For most people, a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion is fairly determinative. But then again, most people haven’t successfully thwarted the world’s greatest fugitive hunter, Tommy Lee Jones. Yes, after battling revenue agents, criminal investigators, and U.S. attorneys for a decade, Dr. Wesley Snipes (he holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, SUNY/Purchase), was handed down a three-year prison sentence for failing to file $5 million worth of income taxes.
Snipes is no stranger to evading the law. First there was 1993’s Demolition Man, in which his maniacal Simon Phoenix escaped encarceration in an ice cube to terrorize a Utopian Los Angeles in the year 2032. Then there was U.S. Marshals, the 1998 sequel to the Harrison Ford thriller The Fugitive. In this film, Snipes plays a U.S. Agent arrested and imprisoned for murder and espionage, only to escape and lead Jones’ Marshals on a dangerous chase to prove his innocence.
For the purposes of this exercise, Wesley, we’ll concede that you are neither a sociopath nor frozen in ice; in which case your most valuable insight will have to come from the latter performance. Luckily, there’s plenty to work with to plan your escape.
1) Break Out
Necessary Tools: Airplane, gun, sunglasses
Procedure: Snipes is requesting his sentence be carried out not in Los Angeles, but New Jersey. This is very good, because it will give him the opportunity to depressurize the airplane carrying him across the country with a gun. Once that happens Wesley, you’ll just have to pick your handcuffs by shoving a sunglasses earpiece into them, and run to freedom. That, and survive a horrible fiery plane crash.
2) Evade Capture
Necessary Tools: Lack of subtelty, Batman-like reflexes, stairwell, train
Disguises may have been Harrison’s bag, but Wesley, you’re an action hero! That means you’re going to have to go through tons of shootouts, scale seemingly insurmountable walls and run up a staircase when you should so obviously be running down. Follow these steps, and you’ll most likely be faced with a situation where you can jump from a high height onto a moving train. One word: Badass.
3) Find a Fall Guy
Necessary Tools: Patsy, gun
Procedure: If there’s one thing The Fugitive and U.S. Marshals teach us, Wesley, it’s that you can’t run forever. So eventually, you’re going to have to find someone to pin this on (Hint: Just because your fall guy was guilty in the movie, doesn’t mean he has to be guilty in real life!) We suggest going back to your character’s fall guy, Robert Downey, Jr. Despite his newfound superstar status, he’s got a shady past that’s easy to exploit. Just remember to follow your character’s lead and shoot your patsy before he has a chance to explain himself.
Congratulations, you’re a free man!
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