A Jerry Bruckheimer Production
Aaron Eckhart as George W Bush
Don Cheadle as Tony Blair
[“I’m telling you, Steve, the sidekick has gotta to be black.”]
[Urban skyline. Dusk.]
TOUGH STREETS. NEED TOUGH COPS.
DETECTIVE GEORGE “DUBYA” BUSH—HE’S WRESTLED WITH DRINK. HE’S WRESTLED WITH DRUGS. HE’S WRESTLED WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. THEY RAN HIS FATHER OFF THE JOB. THEY DOUBTED HIM, MOCKED HIM, MISUNDERESTIMATED HIM. NOW HE’S BACK FROM ELECTORAL COLLEGE WITH A MANDATE TO KILL.
First Cop [jeering]: Hey, Dubya! Your new partner’s just arrived! And just in time for “tea”.
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR ANTHONY “BULLDOG” BLAIR—SEVEN YEARS ON THE MEAN STREETS OF LONDON TOWN. HE’S TAKEN EVERYTHING THEY’VE THROWN AT HIM AND KEPT ON COMING BACK FOR MORE.
Blair [to Bush]: Awright guv’nor! Anthony Blair’s the name. Pleased to make your acquaintance. I’ve heard awl abaht you, mate.
LIEUTENANT KOFI “ATTA BOY” ANNAN—THERE’S ONLY ONE OLD-TIMER WITH THE CHOPS TO KEEP THIS CRAZY TEAM IN LINE.
[The Lieutenant’s office]
Bush [to the Lieutenant]: You’ve given me a goddam Limey for a partner?!
Annan: Damn straight, buddy. When you gonna realise that it ain’t just you against the World out there?
Blair [walking into Kofi’s office and ruffling Bush’s hair]: Leave it aht! From wot I’ve ‘eard you need all the friends you can get, cowboy.
OSAMA AL-ZARQAWI HUSSEIN—ON THE SURFACE A RESPECTABLE ARAB ENTREPRENEUR WITH INTERESTS IN CONSTRUCTION, OIL, AND IMPORT-EXPORT, BUT BUSH IS CLOSING IN ON THE CRIMINAL TRUTH ABOUT HIS FATHER’S FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER.
[The Precinct at night]
Blair: Look, mi ol’ China, you jolly well know we ain’t got enough to send the department after ‘ussein.
Bush: I’ve got all I need, Tony, my friend. [close-up of Bush loading his Magnum. Zoom in on his face as he lifts the weapon to the side of his set jaw] He tried to kill my daddy.
[A busy street. Day. Bush and Blair run in slow motion towards the camera, away from the front of a restaurant. The whole building explodes in flames sending them both tumbling]
[Later. The Lieutenant’s office. Bush and Blair sit in front of his desk in torn and charred clothes.]
Annan: You blew up a goddam restaurant because you thought Hussein was closing a goddam deal there?! I’ll tell you what you can do with your goddam “thinking”. As of today the only goddam blowing up you’ll be doing will be blowing up your sunbeds! I’m taking taking those badges and putting you both on indefinite goddam leave!
[Night-time. An empty office. Bush and Blair pore over a computer print-out by torchlight.]
Blair: Geezer! Are you tellin’ me that Hussein’s been paying off members of the force, like?
Bush: It’s worse than that Tony; [he points at a page] It looks like the Lieutenant’s son is on the take too.
[A back-room of the police social club. A secret meeting]
Blair: Look, chaps. Havel’s on board, so’s Aznar…
Bush: …and Kwasnie-, Kieswa-… …the Polack.
[Blair buries his face in his hands]
Blair: Y’know, there’s a lot of fellas who are ready and willing to raid Hussein’s arms dump. Everyone knows ‘e’s got the stuff. We can do it alone if we have to, but we want your help.
FORCED TO WORK OUTSIDE THE LAW, CAN BUSH AND BLAIR BRING DOWN THE BAD GUYS BEFORE THE CITY ELECTIONS?
TWO MEN. ONE HELL OF A RIDE. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. IN MIDDLE EASTERN THEATRES FOR A LONG TIME TO COME.
Blair/Cheadle (that was brilliant by the way) has an accent that I mostly hear around English pubs. Is that a particular accent to London or something? Didn’t hear it much in Falmouth, Bristol, Cardiff or Exeter.
Also, I quite like Aaron Eckhart… though I had trouble forgiving him for ‘The Core’.
The real Cheadle had, in Ocean’s Eleven, an accent that you mostly hear on planet Hollywood: a sort of strangled, imagined Cockney, impossible to render in print. It is believed that Cheadle studied for his role as a working-class English criminal under the great Van Dyke, also mentioned in the list of “famous Mockney performances” at the foot of the “Cockney” page in Wikipedia that I linked to.
Officially, you shouldn’t hear Cockney in Falmouth, Bristol, Cardiff, or Exeter because real Cockneys are supposed to have been born “within the sound of Bow Bells”. An attenuated, but highly infectious, strain of the Cockney accent, Estuary, can, however, be heard anywhere in the country. Visitors to the UK like you should take care to immunise themselves against Estuary before their arrival here, for example by viewing northern English or Scottish historical dramas made by the BBC before 1985.
Tragically, I saw Ocean’s Eleven in the company of an Italian friend, who was most put out by the stifled giggling from the rest of us every time Cheadle opened his mouth, as she had no idea what was supposed to be so funny.
Then again, I don’t believe I’ve read an American review of Mary Poppins that so much as mentions Dick Van Dyke’s accent… or a British one that fails to!
The worst British accent I’ve heard in recent history had to be Jeri Ryan’s in “Down With Love”. *sigh* I wish it were otherwise since, as our host knows, I am fanatic about the divine Ms. Ryan.
I’ve heard this before, and just don’t get it. I was brought up in Peckham. I can tell the difference between a North and South London accent. For a long time, I had a Cockney accent myself. And I can hear no problem whatsoever with Cheadle’s accent. I can only assume that people take the piss out of it because they knew he was American before they heard it.
Now, Tim Roth’s accent in Reservoir Dogs is just embarassing.
This is interesting. I used to have a Birmingham accent and, unless someone’s doing one of those strange Scouse-Brum hybrids that southerners often lapse into when they try to imitate it, I find it hard to tell a good fake one from a bad fake one.
When I saw Ocean’s Eleven I had no idea Cheadle was American. After wincing a few times at the sound he was making I thought he might be from the Caribbean. It was only afterwards that I found out his true provenance. And I’m really not one of those film snobs who always wants to put the boot into Americans “doing” English. I can’t stand Gwyneth Paltrow; plenty of people had a go at her “posh Estuary” performance in Sliding Doors, but I thought it was just about the best thing about the film. Whoops, that didn’t come out right. I mean, I thought it was uncannily accurate.
Anyway, what I’m trying to says is that being intimately acquainted with an accent might not help you to recognize it. It took years of other people pointing it out for me to even notice that my mum sounded African.