Dudes. It’s been a really long time since there’s been a shitty movie about tattoos. Hang on there hasn’t been one ever? Ok well I just made one. This would be directed that guy who made 21. A piece of shit movie that made way more money than it should have.
Forest Green, played by Viggo Mortensen is a world famous Tattoo artist. People from all over the world come to his parlor Green in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn because they want the best. And he is the best. There is a sequence early on that shows how flashy and great with an ink gun he is and it plays like a scene from Cocktail. Everyone knows he’s the best. He has no friends and family cause the only family he needs is his gun. While he might be the best ever, time has passed him by. He never adjusted tattoo prices and as a result, is falling behind on his rent for Green. Also there is a new chain of Tattoo parlors in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I.D. that has been poaching business from him, and Logan Miller, played by Garrett Hedlund is one of their hottest guns. Irwin Dean Miller, played by Henry Czerny (I.D.), is the brainchild behind the new tattoo parlors, and he is Logan Miller step-father. He has turned the tattoo biz into a sterile, family friendly enterprise. The creativity that has once been the staple of the tattoo parlor is gone, replaced with calculating efficiency and almost no care for the process.
While working at I.D. is not what Logan wants to do forever, he’s really good at it. Some might say the best. One day Forest, after seeing one too many I.D. commercials on tv, decides to check one of these I.D. shops out, we see in his apartment there are numerous letters addressed to him from I.D. asking him to come work for them as their head tat-man. When he gets to I.D. we see Logan working on a tattoo with his head down and Logan instead of greeting him says “tats all folks, we’re closed.” Forest asks him to repeat that and the person getting the tattoo gets up and reveals herself to Michelle Foster-Miller, wife of Irwin Dean, played by Marisa Tomei. She looks at Forest as if she knows him and he her, and Logan asks whats going on. Forest says she’s the one that got away. Logan gets up and grabs a tattoo monthly magazine from 25 years ago and points to a much younger looking photograph of Forest Green. It’s obvious that Logan grew up idolizing Forest. Michelle interrupts by telling Forest “meet your son.” An obviously shaken Forest cannot believe he has a son nor can Logan believe his father is still alive. Michelle told Logan when he was young that his dad passed away when he was just a baby.
Turns out that back in the late 80’s, Forest and Michelle were lovers and engaged. Forest was on top of the world (there are cameos from old rock bands) and had his woman at his side. One day however, the fame grew to be too much for Michelle, and she asked him to leave it all behind. He said he couldn’t. Tattooing is in his blood. He asked her to come with him to the World National Tattoo Championships in Berlin and after that he’d take her somewhere generic and retire, and she hesitantly said yes. But then we see that she took a pregnancy test shortly after and it was positive. We cut to the Championships and Forest won, but Michelle didn’t come. In fact, he never saw her again.
After the flashback we see Irwin enter the show up clapping slowly and says you finally figured it out. He mentions that he’s paid the best tattoo trainers in the world for Logan, so that he can become the best tattoo artist in the world and win the WNTC, further bringing legitimacy to his I.D. franchise. Soon the only name in tattoos will be his, and Forest will either fall in line, or fall off the face of the earth, penniless and alone. Logan says he wont do it, Forest is his hero. Irwin says that he has to, or hes revoking his trust (plot device), and Michelle says he has to, so he can have a future for his kids. Forest even agrees.
Through some convoluted story-telling Michelle and Forest realize that she meant to come to Berlin all those years ago, but Irwin stopped her. It was all just a big miscommunication. Forest has a big speech about he may be losing his fortune, but he wont lose his family. He decides to enter the WNTC after a 10 year hiatus, win the prize money, and prove that real tattooing comes from the heart and not some paycheck. Irwin shows up again and says he’d like to see him try, he already has the biggest advantage, Forest’s son. Logan says, he doesn’t. His whole life he grew up without knowing his father and he wont give that up for some trust. Irwin says very well, then prepare to be destroyed. Michelle attempts to reason with him, but he says it’s already been decided, he will destroy them all, take over Green, and turn it into his flagship I.D. parlor, and blacklist Forest and Logan from ever practicing. Logan says something snide like “yea with what army?” Turns out there was an international army of tattooists standing outside. Obviously the Russian one, Mikhail, played Mads Mikkelsen is the real one to beat. He’s the reason Forest retired from competitive tattoo.
The next scene opens with Forest saying that Logan’s good, but if he expects to make it to the finals, he’ll have to get better. A training montage begins with Forest and Logan inking a pattern on someone, but Logan is sweating and having trouble. Then it cuts to running, with Michelle timing them, then they do other stuff like lift weights, do sit ups, play one on one basketball, run on the beach and almost everything else that is not tattooing. But then at the end of the montage, we go back to Logan inking that same pattern again only with way more success, indicating that the montage has had its intended effect.
The Championships begin this year in Russia, and it is clear that Mikhail has the advantage. Irwin watches from a press box and motions to Mikhail (that motion that means “break them”). Michelle cheers on for her men as we can see that things are clearly leading toward a finale between Mikhail and Forest, or Mikhail and Logan. Forest draws Mikhail in the semi-finals after crushing everyone else, and he loses after a hard fought match of inking a super-intricate dragon. Only Forest knows this, but he threw the match. Also it’s super hot in the arena, even though all of the pickup shots outside show it’s super snowy. Logan wins his semi final and it’s a Logan/Mikhail final. Logan is scared because he knows that Mikhail is why Forest retired. Forest tells him, he’s better than he’s ever been and he can do this, because he’s family, and blood is thicker than ink (that is the tagline for the posters btw). Logan is ready. Mikhail is laughing in russian (even though laughter doesn’t have a language), and the match begins. They each have to ink that picture of three wolves howling at the moon. Its tough, but Mikhail starts right away methodically inking his human, but Logan waits looking puzzled. He starts, then stops. Starts. Stops. He doesn’t seem like he can do it, but then he thinks back on that montage of he and Forest inking that pattern and he realizes he can do it or some shit. He starts doing it, and then eventually pulls ahead of Mikhail. He wins.
Irwin is pissed off and grabs a gun and runs down to the arena and says its over for him (by him he means Logan), and right before he fires, Forest punches him square in the jaw. The cops take him away and Michelle, Forest, and Logan embrace.
9 months elapse and we see that there is a line outside of Forests shop retitled Green and Son, and all the celebs and bikers are back. Forest tells Logan, to get a move on there is a line outside. Forest is taking the day off cause he and Michelle have a date at (insert some place they mentioned in that flashback earlier that they never got to go). They hop on the back of Forests motorcycle, and drive away. Forest is wearing a stupid fedora, but beyond that we see that he, Michelle and Logan, who’s still back at the shop all have a matching family crest tattooed on their shoulders. The camera pans onto Logan’s.
I know I wrote this to be shit, but I actually think there is something here…