Howard Lewis never did catch that plane back home. He was standing at the gate waiting to board, when a hoodlum snatched the video camera out of his hand and made a run for it, only to fall on his face and smash the thing when he was shot by some trigger happy airport cop, who turned out not to be a real airport cop, just a terrorist who was supplied by the people who supply terrorists with cop uniforms - ding.
He watched the whole thing with his one good eye, wishing he could be get involved somehow, preferably by putting himself in harm's way. Then he had a vision which was interpreted by the surrounding would-be passangers as narcolepsy, woke up sometime later in a hospital bed - staring into the beautiful face of Nurse Marie (Anna's mother, whose husband died that afternoon, which, coming at the end of such a hectic day, left her so distraught that she didn't what to do except leave Anna with a sitter and go in for her normal shift) and decided to stay in Spain, stalking her and Anna, at least until he had gained enough life experience to shoot good quality home videos.
In his vision, Anna - despite her ethnicity - had grown into a perfect lookalike of 24-year-old Sigourney Weaver, and was running for office in the Congreso de los Diputados.
But our story begins a few years later...
President Ashton has just begun his (controversial) 3rd term in office, after a somewhat bitter Supreme Court battle involving multiple cases of mistaken identity. Obviously he now has a lot of enemies (despite being a movie-president-grade centrist) so has beefed up the secret service such that his six closest aids are now comprised of 3 sets of identical twins (one set played by Kevin Costner, one by Kiefer Sutherland, and one of course by Dennis Quaid - who may have to be convinced for the purposes of filming that he is in fact playing one guy with "physically multiple" personalities - which will still be a directorial challenge, especially if Pete Travis is allowed anywhere near the picture). Thomas Barnes, the right-handed twin (to film the other one they can just get Dennis to play it normal while everyone else plays it left handed, then flip the frames horizontally to make him look left-handed) is the more hard-nosed of the Quaid set, and has a PDA that can do literally everything under the sun including track parcels online via the FedEx website.
Rex Brooks has retired from her hardcore news production job at Fox, and become embroiled in a Japanese civil suit against the Geographical Survey Institute, seeking compensation for emotional trauma resulting from not being able to contact her personal geostationary satellite (positioned over Panama, the centre of the world) from her Nevada ranch, on account of the world not in fact being flat, as she had supposed. The legal defense team initially sought to impress upon her the value of this new learning, which they claimed had been proven to offset the associated trauma in several cases of "extreme realisation" (in Japan, at least). Being a hard-bitten journalist - neither young nor impressionable - she rejected these suggestions out of hand, forcing the defense to change tack. Their current strategy rests primarily on a Darwinian argument, which not only goes over her own head, but those of her prosecuting attorneys as well, making it rather difficult for them to formulate an effective counterattack.
The terrorists in this story are a group of ex-Ivy League professors who 5 years ago formed an elite think tank with the goal of trying to find out if it is actually necessary or desirable to shoot the president at all, from anyone's point of view. The think tank was funded by a (rare) liberal-leaning East Coast television magnate - in a last-ditch effort to put the lie to the raft of crappy presidential-assassination-based plots constantly clogging up his in-tray, by dragging the writers of said plots kicking and screaming into the 21st century, "where they should have been - let's face it - for the last - oh, I dunno - eight years or so?"
Early on they discovered, perhaps not surprisingly, that the single thing least likely to factor into terrorist target selection is an anti-terrorism treaty between two heads of state, neither of whom presides over a country between Pakistan and Libya. The surprise came toward the end of their collective thinkage, when they realised that the funding would soon run dry, and they would all be left without jobs let alone homes, I mean LET'S FACE IT - the guys who were able to be seconded to such a dead-end project as this during the primes of their careers are definitely not the most employable tools in the shed. In point of fact, God only knows how they got their Ivy League jobs in the first place, but (due to budget constraints) the mind of God is well outside the scope of this movie.
Will focus on a 200 millisecond time window during a limited-overs cricket match at Greenfield stadium between the West Indies and Pakistan, parts of which will be replayed more than 1000 times between the start and end credits of the film (not including outtakes). The window is filmed on 476 devices inside the stadium (none of which is held by Forest Whitaker, to his extreme dismay). Two notable events occur on the field during that time - the first being an utterance made by the Pakistani batsman, which linguists will hotly argue was or was not the word "fuck"; the second being the meeting of ball with bat at millisecond 192, which makes an unusual popping sound - indicating that the bat must have been reactively armoured, probably with explosives smuggled into the Caribbean on a (rare) Taliban-owned amphibious aeroplane, because you can't assassinate the president these days without some middle-eastern motherfuckers being involved.
Off the field, our terrorist academics have conspired to get free tickets to the game, but not used them - one of the many clever subtleties on which the plot will ultimately hinge. The president was supposed to go the game too, but decided not to on account of the fact no-one was able to successfully explain the laws of cricket to him on the flight down from Washington.
Questions posed by the movie...
How will this group of deadbeat academics justify their own existence, not to mention their inclusion in one of the most convoluted stories of our time? What would you do if a perfect stranger booked the stadium seat next to you and then didn't show up for the game? Who actually is William Hurt?
Each replay of the on-field action will kick off a plot-segment from a new point of view, but considering the total number of characters is less than the total number of threads, we will invent a whole new kind of POV for this movie - not so much a "shared POV" as an "nth of one, nth of the other, switcheroo-type-dealio", giving us numCharacters!/(numCharacters - n)! threads to play with (which still might not be enough, come to think of it) until the president is finally shot dead by a disgruntled television viewer - the bullet ricocheting off Kiefer Sutherland's sunglasses... Oh-ohhhh, did I just give away the ending?
Disclaimer: the producers of this movie have no idea what a fractal is.