In Mystery Man's blog, he recently reviewed the script for Hitman - a screenplay based on a popular video game.
I don't know the video game, and have always been more into role playing games (yes, I play WOW) than shooters - but I have some words of advice for the author of Hitman as he works on rewrites (hopefully, he still is): go see Shoot 'em Up.
Shoot 'em Up is just what the title says it is. It is shooting. Lots of it. Sometimes funny. Sometimes outrageous. The lead character is never well defined, his story is never explained. He has a handful of characteristics which remain consistent and are enough to drive him. The female lead is introduced when the protag (and I use that term a bit loosely) needs her.
He stumbles into the plot, but is thrown deep into it when he makes a choice - a very simple and clear choice. She is at first unwilling to go along, but is forced to when the bad guys catch up.
There's a convoluted story that doesn't matter much, and it's a pretty outrageous one - but it doesn't matter.
It moves non-stop. It has genre gags. It has a completely absurd and wonderful sex scene. But mostly, it's non-stop action. More fun than Crank was, which is similar. The protag is more over-the-top in his skills. The story bigger, and more absurd.
It felt like a shooter game.
And MOST of the movie would not have looked like much on the page, because it was a lot of choreography. But man, there were some great moments with the fight choreography.
It doesn't try to be important, or impressive. It doesn't try to explore the implications of anything. Plot and character really only exist enough to serve the action. But what is there, is great stuff.
And the fact that the antag speculates about the protag's life story, as the audience must - but not one word of his speculation is ever confirmed - is great because anything that is confirmed would just seem cheesy and wrong. We don't really care why or how he became a super-shooter. We just want to see him shoot.
And we want him to win.
And did I mention it's fun? He shoots people while delivering a baby. He kills people with carrots.
But then, one of my favorite films of all time is Buckaroo Banzai, so I appreciate absurdity.