE

The man, PAUL JAVAL, is thirtyish, nervous; with short, sandy hair. He takes the binoculars away from his face and we see his eyes -- they're a strange, unnaturally light gray.

Javal takes an ORANGE PILL from an unlabeled prescription bottle and pops it into his mouth. He climbs down the pole to a van with a phone company logo on it.

EXT. WILSHIRE BLVD - DAY

The Mercedes comes out of the Fremont Place gate, and turns into the heavy morning traffic.

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

It is extremely quiet, due to inch-thick glass on the windows and 4,000 pounds of armor plating on the car's chassis.

The DRIVER is a North Korean Army Major. On the seat beside him is an AMD-74, a 5.45x39mm-caliber machine gun.

A HAND from the back seat darts between the front seats and turns on the RADIO to a ROCK station. The Driver turns it off.

NEW ANGLE

The hand belongs to 10-year-old SAM KE HAN. Sam sits back and sighs to his sister, JOY (15). Between them sits a middle-aged Scandinavian GOVERNESS.

SAM I can't stand it -- half an hour to get to the stupid school every morning... with no music... (Korean; subtitled) [Just our damn Nanny...]

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

Javal's van, also with tinted windows, turns onto Crenshaw. It follows the Mercedes, several cars behind it.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Javal, wired, drums on the steering wheel while driving. He glances at some expertly constructed, radio-control REMOTE UNITS sitting on the seat next to him.

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

Traffic is moving at about 35 MPH. The Mercedes merges onto the freeway, heading west. Javal's van follows.

The thumping of a RAP SONG rattles the other drivers' fillings as a LOWRIDER with its stereo turned up to "11" cruises by.

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Even 500 watts of bass cannot penetrate the armored silence. The Driver scans the road, wary but sensing no danger. He puts on his blinker to take the 405 South exit.

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

The van follows, now directly behind the Mercedes, in a procession of vehicles going up the long, curved overpass arcing 100 feet above the 10, toward the 405.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

As they approach the crest of the overpass, Javal flips a switch on his radio-control unit...

CLOSE - ROAD SURFACE OF OVERPASS

Six small SEMICIRCLES, exact replicas of the stay-alert bumps on the white lines of the overpass, EXPLODE. They spew hundreds of sharp, triangular nails across the roadway. Immediately, scores of tires on passing cars BLOW OUT...

WIDER

Causing, 50 yards ahead of the Mercedes and van, the most hellacious, gut-wrenching, piss-your-pants, chain-reaction PILE-UP you can imagine.

Dozens of drivers LOSE CONTROL of their vehicles... sideswipe their neighbors... grind against the guard rails. Some fishtail into 180's, smashing headlong into the traffic still coming onto the overpass.

Brakes squeal, people scream, metal crumples, airbags deploy, glass shatters.

And then it gets really nasty...

A Honda gets jammed under a truck hauling cinder blocks. The truck JACKKNIFES, tipping over like a drunken giant.

It SMASHES through the concrete wall and guard rail...

Along with several cars and their SCREAMING OCCUPANTS, swept over the edge by the truck like discarded soda cans.

They plummet through space, CRASHING onto the freeway below.

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Sam, Joy, and the Governess brace themselves as the Driver slams on the brakes. He barely avoids hitting anything.

DRIVER (Korean) [Stay in the car.]

EXT. FREEWAY OVERPASS - DAY

A nightmare scene of smoke, twisted wrecks, dazed victims. The Mercedes and van sit motionless in the backed-up traffic.

INT./EXT. JAVAL'S VAN & ROADWAY - DAY

Javal slides open a TRAP DOOR on the floor of the van. He slips a wheeled, mechanic's repair platform through it.

ANGLE WITH JAVAL

as, unnoticed amid the chaos, he lies on the platform and rolls under the Mercedes.

The undercarriage of the Mercedes is armored with steel. Javal stops at a patch of perforations -- an air exchange vent. He attaches a slim DEVICE over the vent, flips a switch on it, then rolls back toward the van.

INT. MERCEDES - DAY

Oblivious to Javal's actions below them, everyone watches as police and news helicopters circle above. Then, some CHP motorcycles straddle the lanes and zoom by.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

Sweating, Javal sits back in the driver's seat and checks another radio unit. Working.

EXT. FREEWAY OVERPASS - DAY

The CHP has cleared a path through the devastation, and traffic trickles through. As the Mercedes and the van pass by, Javal looks proudly at the misery he's wrought. He follows the Mercedes onto the 405 south.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Javal drives behind the Mercedes, with one hand on the radio unit. The Mercedes signals to take the Venice exit.

Javal fingers the radio unit, itching to use it...

But he PASSES by the Mercedes as it gets off the freeway.

INSERT ANGLE - UNDER THE MERCEDES

Javal's device is armed, and waiting...

FADE TO:

EXT. SIERRA BONITA AVENUE - CARSON'S HOUSE - NIGHT

A pretty street in the Miracle Mile, lined with neat, single- family homes. Timed SPRINKLER systems water some of the yards.

Every house on the block except the one we're in front of has a "For Sale" sign on the lawn. From the weathered looks of the signs, they've been there for quite a while.

INT. CARSON'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

It's a hot night. The ceiling fan above the bed spins slowly.

PETE CARSON tosses restlessly in bed, the sheets half-covering him. Next to him his wife, MIRANDA KNOLL, snores contentedly.

Carson is in his late thirties, outdoorsy, with a tight, muscular build. Emotionally he's tightly-wound as well.

Miranda is 35, raven-haired, sensible, pretty. She believes above all else that one should never raise one's voice.

Carson groans... he's DREAMING...

CUT TO:

EXT. BEVERLY DRIVE - (CARSON'S DREAM) - DAY

Quick, SILENT IMAGES: A street cordoned off with police tape. Cops, SWAT teams, FBI surround BEVERLY THRIFT, a bank.

Carson, younger, hair shorter, sits in an FBI COMMAND TRUCK across from the bank. Covering the mouthpiece of the phone in his hand, he's arguing with the OTHER AGENTS in the truck.

Suddenly, a huge, fiery EXPLOSION blows out the front of the bank building. Horrified, Carson runs toward it...

CUT TO:

INT. CARSON'S HOUSE - BEDROOM AND HALLWAY - NIGHT

Carson is snapped awake by a CAR ALARM going off outside.

CARSON Son of a bitch!

He bolts out of bed, wearing nothing but a pair of striped bikini briefs. Miranda rolls over, sleepy, unconcerned...

MIRANDA Pete... please... we have to be up early tomorrow. Call the police.

CARSON Yeah, right.

He races down the hall -- right past the house alarm keypad, its LCD reading "ARMED."

He grabs an aluminum baseball bat from the umbrella stand. Forgetting to disarm the house alarm, he yanks the front door open. The house alarm begins SHRIEKING.

CARSON (continuing) Shit!

MIRANDA

pulls the pillows over her head and sighs.

MIRANDA Not again...

EXT. CARSON'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Carson comes around to the driveway, which is illuminated by the streetlight --

Where two 20-ish ASSHOLES are sitting in his 1965 Mustang convertible, their presence courtesy of a huge cut they've made in the otherwise-perfect ragtop.

Car-theft tools in a leather case between them, they're prying the ignition switch out of the dashboard.

Asshole #1 spots Carson. He gets out of the car, wielding a crowbar. His partner keeps working.

NEW ANGLE

Asshole #1 lunges viciously, swiping at Carson with the crowbar, taking a piece out of his side. Carson starts BLEEDING profusely, but he's too pissed to notice.

Carson uses his bat to take the offensive. They go at each other like combatants in a swordfight, the CLANKING of metal echoing through the neighborhood along with the screaming house and car ALARMS, and frantic neighborhood DOGS.

Surprised at Carson's fury and strength, Asshole #1 backs onto the lawn, oblivious to the running SPRINKLERS.

As he backs away, his shoe catches on one of the sprinkler heads. It breaks off, and a huge GEYSER of water sprays out.

Carson holds his bat in both hands and jams the front of it into Asshole #1's breadbasket. He doubles over.

Carson grabs Asshole #1's arm, and pulls it quickly against his raised knee. There is a SNAP and a loud howl as the arm breaks, and Carson tosses him aside.

Seeing this, Asshole #2 gives up on the car. He takes off toward the street. Carson runs to head him off, but he's a lot faster in his Air Jordans than Carson is in his bare feet.

WIDER

Carson grabs the metal lid from a garbage can at the curb and FLINGS it like a huge Frisbee. It sails across the street --

And NAILS Asshole #2's head. He kisses the pavement, stunned.

Carson runs up and grabs him, but he pulls out a long, sharp screwdriver and jabs at Carson with it.

Then, blue flashing lights appear from around the corner: A WESTEC Chevy Blazer. Two uniformed GUARDS get out, and fumble with their sidearms.

WESTEC GUARD Everybody... chill! Bikini boy! On the ground!

Asshole #2 is still trying to gouge Carson with the screwdriver. Carson glares at the dopey Guards.

CARSON Asshole was trying to boost my car!

ANGLE ACROSS STREET

Carson's fiftyish, black, next-door NEIGHBOR, wearing pajamas and a robe, comes out of his house. Carson sees him.

CARSON Mike -- call 911!

NEIGHBOR Been trying... (has a cordless phone) It's busy. (to Guards; re Carson) He's the good guy, you schumcks.

The Guards seem to get it. Without warning, one takes out a TASER and ZAPS Asshole #2. Carson lets go just in time.

CLOSER

Holding his bleeding side, Carson walks back to his house. He notices the "Neighborhood Watch" sign has graffiti spray- painted on it. He touches it -- the paint is still wet. His Neighbor shrugs -- whatta ya gonna do?

The PAPER GUY drives by... and tosses Carson's newspaper right under the gushing SPRINKLER.

CARSON I hate this fuckin' town.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - ESTABLISHING - DAY

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - DAY

Joy is standing on the toilet, blowing cigarette smoke into the exhaust fan. Someone KNOCKS on the door. She flicks the cigarette into the toilet, puts a ZIPPO LIGHTER in her pocket.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - HALLWAY - DAY

Joy opens the bathroom door. Sam is standing there, grinning.

JOY There are six bathrooms in this house, Sam.

SAM (fanning the air) But only one with a smoking section.

She quickly closes the door behind her. Sam laughs.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DINING ROOM - DAY

Sam and Joy sit at the table. AMBASSADOR HAN and MRS. HAN are having breakfast: radish soup, kimchi and grilled fish.

Ambassador Han reads through the morning's faxed communiquEs. He's 43, rarely smiles, and hates living in the U.S. He's dressed in an impeccably-tailored, Valentino two-piece suit.

Mrs. Han is slender, soft-spoken, but as iron-willed as her husband. She, however, is quick to smile. She's wearing a summery dress with a white sweater over her shoulders.

Ambassador Han pulls the front of Sam's shirt to reveal the "Nirvana" logo on his T-shirt.

AMBASSADOR HAN (Korean) [Go change.]

Ambassador Han's X-ray stare turns to Joy.

AMBASSADOR HAN (continuing) [You smell like a fireplace.]

A BUTLER appears with a phone. He WHISPERS to Mrs. Han.

MRS. HAN It's the Governess... (into phone) Hello, Hilda...

CUTAWAY - CLOSE ON GOVERNESS

as she speaks into a cellular phone. She's extremely nervous. We cannot see her surroundings.

GOVERNESS (thru phone) Mrs. Han... I am very sick today...

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DINING ROOM - DAY

MRS. HAN (into phone) We will see you next week... (hangs up; smiles to kids) It appears I'll be taking you to school.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

In the back of his van, Javal pats the Governess' hand.

JAVAL Very good. You may go now...

He speaks with a slight accent, French, perhaps. He pops an orange pill, then unlatches the rear doors of the van. With a quick glance back at him, she goes to open the doors.

Javal grabs a plastic tarp and throws it over the Governess' upper body. He puts his arm across her neck, flicks open a gravity knife and PLUNGES it through the tarp, into her chest.

He drops her on the floor of the van and fastidiously wipes a small smudge of blood from his hand with a handkerchief.

INT. CARSON'S HOUSE - BATHROOM AND BEDROOM - DAY

Carson steps out of the shower. He looks exhausted. Toweling off, he goes into the bedroom, where Miranda is riding an exercise bike, listening to music on headphones and reading the sprinkler-soaked newspaper, all while watching the TV.

ANGLE ON TV

A perky blonde traffic reporter, BOBBI MARCHFELDER, talks to us from a local NEWS COPTER.

BOBBI (on TV) ...Good morning, Summit Day! It's gonna be the Super Bowl, the 4th of July, the Olympics and Woodstock all rolled into one! All over town there'll be parades, concerts, rallies, festivals... So get out there everyone, but plan your drive- time accordingly! This is Bobbi Marchfelder, your Eye in the Sky...

We CUT TO the White House lawn, where the PRESIDENT is about to board a helicopter.

MORNING ANCHOR (VO) (on TV) The President is on his way...

PRESIDENT (on TV) ...It's an honor hosting my fellow leaders in Los Angeles, the capitol city of the Pacific Rim...

We CUT BACK to the studio and the MORNING ANCHOR.

MORNING ANCHOR (on TV) We'll see the menu for Mayor Simpson's Brentwood barbecue, right after this...

We CUT TO a MUSICAL MONTAGE of preparations for the events around town.

BACK TO SCENE

As the MUSIC swells, Carson turns the TV off.

MIRANDA I was watching that.

CARSON If I hear one more Beach Boys song, I'll shoot myself.

Miranda points at the headphones -- she can't hear him.

CARSON (continuing; while smiling) I said, if we were having sex once in a while, you wouldn't need to ride that fucking bike every morning.

MIRANDA (hasn't heard a thing) Be right with you...

As Carson dresses, we get a LOOK at their bedroom -- Miranda's nightstand has two neat stacks of periodicals on it, with Los Angeles magazine and Psychology Today on the top of them.

Carson's nightstand is overflowing with books and magazines about other cities and states: Wonderland Washington; Magnificent Oregon; Welcome to North Carolina."

INT./EXT. CARSON'S HOUSE - PATIO & KITCHEN - DAY

Miranda, dressed in a conservative skirt, jacket, black shoes, is out on the patio. Her breakfast -- a bowl of fruit and wheat germ -- sits on the patio table while she waters some sickly-looking ROSE BUSHES in a planter.

Carson, dressed in shirt and tie, looking beat, fries a steak and three eggs in butter. He comes outside with his breakfast and a magazine article: "American Expatriates in New Zealand."

MIRANDA (looks him over) Have you gotten any sleep lately?

CARSON (ignores the question) Shop's gonna tow the car in -- goddamn ignition's trashed.

MIRANDA Take mine. I'll ride in with Diane.

Carson watches as she carefully picks the dead leaves off the rose bushes.

CARSON You ask me, those suckers are a lost cause.

She continues, then glances at the article Carson is reading.

MIRANDA It's not for you.

CARSON You mean it's not for you.

MIRANDA I don't chase car thieves in my underwear. C'mon, you'd die of boredom if we ever sold this house and moved.

CARSON I'd die of shock, from finding anyone dumb enough to buy the place. Even for what it's worth now.

MIRANDA Lots of people bought at the top of the market...

CARSON That sure cheers me right up.

MIRANDA I don't know why we even talk about it. The city's not the problem. So we move. It wouldn't matter. What's that saying: "Wherever you go, there you are."

Carson just looks at her. Reaching for the salt, he winces from the cut in his side.

MIRANDA (continuing) I hope you're current on your tetanus booster. Was it worth it?

CARSON One cut... two assholes in the hospital... Yep.

Carson glances at his watch and gets up.

CARSON (continuing) Well, another day of baby-sitting my favorite bunch of people...

He grabs a Bianchi shoulder holster with a Sig-Sauer P-229, 9mm pistol, straps it on, then pulls on a blue windbreaker. Emblazoned on the back are large yellow letters: FBI.

MIRANDA Ask for a transfer.

CARSON They're not gonna transfer me. You know damn well why I was bumped down to guard duty... (as he's leaving) My outstanding people skills.

Miranda tries to return to tending her roses. But instead, she sadly watches him go.

EXT. CARSON'S HOUSE - DAY

A look of sorrow crosses Carson's face as he watches some YOUNG KIDS laugh and shove, getting onto a school bus.

He then glances at his wounded Mustang, parked in the street. He spots something on the windshield: A pink parking ticket.

The parking sign above the graffiti-stained Neighborhood Watch sign reads: Street Cleaning - Friday 8-10 AM.

CARSON I hate this fuckin' town.

Carson CHIRPS open Miranda's car: a red Volvo 960.

As he pulls away, we SEE a bumper sticker on the car: a circle and slash through cartoon weapons on one side, cartoon teddy bears on the other, and "Arms Are For Hugging" in between.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

The Driver backs the Mercedes out of the garage behind the Consulate. We notice there is ANOTHER MERCEDES parked inside.

Mrs. Han, Sam and Joy come outside. They hear some heartfelt SWEARING:

ANGRY VOICE (OS) Goddamn Limey overpriced piece a shit...

THEIR POV

In the driveway across the street, a man in a business suit has his head under the hood of a brand-new Jaguar convertible. The JAG OWNER's 15-year-old, blonde daughter, LISA, sits in the car with her schoolbooks in her lap.

JOY

turns to Mrs. Han:

JOY Can we give Lisa a ride?

INT./EXT. MERCEDES - DAY

It pulls into the driveway across the street. The Jag Owner is still SWEARING mightily. Lisa climbs into the Mercedes.

LISA Hey, Joy... Sam...

Joy rolls the window up and the SOUND of cursing disappears.

LISA (continuing) Excellent -- I can't hear him!

SAM (raps on window) The glass is an inch thick. (points to doors, roof) Armor-plated. Bulletproof. Bomb- proof.

LISA Perfect car for L.A. (looks back at her Dad) Starts, too.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

As the Mercedes travels its usual route down Crenshaw, Javal's van begins following it.

INSERT ANGLE - UNDER THE MERCEDES

where Javal's DEVICE is attached, still waiting...

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

A dark-green government Dodge pulls up and parks behind one just like it on a paved area near the Consulate gate.

DAVE JUAREZ, (chubby, 40, Mexican-American, a desk jockey) gets out of the Dodge and hangs an FBI shield over his top pocket.

He glances over at North Korean Security Chief COLONEL LEE, (45), who has paused inside the gate to regard Dave, and the outside world, with profound contempt.

Dave, attachE case in one hand and notebook computer in the other, walks to a 10-by-15 detached guardhouse on the far corner of the property, just outside the high fence.

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Inside are two desks and four chairs, a console of communication equipment, a microwave and a Mr. Coffee.

Dave enters. Two FBI agents, finishing their shift, gather their belongings: ROBBINS (late 20's; male; thinning hair) and SABATINI, (early 30's; cute; dark, bobbed hair; female).

They wear blue FBI blazers and have standard-FBI-issue 10mm Heckler & Koch MP-5 machine pistols in oversized shoulder rigs. Dave is in civilian clothes, and is not armed.

ROBBINS Yo, Dave the Computer Man! Actually escaped the office!

DAVE I'm doin' field upgrades. Gives 'em a chance to hose out my cage.

He glances through the window at Colonel Lee.

DAVE (continuing) Who's the fuckin' gargoyle?

ROBBINS Their Chief of Security, Colonel Lee.

Sabatini makes the jerk-off sign with her hand.

SABATINI "Chuckles," as we're inclined to call him. (yawns; flops in a chair) Friggin' graveyard shift...

ROBBINS Love to know what dope made it the Bureau's job to give full-time protection to foreign consulates. (offers coffee to Dave) Cup a mud?

DAVE Not if you made it. Why don't you get Sabatini to brew the java? She's the alleged chick.

SABATINI Blow me.

DAVE Where's Carson?

SABATINI On his way. Some creeps tried to rip off his Mustang last night. (beat; solemnly) They cut the ragtop.

DAVE Motherfuckers...

Dave takes three PCMCIA computer cards from his attachE case.

DAVE (continuing) Latest and greatest. Wireless network link-ups.

SABATINI Whoa, slow down, I'm gonna pee.

ROBBINS Me, too.

DAVE Ingrates.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

The van drives in the lane alongside the Mercedes.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

HUMMING, Javal drives with one hand, while tapping with his other on the top of the radio-controlled remote box.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

As they approach the light at Washington Blvd, just turning yellow, Javal's van gets in front of the Mercedes.

Their lanes stop for the red light. A FRUIT VENDOR holding a bag of oranges walks from car to car.

Javal slips the van into neutral and lets it roll back until his rear bumper taps gently against the Mercedes' front bumper.

INT. MERCEDES - INCLUDE POV THROUGH REAR VIEW MIRROR - DAY

The Driver hits the HORN. The van doesn't move. The Driver glances in the rear-view:

There's a Jeep Cherokee tight on his tail, and the BLACK LADY in it is busy dealing with a carpool full of 8-year-old KIDS.

The Driver looks at Mrs. Han, who's peering out the side window, fascinated by the African-American-themed storefronts. They're all festooned with Summit-related banners, and SHOP OWNERS are preparing for a community sidewalk bazaar.

Sam, bored, stuffs several pieces of GUM into his mouth.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - SAME

Javal flips the switch on his radio-controlled remote.

INSERT

Under the Mercedes, the device Javal planted there begins to emit thick, white CS TEAR GAS.

INT. MERCEDES - DAY

The GAS pours in through the ventilation system. Everyone inside starts coughing and choking uncontrollably. The Driver grabs his AMD-74 machine gun and pops the door locks.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

The Driver, Mrs. Han, Joy, Sam and Lisa pile out of the car.

Jittering with excitement, fear and speed, Javal hops out of his van, holding a Benelli M-1, a semi-automatic shotgun.

He SHOOTS the Driver in the chest. The BLAST from the shotgun muzzle, however, is unlike anything we've ever seen before: it is blindingly BRIGHT, even in broad daylight, belching a huge cluster of glowing, white-hot magnesium.

The Driver flies back against the Mercedes, EMPTYING his machine gun into the air. The wound in his chest is full of BURNING magnesium shrapnel.

WIDER

The other drivers in the intersection see this and go completely nuts. Some duck for cover under their dashboards. Others peel away. A few COLLIDE with oncoming traffic.

The Carpool Lady in the Cherokee pushes the kids down on the floor. The Fruit Vendor hides by rolling under a car.

Sam and Joy are incapacitated by tear-gas coughing fits. Mrs. Han stumbles toward them, trying to get them to run away. Javal PUNCHES her, knocking her down.

He turns to Lisa, surprised to see her. Sweating, he points the shotgun at her... almost pulls the trigger... then notices Mrs. Han's expression of horror and thinks the better of it.

He spots a MOTORIST in a Ford Escort, peering cautiously over his dashboard to get a look at the action.

Javal SHOOTS the Motorist through the windshield with another bright, searing blast of magnesium. The Motorist and the entire front of his car burst into FLAMES.

Mrs. Han is on her knees, sobbing. Javal grabs her by the arm and pulls her to the back of the van. He opens the doors.

JAVAL You see that I'm serious in my intention, yes? (she nods) If you cooperate, you and your children will be home for dinner tonight.

He tightens his grip on her. She nods again, then looks at the kids. Javal shoves her, Sam, Joy and Lisa into the van.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

He grabs three pairs of handcuffs off a C-shaped bar welded on both ends to the inside of the van. He handcuffs one of Mrs. Han's arms, passes the chain through the bar, then handcuffs the other. He does the same with Sam; then handcuffs one of Joy's arms, passes the chain through and attaches the other handcuff to Lisa.

Javal hops in his seat and drives away on Washington.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

Several people, including the Carpool Lady, rush over to the Driver, who lies DEAD and SMOLDERING on the ground.

His hand is halfway inside his bloody pants pocket, holding a small plastic card with the Consulate's phone number on it.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Colonel Lee and a North Korean Army OFFICER come running out. ANOTHER OFFICER starts up a car in the back of the house.

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Robbins and Sabatini see the commotion and go to investigate. Dave follows.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Ambassador Han runs out. He has a stricken look on his face.

COLONEL LEE (Korean; to Ambassador Han) [You must stay here.]

Ambassador Han nods. The FBI agents run up. To them:

AMBASSADOR HAN Someone took my family!

The agents look at each other -- holy shit! Colonel Lee's car SCREECHES to a stop. Sabatini stands in front of it.

SABATINI You got no jurisdiction outside this property!

Colonel Lee shoves a big, ugly Tokorev 7.62x25mm-caliber pistol in her face as he's opening the car door.

SABATINI (continuing) Shit! (to Ambassador Han) Yank his fuckin' leash!

AMBASSADOR HAN My men are going!

Colonel Lee jumps into the car and it screeches away, almost running Sabatini over.

AMBASSADOR HAN (continuing; to Sabatini) It's a white telephone van, driving west on Washington Boulevard.

The agents rush back to their guardhouse. Dave's government Dodge is blocking theirs.

ROBBINS Keys!

Dave tosses them to Robbins. Sabatini shoves Dave into the back seat. He looks at her, dumbfounded.

SABATINI You're ridin' shotgun.

INT. DAVE'S DODGE - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Dave is thrown against the back of the seat by the ACCELERATION.

ROBBINS Cherry?

DAVE Under the seat.

Sabatini grabs the red flashing light, puts it on the dashboard.

ROBBINS Siren?

DAVE I don't know! I'm never in a fuckin' hurry..!

EXT. FREMONT PLACE - DAY

Just as they race out of Fremont Place past the guard gate, Carson, in Miranda's Volvo, comes in on the other side.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson sees the agents in the Dodge and floors the Volvo. He fishtails, making a U-turn.

He straddles the lanes on Wilshire to pull up next to them. All the cars in front of them swerve to clear out of the way.

He rolls down his window. Sabatini shouts over to him:

SABATINI Someone snatched Han's family! White phone van, westbound on Washington!

Carson looks like he's been punched in the stomach.

CARSON Give me a secure radio!

Sabatini takes a small two-way MOTOROLA RADIO out of her pocket and throws it through her window to Carson. Dropping it in his lap, he punches the gas. Robbins floors Dave's piece-of- shit Dodge, trying to keep up.

EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING, WESTWOOD - ESTABLISHING - DAY

INT. FEDERAL BUILDING - STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICES - DAY

Diplomatic Liaison EARL WALTHER is using the reflection in his office window to adjust his necktie. Walther is 30, good- looking, black; a GS lifer working his way up the ranks by virtue of his quiet competence.

A CO-WORKER sticks his head into the office, then shields his eyes from the sight of Walther's sharp new suit.

CO-WORKER Someone's been to Nordstroms, big time.

WALTHER Clothes make the man.

CO-WORKER But does the man make enough for the clothes?

WALTHER (smiles) The man makes payments on his Visa.

Walther's SECRETARY rushes in.

SECRETARY Mr. Walther... priority line!

WALTHER (into phone) This is Diplomatic Liaison Earl Walther... What's the nature of your emer -- (grimaces) Aw, Jesus... not today... (beat) I'll inform channels and get a copter in the air. For God's sake, keep it quiet. Do what you can, but don't endanger civilians or the family!

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson drives with one hand, while holding the radio.

CARSON (into radio) You bet -- nice and easy.

Real easy, until he narrowly MISSES a bunch of cars when SCREECHING around a corner.

INT. FEDERAL BUILDING - STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICES - DAY

Walther presses the intercom button on the phone.

WALTHER (into phone) Get the Secretary of State on the horn. (listens) I know he left already. I'm familiar with the concept of time zones. Find his ass.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson turns the frequency on his two-way.

CARSON (into radio) Robbins, Sabatini... Chopper's on its way.

EXT. WASHINGTON BLVD - DAY

Driving skillfully, Carson edges past the North Koreans.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

And then, Carson can't believe it: he spots Javal's van, a couple blocks ahead, driving at normal speed.

CARSON (into radio) Check it out! Ahead, on the right!

SABATINI (VO) (thru radio) Think it's them?

CARSON (into radio) Yeah... but it seems too easy... I'll move up; he won't suspect a civilian car. Stay back, then get on his ass when I signal. We'll box him in.

He looks over at Colonel Lee, whose car is pacing his.

CARSON (continuing; into radio) If the Mod Squad gets in your way, don't be shy about getting 'em out.

SABATINI (VO) (thru radio) Copy that one.

INT. COLONEL LEE'S CAR - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Glaring, Colonel Lee looks over at the FBI cars as they pass.

INT. DAVE'S DODGE - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Sabatini pulls out her machine pistol, and tosses the two-way to Dave. He looks scared, and carsick.

SABATINI Don't puke... I hate when guys puke!

EXT. WASHINGTON BLVD - DAY

Carson tries to approach Javal without drawing his attention.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

He still drives at the same speed as the surrounding traffic.

HIS POV

As Carson nonchalantly passes, Javal NOTICES the government- issue two-way radio sitting on the seat of Carson's Volvo.

JAVAL

grins... it's show-time. He STOMPS on the gas.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Pissed that he's been made, Carson speeds up.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Driving fast, Javal makes a hard right. As the van leans with the turn, something rolls out from under a sheet of canvas on the floor -- the Governess' BODY, bloodied and grotesque under the plastic tarp it's wrapped in.

Joy starts SCREAMING, as does everyone else when they see it.

Javal pulls out a Beretta Centurion 9mm pistol and FIRES a deafening round through the roof of the van.

JAVAL I need to concentrate!

EXT. WASHINGTON BLVD - DAY

During a lull in traffic, a WELL-DRESSED WOMAN jaywalks across the street. An LAPD black-and-white changes lanes and puts on its flashing lights. As two COPS write her a ticket...

Around the corner TWO MEN make a quick exchange of money and a vial of crack.

NEW ANGLE

The Cops do notice Javal speeding by, with Carson's Volvo, the FBI Dodge and Colonel Lee's car in hot pursuit. They shove the ticket in the Well-Dressed Woman's hand and hop in their car.

EXT. LA CIENEGA BLVD / SIDE STREETS - DAY

Javal turns onto the side streets -- rows of run-down apartment buildings. He takes a circuitous route, gaining a one-block lead on Carson and the others.

Then, he makes a sudden turn into a one-way alley.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Javal hits a remote garage door opener. Ahead, rickety doors on one of a line of detached garages facing the alley OPEN up.

Across from the garage, parked parallel against the back of an empty building, we notice a duplicate van. It's facing the same direction as Javal is driving.

Javal slams on the brakes, stopping just past the garage, and then quickly backs up into the garage.

INT. ALLEYWAY GARAGE / JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

As he pulls in, we catch GLIMPSES of the van slipping backwards into a FIBERGLASS SUPERSTRUCTURE that fits tightly around the rear two-thirds of it. As the van comes to a stop, several snap- buckles on the edge of the superstructure spring closed.

Javal reaches out the van window and pulls on a rope hanging from the ceiling of the garage. The rope releases the door from the opening mechanism, so it immediately falls CLOSED.

Then, Javal turns several switches on another of his neatly- constructed remotes:

INT. DUPLICATE VAN - SERIES OF SHOTS - DAY

Steel straps are holding the steering wheel rigid.

A set of relays, triggered remotely, start the engine;

Engage the transmission;

And supply fuel to the carburetor.

EXT. ALLEYWAYS

The duplicate van takes off down the alley. Just as it gets up to speed, Carson and the others round the corner into the alley behind it. As far as they know, they're still chasing Javal.

The alley is several blocks long, running parallel to the main road, separated at each block by perpendicular streets. The duplicate van races along, scraping against parked cars and the rear walls of buildings...

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

CARSON (into radio) He's gonna wrap it around something!

EXT. ALLEYWAYS - DAY

Indeed, as the duplicate van crosses a street, cars swerve to avoid hitting it. It continues into the next alley.

Up ahead, a garbage truck lumbers into the far end of the alley, its metal lift-rods extended to pick up a dumpster.

CARSON (OS) Oh, shit...

The duplicate van CRASHES into the garbage truck and EXPLODES.

NEW ANGLE

Carson, horrified, jumps out of his car. Robbins and Sabatini run up. They have to hold Carson away from the burning van. Dave hurries to the back of a building and gets sick.

Colonel Lee, wide-eyed with anger, gets in Carson's face.

COLONEL LEE You should not have interfered!

Carson shoves Colonel Lee out of his way, hard.

CARSON I'm in no mood...

Colonel Lee comes back, ready for a fight. Carson is happy to oblige, but Robbins grabs Carson's arm.

ROBBINS Forget about him!

By now, ONLOOKERS have begun to gather, as LAPD black-and whites and helicopters converge on the area.

EXT. ALLEYWAY GARAGE - DAY

A block away, the garage door opens, and we hear something eerie and unexpected: a scratchy, music-box kids' SONG, coming from a loudspeaker.

Javal's van pulls out and we see its TRANSFORMATION: The superstructure surrounding the body of the van makes it look like a graffiti-covered, unlicensed ice cream vendor.

EXT. ALLEYWAYS - DAY

The entrance of the alley is blocked by a black-and-white. So, accompanied by the SONG, Javal drives along the one-way alley in his camouflaged van, passing unnoticed by the authorities.

Anguished, Carson is staring at the BURNING duplicate van...

CUT TO:

EXT. BEVERLY DRIVE - (FLASHBACK) - DAY

Beverly Thrift EXPLODES and BURNS...

CUT TO:

EXT. ALLEYWAYS - DAY

Carson tries to shake the memory away. He looks around, sensing that something isn't right, then turns to the other agents.

CARSON Let's get back to the Consulate.

Off their perplexed looks, we

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

One room, bathroom and kitchenette. A laptop computer and peripherals are on a table, along with some cell phones, a toolbox, and some jumbles of electronic circuitry.

In the main room, there are three large Lazy-Boy easy chairs, side by side, facing a 27-inch TV on a stand. A cloth covers two OBJECTS sitting atop the TV.

The door opens. Mrs. Han, Joy, Sam, and Lisa walk in, rigid with fear. Javal, Beretta 9mm in hand, comes in behind them and closes the door. Javal strips off his sweat-soaked shirt and wipes his face with it. Mrs. Han realizes he's wired to the moon... and it terrifies her.

JAVAL Does anyone need to use the rest room? This will be your last opportunity for a few hours. (no takers) Very well. Mrs. Han, Sam, Joy, please sit here. (indicates the Lazy Boys; then turns to Lisa) And you... what is your name?

LISA (after a beat) Lisa...

Still holding the Beretta, he grabs a polo shirt from the closet and pulls it on. As the family sits in the chairs:

JAVAL No, Mrs. Han, this one. Thank you.

He takes a pair of handcuffs out of his pants pocket. He tries to handcuff Lisa, hands behind her back, but she resists.

JAVAL (continuing; sotto) You afford me some additional bargaining power. But not much.

She wilts. Javal cuffs her to the handles of the refrigerator. He puts a strip of duct tape from his tool box across her mouth.

He uncovers one of the items atop the TV: An electronic box with three pairs of oversized, LED VU meters on the front of it.

We NOTICE neat lines of wires running from each of the chairs up into it. Javal flips one of a row of switches on it; a green light and the meters come to life.

JAVAL (continuing) There. No taping your mouths, no restraints. Please remain still while I explain. The meters on the left indicate sound pressure -- Decibels. There are microphones on your chair backs. If you raise your voices above certain level, putting your meter in the red zone for more than one sustained second, the circuit will be closed. (beat) The right meters indicate motion. There are pressure sensors inside the armrests and seats. The sensors don't like to get wet, so I hope you were honest about not needing to use the loo. If you make any excess movements, or try to leave your chair, the circuit will be closed.

MRS. HAN I don't understand...

She looks at her sound meter, which jumped close to the red.

MRS. HAN (continuing; softly) What happens if the circuit closes?

JAVAL Kaboom...

He uncovers the other item atop the TV -- a one-pound brick of C-4 high explosive with the detonation mechanism jammed into it. Mrs. Han gasps and begins to PANIC.

JAVAL (continuing) Easy... deep breath... (to the kids) Do each of you understand?

They nod. Tears roll down Joy's face.

JAVAL (continuing) Keep your wits, and all will be fine.

He flips another switch and the green light turns yellow. He then turns on the TV. COVERAGE of the Summit is everywhere.

COMMENTATOR #1 (on TV) ...Not since the '84 Olympics has the whole city had an such an opportunity --

Javal turns the channel to a SOAP, and MUTES it. He starts pacing, and glances at his watch. It's 9:15 AM.

INT. GOVERNMENT HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Earl Walther looks through the window as his copter lands on the lawn behind the North Korean Consulate.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

As the copter lands, Carson comes out to meet Walther.

WALTHER Carson? (Carson nods) Walther. Who told the Ambassador?

CARSON His Security Chief. (beat) There was a civilian with them -- fifteen-year-old girl from across the street. We're trying to reach the parents.

WALTHER Goddamn it... (sotto) Look, Mrs. Han was the North Korean Premier's niece! We're hearing rumors they're gonna make a major issue out of what happened here...

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - HALLWAY - DAY

Carson and Walther come into the house. We hear only the TICKING of the grandfather clock in the foyer.

Colonel Lee and his Officers stand by the stairs; Robbins, Sabatini and Dave stand together near the front door.

CARSON I'm not so sure what happened here. Something smells. Asshole was acting like he wanted us to spot him...

WALTHER What the hell are you talking about?

AMBASSADOR HAN (OS) Mr. Walther?

Ambassador Han comes down the stairs, his face tight with repressed emotion.

WALTHER Ambassador Han... my deepest --

AMBASSADOR HAN -- I have no wish for condolences. Just answers.

WALTHER As soon as we have any to give...

Suddenly, the Butler sprints across the foyer. He shoves the cordless phone into Ambassador Han's hands.

Ambassador Han listens to the phone, then takes in a sharp breath and sits on the steps.

AMBASSADOR HAN (into phone) Yoon..?!

CARSON (to FBI agents) Start a trace!

Carson is elated. Robbins, Sabatini and Dave rush out. Walther pulls out a cell phone and hits a speed-dial key.

WALTHER (into phone) Mr. Secretary... they're alive!

COLONEL LEE (to Carson; incensed) You are tapping our phones?!

CARSON (while crossing to Ambassador Han) Yeah, you didn't know. And I'm Meryl Streep.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

Javal is holding his cell phone next to Mrs. Han's face.

MRS. HAN (into phone) We are not hurt. But this man is very serious --

He pulls the phone from her, takes a breath to compose himself.

JAVAL (into phone) I want you to remember the feeling you had when you thought your family was dead, and use it to inform the choices you're about to make.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - HALLWAY - DAY

CARSON Say you want to talk to the kids...

AMBASSADOR HAN (into phone) I need to know my children are all right.

JAVAL (VO) (thru phone) Be in front of a television in two minutes. Tune it to channel four. You'll get the picture.

Javal hangs up. Stunned, Ambassador Han stands up.

AMBASSADOR HAN There is a television in my office.

As Carson, Ambassador Han, Colonel Lee and Walther hurry to the office in the back of the house, Carson's radio crackles:

ROBBINS (VO) (thru radio) We're screwed on the trace -- he's on a cell phone.

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Dave and Robbins watch Sabatini work the comm console.

DAVE Play the tape back. I might be able to pull the electronic serial number out of the subcarrier.

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) Ask Dave if he knows how to find the phone's serial number.

ROBBINS (smiles; into radio) Hey, great idea...

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Ambassador Han turns on the TV to channel 4.

ANGLE ON TV

It's the same medical SOAP that's on at the apartment -- a DOCTOR and NURSE are screwing in a deserted operating room.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

Javal is standing in the kitchenette, pointing a DIGITAL STILL CAMERA at the family. It FLASHES as he takes a picture.

CLOSER

There is a cable running from Javal's computer to his cell phone. He hooks another cable to the digital camera, and an IMAGE appears on the screen of his laptop. He clicks on "SEND."

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Everyone stares expectantly at the TV. They turn as the fax machine on the credenza RINGS. An IMAGE begins to emerge from the machine: the picture from Javal's digital camera.

CLOSE ON FAXED PICTURE

It shows the Han family sitting in their booby-trapped chairs in front of the TV. The explosives and the electronics are clearly visible atop the set, as is the program on the TV.

CARSON (OS) Oh, Jesus, those're explosives! (beat) Look at the TV -- this was just taken.

BACK TO SCENE

A second page on the fax begins to come through. As it does, the telephone RINGS. Carson and Colonel Lee both go for the extension near the sofa; Carson grabs it first. Ambassador Han picks up the phone on his desk.

JAVAL (VO) (thru phone) There must surely be several people in the room; you may put me on the speakerbox if you wish.

Ambassador Han clicks on the SPEAKERBOX. Carson and the others look at the second faxed page: a list of instructions.

JAVAL (VO) (continuing; thru speakerbox) I am not a terrorist. Your countries' political posturing means nothing to me. So do not waste time trying to negotiate. (beat) The Federal Reserve Bank of Los Angeles can furnish ten million dollars U.S. by 2:00 PM. The required denominations are in the instructions, as is the method of packaging. Be in your car at 3:00 PM, and drive north on Highland Avenue. I will call with where to leave the money, which you will do at 3:30. If I am unmolested, I will call again at 4:00 with the family's location and the method for removing them from their... predicament. Could you please refer to page one? (they look at the photo) Any deviation from these instructions and my device will fulfill its function at exactly 5:00 PM.

CLICK. Ambassador Han looks around, feeling totally helpless. Carson says nothing, trying not to show how uneasy he feels.

AMBASSADOR HAN (to Walther) P'yUngyang must approve the ransom...

WALTHER Of course. The FBI's top Hostage Negotiator is on the way --

CARSON -- Goddamn Negotiator's the last thing we need! This asshole sound like he was interested in bargaining?

Walther glares at Carson, then continues to Ambassador Han:

WALTHER We have people who are experts in these situations. We really feel it would be best if you let them coordinate everything...

Numb, Ambassador Han nods.

WALTHER (continuing; to Carson) Let's get on it...

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Robbins, Sabatini and Dave look up as Carson and Walther enter.

CARSON ...You're gonna just pay up, count on his good nature to return the family?!

WALTHER It's the President's intention to keep this quiet, move forward with the Summit, and work with the North Koreans. Jesus, you've already embarrassed the shit out of us over the phone surveillance --

CARSON -- They know their phones are tapped! They tap our fucking phones!

WALTHER That's not the point! The point is not acknowledging it! (beat) We got an international incident brewing, with a country we were practically at war with last year! Our best Negotiator is gonna run point. If you got a problem, you can take the goddamn rest of the day off.

CARSON This Consulate is my responsibility.

WALTHER Not any more.

Carson is stunned. (OS), we hear a CHOPPER approaching.

WALTHER (continuing) That's the Negotiator. You do the briefing.

Carson shoots a disgusted look at the others, then leaves.

CUT TO:

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Carson turns off the Beach Boys SONG on the TV behind him.

Holding Javal's faxes, he's facing Ambassador Han, Colonel Lee and the Hostage Negotiator (whom we don't yet see.)

CARSON ...Our worst enemy'll be the city. There are events gearing up all around town, and a dozen world leaders arriving. Add the Friday rush hour and usual L.A. bad behavior and it'll be a nightmare out there by 3 PM. It all works to the advantage of the kidnapper, hinders our pursuit efforts... (frowns) You don't agree?

WIDER

The Negotiator stands and takes the faxes from Carson.

It's Miranda, his wife. Her FBI shield-holder is folded over the breast pocket of her jacket.

MIRANDA I'm wondering whether to believe him when he says he's strictly motivated by money.

CARSON (grabs faxes back) You see one word of Peoples'- Liberation, Holy-Jihad, Revolutionary whatever-it-is-we're-pissed-off-about- this-week bullshit in this entire letter?

MIRANDA I still want to check the MO against known politicals, terrorists --

CARSON -- Already doing it. We're coordinating with the Secret Service, the NSA and the CIA.

MIRANDA Have someone talk to the LAPD, give them a cover story for the media about the crash on La Cienega.

Walther comes in and looks at Carson.

WALTHER Why didn't you tell me Doctor Knoll is your wife?!

This surprises Ambassador Han and Colonel Lee.

CARSON (while looking at Miranda) If she'd changed her name when we got married, I wouldn't have to.

MIRANDA (to Carson) I'm so enjoying this opportunity to finally work together...

WALTHER Jesus, forget I asked. (beat) The cash will be here in an hour. (to Miranda) Any thoughts on the kidnapper's thoughts?

MIRANDA Everything indicates he's working alone. And his concerns do seem to be solely about the money... so I agree that he's only using the Summit and the tension with North Korea to create extreme motivation to pay the ransom.

COLONEL LEE I will bring the money to him.

CARSON My ass.

COLONEL LEE The hostages are citizens of the People's Republic of Korea --

CARSON -- Hey, do I go to the torture chambers in your prisons, tell you how to do your job?

WALTHER All right, you're outta here! Is this the same insubordinate crap you pulled at Beverly Thrift?

Carson glares coldly at Walther.

CARSON I'll coordinate the drop.

AMBASSADOR HAN Perhaps that is better. Inspector Carson knows the terrain --

COLONEL LEE -- Then he can come with me.

Walther looks at Miranda. She nods her assent.

WALTHER (firm; to Carson) It's settled.

CARSON It sucks.

MIRANDA But it means we can get on with it.

The Americans leave the room.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - HALLWAY - DAY

Still fuming, Carson walks ahead. Miranda pulls Walther aside.

MIRANDA (sotto) Get one thing straight, Mr. Walther. If the Bureau had listened to Pete, Beverly Thrift never would've happened.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

Hands shaking with nerve- and speed-induced jitters, Javal turns two switches on the unit atop the TV. Two LED readouts light up: one shows the current time -- 2:30 PM -- the other is fixed at 5:00 PM. Below, the TV is still on.

Javal flips the channels, stopping at a rerun of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." He suppresses a gleeful giggle.

JAVAL That's more like it...

He checks the contents of his prescription bottle. Two pills. He takes one, stuffs the bottle in his pocket, and leaves.

EXT. PiY?NGYANG, NORTH KOREA - DAY

SUPER: PiyUngyang. Capitol of North Korea.

Poster city for the charms of Communism: dreary, crumbling, gray, stifling, hopeless.

INT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - CONFERENCE CHAMBER - DAY

In the main government offices, a meeting of ten overly- decorated MILITARY MEN and their SUPPORT STAFFS.

Sour GENERAL KAI (50's) is ARGUING heatedly in KOREAN with an aged MODERATE GENERAL. The weak-willed PREMIER OF NORTH KOREA sits up front and listens passively.

An ARMY MAJOR sitting behind General Kai stands and slips out the door.

EXT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - ROOFTOP - DAY

Crouched behind an air-conditioning unit, the Major, an American Operative, speaks in UNACCENTED ENGLISH into a small UPLINK DEVICE, disguised to look like a palmtop computer.

OPERATIVE (into uplink device) ...They've got the Premier agreeing to the hard-line position --

He hears footsteps approaching (OS).

OPERATIVE (continuing; sotto) More to follow...

He angles skyward a tiny dish-shaped antenna on the Device. On its screen it says COMPRESSING... SCRAMBLING... UPLINKING...

After it's finished, the Operative snaps it closed and puts it into a false bottom in his attachE case. He disappears just before a GUARD rounds the corner.

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

"Welcome Pacific Partners" banners hang everywhere.

WORKERS and CATERERS prepare for the various parties and events around town. COPS and PRIVATE SECURITY do their best to keep traffic moving, but it's already getting congested.

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Dave stares at his computer, looking through a DATABASE of kidnappers and their modus operandi. He rubs his eyes.

DAVE I wanted to be home by now, take the kids to the rally in Boyle Heights.

SABATINI We got a cabin in Big Bear. By now, L.A. was supposed to be a brown blotch in the rear-view mirror.

She's helping Walther stack packs of THOUSAND-DOLLAR-BILLS into a series of small plastic bags, tying each one off when it's the size of a brick. They then put the individual bags into two larger bags.

Robbins rubber-bands a matchbook-sized HOMING TRANSMITTER in between two packs of cash. He then hollows out a dime-sized space inside a different pack of money with a razor knife.

He puts a tiny, SECOND homing transmitter in the space. Carson checks some hand-held receivers. Miranda crosses to him.

MIRANDA He'll expect a homing device --

CARSON -- I expect him to expect it. He'll check the cash with an RF detector... (re larger transmitter) Meaning he'll find this one. (re smaller transmitter) This only has a quarter-mile range, but on a frequency too low to detect. (turns off receiver) And I doubt the asshole will have an X-ray machine or a metal detector.

MIRANDA Why must you always refer generically to criminals as "assholes?"

CARSON Gosh, you're right. It could undermine their self-esteem and spoil their chances for rehabilitation.

MIRANDA You been reading my magazines in the bathroom again?

She returns to listening to an AUDIO TAPE:

JAVAL (VO) (thru recorder) "And my device will fulfill its function at exactly 5:00 PM..."

MIRANDA He's really exhibiting pressured speech... big effort here to sound calm. Same with his vocabulary... if he were in control, he wouldn't feel such a need to sound that way.

CARSON Just tell me if we can use it.

MIRANDA If we needle him he could get sloppy and give us an opening, but I'm not going to risk it. This is the worst kind of perpetrator: anything makes him deviate from his carefully- scripted plan, he could become extremely volatile.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

During this, Colonel Lee stands in a window on the top floor, pointing a LASER EAVESDROPPING UNIT at the FBI guardhouse.

MIRANDA (VO) (thru headphones) Do we have back-up if the bleeper fails?

CARSON (VO) (thru headphones) Nothing but physical surveillance.

INT. FBI GUARDHOUSE - NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

MIRANDA It's real important we don't lose him. He didn't go through all the trouble of designing that bomb not to use it.

Carson looks at her as the thought of it hits him.

CARSON Well, it ain't gonna happen. (beat; sotto) Not again...

EXT. WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, DC - ESTABLISHING - DAY

INT. WHITE HOUSE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

The National Security Council: VICE PRESIDENT, SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE, STATE, CHIEFS of the FBI, CIA and NSA -- sit nervously around a table, facing a video conferencing setup. The President, in Air Force One, APPEARS on it.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) What the hell is the big crisis?

SECRETARY OF STATE We just received a missive from the North Korean attachE. They say the kidnapping is a U.S. plot to provoke and humiliate them during the Summit.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Bullshit. They're just ticked because we don't want the Chinese dragging their asses into the treaty talks.

The SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER refers to his notes.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER We have a covert operative in place. He reports the hard-liners and moderates in the High Command are arguing about how to respond, should the Premier's niece and her children should be killed.

PRESIDENT (scowls; thru video link) Respond?! Christ. What about the damn Premier?

SECRETARY OF STATE He's weak. He has to look tough to save face, keep control of hard- liners... otherwise he risks a coup.

CIA CHIEF Which is a real possibility. Most of those old-fart Generals don't want to -more-

CIA CHIEF (Cont'd) be part of the Summit any more than we want them to. They're mad as hell he even talked to the Chinese.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) I don't want to deal with this right now! Get our diplomats on it. Tell the North we'll pay the ransom for 'em... Placate 'em! And make damn sure we get that family back in one piece. Who's in charge in L.A.?

FBI CHIEF The Bureau, Sir. We have a crack team in place.

SECRETARY OF STATE There's a Diplomatic Liaison from State, too.

CIA CHIEF (to FBI Chief) What about your man stationed at the Consulate... (refers to notes) Carson? He was demoted from the FBI Hostage Program, couple years back. And this did happen on his watch...

FBI CHIEF (irritated) There's no way he could've prevented this abduction! Besides, I've got one of my top Negotiators in charge --

PRESIDENT (thru video link) -- Whatever. I want a total news blackout and I want this over with, quickly! Without giving those Commie little bastards any excuse to shit all over my Summit!

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Inside, the grandfather clock in the foyer CHIMES THREE TIMES.

Colonel Lee, carrying an AMD-74 machine gun, goes to get in the driver's side of the second armored Mercedes, but Carson is already there. Grumbling, he crosses to the passenger's side.

Carson drives off just a moment before Colonel Lee is completely in the car.

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - DAY

The Mercedes crosses Melrose, going into Hollywood. The town is all done up with posters and banners.

Robbins and Walther follow a block behind the Mercedes in an unmarked car; Sabatini and Dave drive ahead in Dave's Dodge.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Miranda, Ambassador Han, and Lisa's father (the cussing Jag Owner) wait by the phone. Miranda smiles reassuringly at the two nervous fathers. The phone RINGS; she picks it up.

MIRANDA (into phone) Yes, please go ahead...

JAVAL (VO) (long beat; thru phone) Ah... this must be one of those professionals --

MIRANDA (into phone) -- I'm only here to see that everyone gets what they want --

JAVAL (VO) (thru phone) -- I've got my shotgun in little Lisa's mouth, and I will pull the trigger in five seconds unless you put the Ambassador on the phone.

Miranda hands the phone to Ambassador Han.

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

From the two-way radio in Carson's pocket:

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) The drop is at the DeMille barn, across from the Hollywood Bowl. You're to leave the money in the center of the parking lot.

CARSON (into radio) Shit... no way we can set up a stake- out in... -more-

CARSON (Cont'd) (checks watch) Four minutes. Call the Park Rangers at the Bowl. Have them clear the area of civilians.

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) Remember, Pete... we're dealing with a customer with a lot of rage.

CARSON (to himself) Must've bought a house same time we did.

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

Robbins and Walther are inching along in traffic on Highland near Hollywood Blvd.

Elsewhere, we see unmarked police and government cars cruising around, dropping off disguised FOOT-SURVEILLANCE OFFICERS, etc.

A BIKER CLUB

of twenty aging, weekend-warriors, all on custom Harleys, turn from the Boulevard onto Highland.

EXT. DEMILLE BARN - DAY

Carson drives the Mercedes into the entrance of the Hollywood Museum Park. Carson stops in front of a yellow barn with a sign atop it: "Jesse Lasky Famous Players."

INT./EXT. JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

Still disguised as an ice-cream truck, the van is parked across Highland by the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl, where a Summit-related concert is being readied.

Javal watches the Mercedes, and takes his last pill. He's flying.

INT. MERCEDES - DAY

Colonel Lee grabs the two large plastic bags full of money from the back seat, opens his door, and drops them onto the pavement. Carson looks around.

CARSON (into radio) There's about a hundred ways he can scurry off like a cockroach from here... So spread out.

Colonel Lee checks their BEEPING homing receiver. Carson hangs a left onto Highland, going back the way he came.

INT. DAVE'S DODGE - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Dave holds their homing receiver. Sabatini, behind the wheel, smacks his arm and points ahead:

EXT. DEMILLE BARN - DAY

Javal's van drives into the parking lot, and stops right above the bags of money.

DAVE (into radio) Our boy's in a fuckin' ice cream truck!

EXT. ODIN STREET - DAY

Sabatini and Dave watch Javal's van through the trees.

INT. JAVAL'S VAN - DAY

Javal, sweating and shaking, quickly runs a metal-detector wand over each of the individual bags of money. One of them makes the speaker in the wand handle WHINE.

INT. DAVE'S DODGE - INCLUDE POV OF DEMILLE BARN - DAY

The van pulls away.

Dave glances at the homing receiver. The signal isn't moving. He looks up...

Two of the small bags of money are sitting on the pavement.

DAVE Son of a bitch! (into radio) He found the bleepers -- both of them!

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

CARSON (into radio) Fuck! Okay, stay back. It's not like he'll be hard to see in that truck. Which way's he heading?

DAVE (VO) (thru radio) Toward the freeway.

Carson hangs a U-turn.

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - DAY

At the complex intersection where Highland ends at the 101, Javal bears to the right, toward the South on-ramp.

Sabatini and Dave follow a few cars behind as he gets on it.

Suddenly, he scoots over to the shoulder and slams the van into REVERSE. He backs off the on-ramp, past a row of angry drivers, passing by Sabatini and Dave.

Peeling in reverse onto Highland, Javal stomps on the brakes. The snap buckles holding the ice-cream-truck superstructure around his van BREAK APART, and the whole thing slides off... blocking Sabatini's way.

Javal drives forward again, this time getting onto the 101 North on-ramp.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Miranda looks at Ambassador Han and Lisa's father while anxiously clutching her two-way radio.

MIRANDA (into radio) What happened?

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) We're made! Gotta grab him!

MIRANDA (beat; into radio) All right... Carefully...

INT. MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson follows Javal onto the freeway. Colonel Lee grabs his AMD-74 machine gun.

CARSON Watch it! We need him alive!

EXT. HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY - DAY

Colonel Lee leans out and SHOOTS Javal's rear tires out.

The van drives erratically, held in its lane by bumping against the cars around it.

Carson pulls up closer...

Suddenly, the rear doors of the van burst open...

And Javal flies out, riding a motorcycle. He's got the money stuffed into two big, chaps-sized SADDLEBAGS slung over the back of the machine.

He straddles the lanes, going against traffic, riding like a maniac back the way he came.

Carson watches him in the rear-view... and speeds up, driving away from him.

COLONEL LEE Turn around!

But Carson hugs the shoulder, moving through the heavy traffic, until he spots what he was looking for:

The Biker Club, riding in formation up ahead.

Carson cuts in front of them and slams on the brakes. He jumps out and grabs one of the Biker's machines by the handlebars, wrestling it to a stop. While pulling its BURLY OWNER off it:

CARSON FBI. Call our office, they'll take care of you.

Meanwhile, the other BIKERS have come to help their friend. They pull guns, knives, chains...

They're stopped by Sabatini, who appears holding her MP-5 machine pistol. The Biker yells at Carson as he drives way:

BIKER I'm a taxpayer! I'm a goddamn dentist!

COLONEL LEE

gets in the driver's seat of the Mercedes and turns it around.

JAVAL

continues down the freeway on his bike, straddling lanes, driving the wrong way, retracing his route back to Highland, leaving CAR HORNS, CURSING, and COLLISIONS in his wake.

WIDER

When everyone thinks they've seen it all, here comes another mad biker -- Carson -- riding against traffic in pursuit.

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - DAY

Javal rides against traffic down the Cahuenga on-ramp, then jumps the divider, runs the light crossing Highland, and gets into the southbound lanes.

He just misses a BUS, nearly wiping out.

CARSON Just don't kill yourself, you piece of shit...

Carson fishes out his two-way.

CARSON (continuing; into radio) Helicopter or two would be nice!

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Listening to the two-way, Miranda tries to follow the action.

MIRANDA (into radio) Love to be in the loop on this...

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - DAY

Speeding up, Carson precariously cuts in between traffic.

CARSON (to himself) Not just now, dear...

Seeing Carson approaching on his right, Javal pulls his Benelli shotgun from one of the saddlebags. He rests the barrel on his arm and FIRES a blinding-white load of magnesium at Carson.

Carson grabs the brake handles to slow down, and the BLAST crosses just in front of him. A few BURNING pieces pepper the front fender of the bike, but the bulk HITS the concrete art- deco statue in the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl. The statue shatters into a million FLAMING fragments.

CARSON (continuing; grumbling) I coulda had a ranch... maybe some horses... but no, we moved to L.A.

JAVAL

speeds up. A car passing on the right BUMPS him. Javal grabs for the handlebar to stabilize himself, DROPPING the shotgun.

A HELICOPTER appears, and flies just above him.

Then, spotting some police cars ahead, he quickly hangs a right, ducking onto Alta Loma Terrace.

EXT. ALTA LOMA TERRACE - DAY

Carson stops at the entrance to the winding, hillside neighborhood, accessible only by footpaths. The area is covered by thick foliage, hiding Javal from the helicopter.

Carson revs down so he can listen for Javal's machine. He HEARS it up above and takes off, up a steep flight of stairs.

NEW ANGLE

Javal has reached the summit, only to find he's boxed in. He can either turn around, or take the neighborhood's unique, outdoor elevator, housed in a free-standing, three-story concrete tower.

He jumps off his bike. Carrying the saddlebags, he runs into the elevator -- but it needs a key to operate.

Javal comes back out, panicking. He HEARS Carson coming up the hill. He spots a GARDENER watering nearby with a hose.

ANGLE WITH CARSON

as he reaches the summit. He sees Javal's motorcycle, abandoned, lying on its side...

And then he sees the Gardener, sprawled on the ground, a BULLET HOLE in the center of his forehead.

Carson turns off his motorcycle and pulls out his Sig 9mm. He moves slowly toward the elevator tower and looks inside.

HIS POV

The casement window in the back of the tower is broken. One end of the gardener's hose is tied to a grate, and the hose is hanging through the broken window.

Carson looks out the window as Javal climbs down the outside of the tower on the hose to High Tower Drive, the street below.

CARSON (into radio) He's on foot, at the base of the elevator tower!

But just as Carson is about to climb down the hose...

EXT. HIGH TOWER DRIVE - DAY

Javal spots a COLLEGE GIRL backing a tiny Geo out of her garage. He rips her out of the car, jumps in and tears away.

EXT. ALTA LOMA TERRACE - DAY

Carson jumps back on his motorcycle and starts it up.

CARSON (into radio) Goddammit! He's in a blue Geo!

EXT. HIGHLAND AVENUE - DAY

In the Geo, Javal drives out onto Highland. He muscles his way through traffic, then cuts across to Franklin.

Behind him, Robbins and Walther drive along the divider lane.

On the bike, Carson emerges from Alta Loma, joining Sabatini and Dave in Dave's Dodge and Colonel Lee in the Mercedes as they all try to catch up to Javal.

The helicopter flies ahead, then disappears past the hill below Franklin.

EXT. VINE STREET - DAY

Javal hangs a hard right off of Franklin onto Vine, putting him on top of a hill that drops down to Sunset.

Carson and Colonel Lee close in on the Geo.

Suddenly, the helicopter RISES UP from the bottom of the hill. It's less than fifty feet in front of Javal, at eye level.

Javal FIRES at the copter with his Beretta.

Colonel Lee indiscriminately FIRES his machine gun at the Geo.

Carson SHOUTS at Colonel Lee, furious at his carelessness!

INT. PURSUIT COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Colonel Lee's BULLETS trace across the cockpit of the helicopter; one hits the PILOT in the neck. Clutching it with one hand, the Pilot loses control of the copter.

EXT. VINE STREET - DAY

Everyone on the road scatters to get out of the copter's way. It appears as though it's going to crash onto the street, then it gains altitude, GYRATING wildly just above the Geo.

Javal tries to move away, but one of its landing runners SMASHES through the top of the windshield, WEDGING itself against the inside of the Geo's roof.

Snared, the little Geo is LIFTED off the ground -- instantly too high for a terrified Javal to escape from it.

INT. PURSUIT COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

The wounded Pilot, barely conscious, searches for safe area to set down -- but there are cars and people everywhere.

The Pilot wrestles his stick; his copter is almost impossible to control with the car hanging from it. He's fading...

EXT. VINE STREET - DAY

The copter and Geo lurch over and past the round Capitol Records building, KNOCKING the spindle off the top of it.

The impact further destabilizes the copter's flight. It's heading right toward the 20-story Sunset Vine Tower, at the bottom of the hill.

INT. JAVAL'S GEO - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Javal, trapped inside, looks through the windshield as the glass and steel side of the tower looms closer. He SCREAMS.

EXT. SUNSET VINE TOWER - DAY

The copter and the Geo CRASH into the side of the Tower, 12 floors up. Glass blows out in all directions; the rotor shatters; office furnishings are blown through the hole like backwash.

The Geo hangs passenger's side down from the runner.

CLOSER

From the series of jerking, slipping MOVEMENTS, it is clear the copter is not going to stay where it is for long.

The Geo's passenger side door pops open. Javal, panting with fear, jimmies his foot against the dashboard and holds the steering wheel to keep from falling out.

ANGLE ON VEHICLES BELOW

In the clog of traffic, cars swerve away, rapidly reverse... anything to get away from the area below the impact.

JAVAL

reacts to another SLIP. The big saddlebags of money on the seat start to slide toward the open door.

He gingerly reaches over to grab them... the copter SHIFTS again... he loses his grip...

And, clutching the saddlebags, he TOPPLES out of the car.

We stay with him as he FALLS 12 stories, SCREAMING...

Then LANDING on top of a parking meter. It RIPS though his chest and he hits the sidewalk with a wet THUD.

EXT. VINE AND SUNSET - DAY

Carson rushes across the street to Javal's body. The teetering copter and Geo are right above it.

Grimacing, Carson tries to lift Javal's body up off the parking meter, but it's messy, slippery work...

Unable to move the body, Carson quickly searches its pockets. All he finds is the now-empty prescription bottle.

Above, the copter GROANS... it's about to come loose...

Carson pulls out his Sig 9mm and FIRES several times at Javal's right wrist, then TEARS the HAND off the body.

With a loud WRENCHING of metal, the copter and Geo break away from the building.

Carson grabs the saddlebags and runs like hell across the street, diving for cover behind a car.

BEHIND CARSON

the copter and Geo crash to the sidewalk and EXPLODE.

NEW ANGLE

Sooty, covered in Javal's blood, Carson crosses to the others. He throws Walther the saddlebags and Sabatini the severed hand.

CARSON Fingerprint it. (to Walther) He's not gonna tell us where to find the hostages... -more-

CARSON (Cont'd) (looks at watch) Meaning we got exactly 80 minutes to figure it out for ourselves.

WALTHER Figure it out?! With what?!

CARSON (ignores him; into radio) Miranda! We need a copter, pronto! (to Robbins) Get back to his van. There were no plates, but check the VIN, look it over, then meet us at the Consulate.

Robbins is still trying to process what just happened.

CARSON (continuing) Go!

CUT TO:

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I/ Rush Hour I.
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