Review: Hunter and the Laptop (I Wrote This in October 2020)

Hey, everybody it’s me your Academic of Rock. Three chords and one tooth, my friends. Today I want to talk about Hunter and the Laptop. They are an American Indie pop and neo soul band from Los Angeles that formed in 2008. The band consists of Michael Fitzpatrick (lead voc… wait)). This is Fitz and the Tantrums. I’m doing the wrong review.

Hey this is not Jared from Cracking Wise and today I’d like to ask the question is “Hunter and the Laptop” deep or dumb? This 2007 film follows Hunter (Ryan Gosling), a kind-hearted but mentally ill young man who develops a romantic yet platonic relationship with a laptop. The people of the town hall think it’s weird at first, but since the media largely ignores… this doesn’t sound right either. I think this may be “Lars and the Real Girl.” Let me consult my notes.

Oh, here it is. This is my fictitious script for an American Indie pop and neo soul spy espionage film. And when I say fictitious, I mean that I haven’t really written a script. That’s too much work. It’s a lot easier to just review a script I never wrote and just say “Spoiler Alert for those of you who have never seen it.” Go ahead and keep reading though. I’m not going to write this nonsense.

The film starts out strong with our lead villain (Ryan Gosling) a kind-hearted but mentally ill middle aged man named Hunter Bi… um Boden. His name is Hunter Boden. Now this villain is horrible. He takes lucrative jobs on the strength of being the son of a former Vice Pres… um Miami Vice actor. His dad was a Miami Vice actor. He was the white one who didn’t matter as much, but still seems to have a career for some reason.

Our hero, Donald Bourne (Morgan Freeman), knows two things. First, he has one of the greatest speaking voices in all of Hollywood. Second, there’s something screwy about this Hunter Boden. He tries calling the Ukrainian government to get to the truth, but the powers that be do everything to discredit him. They really grab him by the puss… by the balls, and he lets them do it.

This is where the movie becomes really powerful and confusing, because I didn’t have much of a plot to hold this thing together. You see, China releases a deadly disease on the world, and everyone looks to Donald Bourne to save as many people as he can. And as the writer of this script, let me say that was my plan for the movie. I was going to write out all that nonsense about the lucrative jobs because all of the beta readers kept asking me, “I don’t know. Is there anything actually illegal about taking jobs using the power of networking? I don’t think anyone is trying to shutdown LinkedIn yet. And this whole subplot of trying to discredit your hero seems tedious and pointless.” They were right and so I wanted Donald Bourne to step up and save the world from the deadly virus.

Every writer knows that at some point your characters take over the story, and Donald Bourne just didn’t want to worry about some dumb pandemic. And Sean Connery wasn’t willing to take over the role in this new script direction. So the last quarter of the movie really suffered from a lack of direction. I hate to bag on my own script, but I had some Nicolas Cage moments here. Donald Bourne, my lead hero, seemed to suddenly not know anything about the way the world worked even though he’s been alive a long, long time observing it. On top of that, when my poorly developed characters tried to give long-winded explanations about why they act the way they do, I just got bored and stopped caring.

The worst part of this script was the very end. I really didn’t know how to end it. Clearly, our hero needed to be victorious in his endeavors. But since I could never get the script to move in the direction of the hero slowing the spread of a deadly virus, I had to figure out how to make Donald Bourne victorious on taking down the original villain, Hunter Boden. This is all I could come up with:

– Hunter Boden has this laptop, and he loves this laptop so much (platonically of course, or it would be creepy) and he keeps all of the evidence of his wrongdoing on this laptop. And I mean all of the evidence. It implicates both him and his dad, Crockett. If he ever lost his laptop in an airport, it would be bad.

– The laptop breaks one day. Boden is clearly very sad about this, because he loves this laptop. Most millionaires would just buy a new laptop, but I decided to give him a drug problem so that it would be impossible for a guy who is making millions on corrupt deals to possibly have $1,000 to buy a new laptop.

– I couldn’t exactly figure out why, so I pretended it was the urgency of the matter, but even though Boden is on the board of all these major corporations, he has no access to an IT worker who one of these companies would trust to fix the laptop with all the evidence, and I do mean all of the evidence. So much evidence. Evidence to the likes that no one has ever seen. Probably more evidence that anyone has ever had on their laptop with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.

– I got sidetracked on that last bullet point, so I decided to move to the next.

– So because Boden loves this laptop so much, it’s urgent to get it fixed, he has no resources whatsoever from the companies he works for, all of his millions are gone through drug use, and Crockett draws the line at loaning him $1,000 for a new laptop even though Crockett, as it turns out, is getting 50% of all of Boden’s evil doing.

– Now that I think about it. Hunter Boden’s dad should also be named Boden. His first name could be an every man name like Joe. Fuck. I screwed this script up so bad.

– Either way Hunter Boden takes the hurt laptop with all of the evidence to a random repair shop, and then falls in love with another laptop and leaves the first one with the repair shop. And the movie drags for a while here, because I really tried to make the saving the world from the virus plot work, but it just didn’t.

– Anyway, the movie script goes on for an entire hour of that nonsense, and then because I just needed a way to finish it up the repair shop owner contacts Donald Bourne’s lawyer just in time for Donald Bourne to use all of this evidence to win the elec… um, to get the promotion in the spy network that he works for.

So you see the basic problem here. My denouement only really makes sense if two things are true. First, that my villain. Hunter Boden, was ever doing anything illegal to begin with. Second, he really was one of America’s Dumbest Criminals by turning in his chock full of evidence Macguffin device into a random repair guy and then leaving it there.

In real life, this may turn out to be the case. I guess we’ll have to see if charges are ever brought, but let’s face it. As a movie script, this has more plot holes and unrealistic actions committed by characters than the entirety of all three movies of the latest Star Wars trilogy. And from what I understand from the real fans who don’t like those movies, that’s a lot.

One of my beta readers asked me to wrap up the virus plot line, even though at this point I’m not sure why it mattered. So Donald Bourne catches the disease. They fly him by helicopter to a facility where they give him superhuman powers, which he will clearly have to display if this train wreck of a script ever gets picked up for a sequel. My beta reader then asked how that’s a fitting ending. What about all the regular people who aren’t shipped off to a facility and given superhuman powers who are still dying from the disease every day. And much like my hero, I just gave up trying to do the work and told the beta reader, “It is what it is.”

Chris McGinty is a blogger, and just in case you missed the sarcasm, he has not written a script called “Hunter and the Laptop.” He is however working on a biopic about Adam Lambert’s time in Queen called “Bohemian Ripoffsody.”

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