Director Nicolas Winding Refn (The Neon Demon) has teamed up with screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, best known for their extensive work on the James Bond franchise, for his Tokyo-set thriller, The Avenging Silence. Refn will again follow a man of few words with his next film. Based on its early plot synopsis, The Avenging Silence is about a mute former spy assigned with killing the head of a Yakuza family.
Below, learn more about The Avenging Silence plot.
Refn previously described his next movie in a tweet as “Ian Fleming + William Burroughs + N W R = The Avenging Silence.” According to The Playlist, the movie came from Refn’s desire to direct “a big extravagant action film.” The outlet dug up more details about the film, as they recently found a lengthy, telling synopsis at Crouching Tigers Project Lab, “a new destination for industry professionals looking for original opportunities for co-production and co-financing of their feature length film projects.” On their site, you can find the plot summary, the director’s statement, and the budget ($ 15 million) for The Avenging Silence.
Here’s the full synopsis, which, forewarning, contains more plot points than usual:
The spy was one of the leading spies in Europe. An injury inflicted to his vocal cords during a failed mission six years ago left him mute, forcing him to leave his profession. Now, six years later, he is sought out and put on confidential assignment by a former Yakuza, now a retired Japanese businessman in exile in France, to track down and kill the head of the most dangerous Yakuza family in Japan.
Afraid of flying, our spy anonymously boards a cargo ship headed for Tokyo. An onboard explosion sinks the ship and our spy finds himself washed ashore on a life raft in southern Japan. As a mute, our spy must silently journey through Japan seeking 4 clues – symbolizing conquest, war, famine, and death – which will guide him to the unknown location of the Yakuza boss. Meanwhile, the Yakuza boss, known for his 2004 mass slaughter of Yakuza members who had turned against him, is believed to be plotting to reenter the Japanese underworld after living in his own surreptitious world in the mountains, void of all technology. This way of life becomes an obsession for the Yakuza boss. Rumors spread that he had committed suicide years ago but escaped prisoners from his hidden camp told stories of his plan for a comeback. Now rival Yakuza families suspect he is forming a master plan to return, a plan that unburies the most infamous story of Yakuza betrayal.
Our spy finds himself on an existential journey through Japan in search of pieces to the puzzle that will lead him to a confrontation with the ultimate Yakuza boss in a terrifying conclusion.
The silent protagonist’s existential journey, the distinct setting, the four clues, the crime elements — this all screams Nicolas Winding Refn pretty loud and clear. The synopsis suggests we might see a more plot-heavy movie from the filmmaker, but we’ll see. If one thing is for sure, though, it’s that a mute former spy taking on an “ultimate Yakuza” boss sounds like the kind of movie we want to see from Refn.
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