Sunday, February 12, 2012

Twister Rewrites

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

Twister was on the other day. The male and female leads in Twister aren't that impressive as characters, and I feel so sorry of male lead's fiancee, but you know what I really like about Twister? The rest of the team. I wish there had been more of them. Whatshisname who makes the movie/television references ("The cone of silence"), whatshisface who figures out the directions, whatshername who hardly ever speaks and yet still manages to seem like a fun character. Even the really annoying guy who should under no circumstances have been the one poor fiancee had to sit with.

I think it would have been a much better movie if it had just been about the team doing what they did, instead of Jo manipulating Bill into getting back together both with her and with the team.

Also Jonas was very badly handled. If he'd made his big break by stealing their research or something, that would be one thing, but instead he got decent funding and actually built the thing Bill never got around to. Oh so very evil, that one. Clearly he must die by tornado.  Sarcasm off, if he was going to be a jerk, there should have been reason to think of him as a jerk beyond, "He's funded," and even then death by tornado would be serious overkill.

Obviously my initial thought is to do a rewrite of Twister so that it isn't about getting (back) together at all. They're all already together as a team, and this is just the season when they finally have Dorothy. That's my primary suggestion, but if that's too extreme I offer a rewrite of Twister that keeps it closer to the original:

Bill is trying to get everything settled for his move to another field due in part to the fact that he's become disillusioned after Jonas stole their research and used it to get a grant they really could have used. After fighting for too long to get the credit he and his team deserved, and instead getting a reputation for being someone who tries to claim other people's work (discrediting his whole team in the process), he's burned out and ready to leave all this behind and has lined up the one job in meteorology he can still get, that of weatherman.

He's come back to disentangle the last of his finances from those of the team, which is now run by Jo. He's clearly depressed and Jo tries to convince him to stay around for a while in hopes it might cheer him up. When she shows him that they've finally built his dream sensor package, Dorothy, it gets him to stay for a little while.

As the movie progresses he gradually starts to reconnect with the entire team.

It also so happens that Jonas is in the area and they can interact in much the same way as in the actual movie, but in this case the reason for them despising each other isn't that Jonas is in it for the money, it's that he took their research, used it to secure a grant that should have been theirs, played the situation so well he made it look like they were trying to steal credit for his idea, and now he's managed to make a knock off of Dorothy that he's showing off to the news cameras which means that the same damn thing is happening all over again.

Because the focus isn't on a love triangle you can instead put it on the team as a whole, and in the course of seeing Bill reconnect with each of them you get to learn more about all of them and get a much better feel for their characters, you also see Bill become more alive as he goes from the isolated place in which he started the movie towards a place where he's surrounded by friends.

You can have pretty much the same events, so the ending would still be the tornado at movie theater, followed by the remains of the town, followed by going after the big one.

At which point Jonas doesn't die because that's just petty on the filmmakers' part. His driver listens to the warning and gets the hell out of there just in a nick of time to save them both. Jonas loses face when it is revealed (by the grateful driver) that he had his life saved by the person who he's been actively trying to ruin for the past few years (because if people took Bill seriously they might take his claim that Jonas stole his work seriously) and given that he didn't get the data and the poor team did, he's no longer the one the cameras follow.

The end.

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