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Fast and the
The Yards
John Malkivich


movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)

NOTE: Another great spoiler sent in by ddmeyer who calls this movie... "Unapologetically violent, good fun."

We begin with Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper) at age 12. His uncle Teddy (John Malkovich) is his guardian because his father Benny (Dennis Hopper) was tossed in jail when an informant ratted him out. Teddy’s got the informant in a basement and wants Matty to kill him. Matty can’t and Teddy observes that his nephew’s just not cut out for the life.

Present day, Matty is trying to get a job as a sports agent but no one will employ him because his last name is synonymous with organized crime. He takes some sandwiches to his father (now out of jail) and Teddy. They’re having trouble with embezzlement within their ranks and Matty asks if there’s any way he can help. They smirk and thank him for the sandwiches.

He leaves and finds Scarpa (Andrew Davoli), a self-proclaimed ladies man. They drive together and lament how they’re caught in some frustrating middle ground wherein the public sees them as mobsters but their fathers only use them as errand-boys.

We then see Taylor Reese (Vin Diesel, pre-xXx) as he’s shaking down a fish who isn’t paying tribute.

Back at the Demaret business, Matty asks his father and Teddy to let him help out with their current dilemma: there’s $500,000 to be picked up in Spokane but they don’t know who they can trust to get it. Matty says that his buddy Marbles (Seth Green) has a plane and can make the pickup. On the basis of Marbles infamous stupidity, Benny initially nixes the idea but is eventually won over by Teddy.

Marbles flies to Spokane to get the money. He refuels in a nothing town in Montana called Wibaux. Inside the airport lounge, he sees two cops. He gets spooked and sets the money bag in the luggage area on the tarmac. He goes inside and pays for his gas from an enormous clip of 100s, drawing the attention of the police.

While the ditzy cashier makes change, outside, the two stoner baggage handlers toss luggage into a plane. When they come to Marbles’s bag, they notice it doesn’t have a tag. One asks the other what they should do with it.

When Marbles comes back outside, the bag is gone. He calls Matty who flips out (justifiably) and explains to Marbles that if the money doesn’t get to his father, his father’s creditors will kill him. Matty, Taylor, and Scarpa go out to Wibaux.

We then cut to the two baggage handlers roaring down a dirt road on souped-up, newly-purchased street luges. They crash out and start giggling like maniacs.

There, they ask the airport cashier if the bag turned up. No, it hasn’t, but would you like to report the matter to the police? They decline, knowing full-well how many questions would have to be answered regarding a bag containing half a million dollars.

At a diner, they decide what to do. Teddy told Matty that they should “announce” themselves to the town, make their presence so powerful that the town would be begging them to take back their money just so they’d leave. Taylor suggests that they find the thickest, toughest guy in town, and beat him within an inch of his life.

That night the four go to the Shamrock Bar. Matty asks the night manager for the man who runs the place. The manager is evasive until Matty just purchases some beers and goes to his table. After he leaves, the manager nods to a burly cowboy at a central table. Scarpa starts to pick up on a pretty waitress, dancing with her, until the cowboy pulls the two of them apart and slaps the waitress.

Matty walks over and asks the cowboy what the problem is. The cowboy says that he may not let Matty or his friends walk out in one piece. Matty turns his back and nods to Taylor. “This one’ll do,” he says. The okie spits on Taylor’s jeans. Taylor calmly proceeds to strike terror into the cowboy’s heart, talking steadily about the five hundred street fights he was involved in before he was thirteen. At that point he head butts the okie and beats him bloody and senseless.

When the cowboy’s on the ground, Matty bends down to the ground and explains that someone has something of theirs and will be making it obvious. Get it back and we’ll leave, he says.

The cowboy starts asking around and eventually finds the two stoner punks. He goes to the motel where the knockarounds are staying and tells them where they can find their money.

We cut to the house of one of the handlers where the two of them decide to make a run for it with the money. At the same time, two things happen: One, Matty and Taylor pull up outside in a rental jeep and two, the sheriff and his deputy pull up in front of the house. Matty and Taylor duck back inside the rental and watch as the sheriff chastises the first stoner, his son, for smoking marijuana. He rips the bag from the kid and opens it up. Seeing all the money, he whisks the four of them inside. “We were rich once,” says Stoner #2.

In the garage, the sheriff justifies keeping the money by saying that he and his deputy work hard for low pay. The deputy tells his boss to keep all of it, but the sheriff tells him to take it, clearly wanting a partner to take the fall.

Matty, Taylor, Scarpa, and Marbles go to the sheriff’s office. Matty goes into the inner office and tries to explain to the sheriff who he is and what his bloodline implies. He offers a finder’s fee for holding onto the bag for him. The sheriff acts like he’s considering it but then proceeds to beat the blood from Matty’s face. Taylor tries to go in and help but is held at shotgun-point by the deputy.

The four leave empty-handed. When they come back to the motel, Teddy and two assistants are there also, ostensibly to lend a hand. Teddy slaps Marbles around for causing the whole mess, but privately promises Matty that he won’t be killed.

The sheriff runs a search for the Demaret’s and finds out how big they are. He calls Matty at the hotel and tells him that they’ll meet at the meatpacking house later that night. Matty feels like he’s being setup but the sheriff’s terms are firm.

At the bar, Scarpa, who’s already a two-time offender, tells Marbles that he wants to take off. He says he’s already booked the two of them a room at the Sheridan in a nearby town. Marbles’s sense of loyalty and responsibility keeps him from leaving. Suit yourself, Scarpa says, and then leaves.

Marbles, still in the bar, is confronted by Teddy’s two assistants. He’s surprised because he wasn’t supposed to be picked up until later that night. The two assistants suddenly drop him with a punch to the gut. They drag him to an alley, the whole way with Marbles protesting that Teddy said to let him live and them replying that Teddy sent them. They shoot him four times.

We then see the Greyhound bus pull up in front of Scarpa.

The sheriff and his deputy arrive at the meatpacking plant, drop the bag on a grinding table, and load their weapons. Already there, Teddy and his two assistants watch them. Matty and Taylor arrive alone, already realizing that their two friends have let them down. The two officers train their weapons on the two knockarounds and ask them where their friends are. Matty asks them where their money is.

Suddenly Teddy and his assistants emerge from three corners and hold the sheriff and his deputy at gunpoint. As Teddy reaches for the money, the burly cowboy from earlier pops out from an open doorway and points a rifle at Taylor. Suddenly Teddy and his men retreat back into the shadows, leaving Matty and Taylor by themselves. The cowboy explains that he wants the money for himself.

Directly after he says that, though, Scarpa comes through the same doorway and shoots the cowboy in the back with a shotgun. With that gun blast, a shootout is sparked. The officer and his deputy kill Teddy’s two assistants and Taylor kills the two officers. Shockingly, Teddy shoots Scarpa. Now, only Teddy, Matty, and Taylor are alive. Teddy aims at Matty but as he fires, Taylor pushes Matty down, taking two slugs in the shoulder. Teddy’s clip is empty.

He goes for the money as Matty realizes that Teddy was the one embezzling from his father all along. Teddy confirms this, but saunters off saying that Matty couldn’t kill before, and won’t kill now. As he reaches the doorway, Teddy pulls out his gun, newly reloaded, and -- blam -- Matty shoots Teddy dead.

Epilogue: Matty returns the money to Benny who offers his son a position in the business. Matty realizes, though, that he didn’t want that, that all he wanted was his father to regard him as a man. He walks out the door where Taylor is waiting. They drive away together.


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