SHOE SHINE BEAR: RISE OF THE SHADOW OF THE FALL
March 31, 2016
EXT. SHANGHAI BUS STATION – MIDNIGHT
A clear, still night. Light from a full moon illuminates an empty bus station. All is quiet, save for the faint echoes of fireworks and distant cheers hearkening the New Year. Suddenly, there is a stir. A lone bus rolls into the station, carrying a single passenger. SHOE SHINE BEAR (38), tall, muscular, sharp as a tack with fists of steel and a mind like granite, disembarks from the bus, gazing intently into the distance. He looks down at PONCHO, a cockeyed and lovable mutt and Shoe Shine Bear’s only companion in the whole world.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (grimly): I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Poncho-
Before he can finish his thought, a single flaming arrow embeds itself in the wall behind him.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D) (grimly): I never liked Shanghai.
Shoe Shine Bear steelily stares down several ARMED ASSAILANTS with his steely gaze. The first assailant, garbed in all black and armed with a set of NUNCHUCKS, is deftly felled by Shoe Shine Bear’s deft punches. The next assailant, garbed in all black and armed with a SAMURAI SWORD, leaps at Shoe Shine Bear with a mighty screech. In a few skillful moves, Shoe Shine Bear somehow and excitingly manages to cut the assailant in half with his own sword. The last assailant slowly approaches, armed with the most dangerous weapon yet: a NUNCHUCK AND A SAMURAI SWORD.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D) (grimly): Let’s dance.
The two engage in a blood-pumping battle, Shoe Shine Bear using the only weapon he knows: his bare fists. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the assailant sweeps Shoe Shine Bear’s leg out from under him and pins him to the ground. As the assailant raises both his sword and his nunchuck to deal the death blow, Shoe Shine Bear lets out a mighty shout.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D): Poncho, now!
On cue, Poncho tugs on a rope with his teeth which causes a GIANT NET to fall upon, and somehow also immediately kill, the last assailant. Shoe Shine Bear gets up, brushing some dust off of his broad, muscular shoulder. He and Poncho start walking.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D) (determined): It’s time to get to the bottom of this.
CUT TO BLAZE
OPENING CREDITS: THE NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL CAST APPEAR IN FIRE AND THEN EXPLODE, LEAVING THE IMAGE OF A DRAGON BEHIND (THIS IS FORESHADOWING). THE DRAGON BREATHES YET MORE FIRE MADE OF BULLETS WHICH DISSOLVES INTO WORDS: SHOE SHINE BEAR: THE RISE OF THE SHADOW OF THE FALL.
INT. BRITISH PARLIAMENT- MORNING
Shoe Shine Bear, looking tired but still handsome from his wearying globe-wide antics, sits across a desk from his SHRILL, SHREW-LIKE HARPY WOMAN BOSS (32), who is shrilly nagging Shoe Shine Bear.
SHREW-LIKE HARPY WOMAN BOSS (shrill): Shoe Shine Bear, your orders on the Shanghai deal were strictly no- kill.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (looking out window): Well, the deal went sour.
SHREW-LIKE HARPY WOMAN BOSS (losing ground in the face of Shoe Shine Bear’s confidence): But fifteen deaths? Shoe Shine Bear, this is insubordinate, even for you-
SHOE SHINE BEAR (looking out window even more intently): I’m a loose cannon, Sheryl. You oughta know that by now.
SHREW-LIKE HARPY WOMAN BOSS (disarmed by his use of her first name): Okay. But you’d better watch it, Shoe Shine Bear. One more strike and you’re out of the organization.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (unfazed): What are we gonna do about Shanghai?
The shrew sighs unattractively.
SHREW-LIKE HARPY WOMAN BOSS: You’re going back to Shanghai. And this time, it’s undercover. Deep.
Shoe Shine Bear and Poncho, who is seated next to him, exchange a meaning-filled glance.
CUT TO BLAZE
EXT. SHANGHAI ZEN GARDEN- MIDDAY
Shoe Shine Bear sits at an outdoor bar and stares pensively into a nearby koi pond, lost in thought.
A presumed waitress, ESMERELDA, exotic-looking but still blonde, supermodel looks but doesn’t know it, with a figure that doesn’t quit and a face that also cannot and will not quit, slinks up to Shoe Shine Bear, unintentionally seductive.
ESMERELDA: They’re nice, aren’t they?
SHOE SHINE BEAR (lost in thought): Huh?
ESMERELDA: The koi. They’re lovely this time of year.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (winking casually): They certainly are.
ESMERELDA (trying to hide a swoon): Is there anything I can help you with?
SHOE SHINE BEAR: No, I’m just waiting for… a friend. He should be along any minute.
ESMERELDA: Oh, I see. An old friend, this man?
SHOE SHINE BEAR: Hopefully, a new one. I’m looking
for some help with a…
He hesitates, but thinks quickly on his feet.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D): Business venture.
ESMERELDA (enthralled): Huh. Well I hope that goes well for you, Mr…
SHOE SHINE BEAR: Shoe Shine Bear.
She smiles attractively at him as she turns to leave.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D): Actually miss, can you get me a vermouth?
She turns back to look at him with a fiery gaze like fire.
ESMERELDA: Actually, I can’t, because I’m not a waitress.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (taken aback): What?
ESMERELDA: I’m your contact. And a woman!
SHOE SHINE BEAR: That can’t be right. I’m looking for an agent. Named Jenkins.
ESMERELDA (already afraid of falling in love): Esmerelda Jenkins, at your service.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (making the best of a confusing situation): Does that mean that vermouth’s still on the table?
They both laugh, Shoe Shine Bear heartily, and Esmerelda sexily. Poncho barks to join in on the fun.
ESMERELDA (suddenly serious): We have a lot to discuss, but I’m afraid it’s not safe to speak here.
Shoe Shine Bear nods knowingly.
SHOE SHINE BEAR: I know a place.
INT. LUCKY MONKEY BAR, OUTSKIRTS OF SHANGHAI- 3PM
Shoe Shine Bear saunters confidently into the bar, Esmerelda slinking in behind him. The barkeep, Sam, smiles broadly and waves.
SAM: Mr. Shoe Shine Bear! It’s so good to see you again! Is this your girlfriend?
Sam indicates Esmerelda, who blushes slightly but not unattractively. Shoe Shine Bear chuckles.
SHOE SHINE BEAR: No, Sam, this is my partner.
Esmerelda, still blushing, smiles thankfully.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D): Can we get two vermouths, and your quietest booth?
SAM: Of course, old friend!
Sam starts leading Shoe Shine Bear and Esmerelda to the back of the bar, but Shoe Shine Bear stops cold.
ESMERELDA: What is it?
SHOE SHINE BEAR (grimly): We’ve got company.
He indicates a table full of henchmen dressed in the same black garb as the bus station assailants. Five of the henchmen make for Shoe Shine Bear immediately, encircling him.
He starts karate chopping wildly, defeating them one by one. Esmerelda is busy fighting the one of the henchmen who happens to be a girl also. Their fight is obviously much sexier and a bunch of their clothes are lost in the fray. None of the guys’, though. Just the lady fighters.
ESMERELDA (punching): Shoe Shine Bear! What do we do?
SHOE SHINE BEAR (also punching): I’m a little busy over here, Esmerelda. Suddenly, the henchmen all flee.
Esmerelda, naive, looks victorious, but Shoe Shine Bear looks suspicious.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (CONT’D) (to himself): Why would they have done that
ESMERELDA: Shoe Shine Bear!
She points nearby, where there is a TICKING BOMB.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (decisively): Run!
EXT. LUCKY MONKEY BAR, OUTSKIRTS OF SHANGHAI- SAME TIME
Shoe Shine Bear, with Poncho in one hand and Esmerelda in the other, manages to clear the bar right before it explodes in a mushroom cloud.
ESMERELDA (impressed): Shoe Shine Bear, that was amazing! Shoe Shine Bear is looking grimly at the wreckage.
SHOE SHINE BEAR: Sam… my oldest friend. He falls to one knee, a single, completely masculine tear falls from one of his manly eyes.
ESMERELDA: Oh, Shoe Shine Bear. I’m so sorry.
SHOE SHINE BEAR (shaking fists at sky): He will be avenged!
END OF ACT 1