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Premise:
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Fast Paced, Good Action

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
February 15, 2012
Overall Impression:

I really liked this script - extremely well written both in style, structure and layout.

Fast paced, lots of action, a good premise and story and a strong protagonist.

The International dimension is good - it has overtones of the Bourne trilogy and '24' and some other action movies of recent years but does manage to create its own distinctive style.

There are some easily fixable elements of this script that could propel it into an attractive, commercial viable option, but IMHO they do need to be fixed in the next draft.

Beginning: Excellent, well written, good pacing, starts the script with a punch. I do think the hero needs to come in earlier than page 13 - i.e. make sure the reader / audience knows that he is the hero before then. 13 mins of screen time is a long time to wait otherwise.

Middle: Really good pacing to the story, good love interest, plenty of action - certainly doesn't sag as a story.

Ending: Personally, as it stands, this doesn't work for me. I know animal rights activists are passionate as are environmental campaigners but full blown world wide terrorists. A big leap for academics.

The 'reveal' with Mickey/Mick and his breakdown fake - again, personally, it feels too contrived.

The 'mushroom' cloud at only 5000 ft and the chopper that manages to reach 5000 ft in only a few seconds? Maybe both of these are feasible but I questioned these as a layman so does that mean an audience would do the same? Or a pro reader?

Characterization:
Names: John Smith? (really?), Bridget works as does Mick/Mickey but Gerald for a french general - why not Gerard? Equally - Paulo and Rossi for the Italians? - I watched the world cup in Espana in '82. I'm sure some of your intended audience will remember the names too. I think John and Bridget are strong characters with good story arcs and ghosts etc. The french general is unbelievable as a character (again IMHO). Equally - the cabbies and the 'innocent' milk float drivers need a bit of work. At the moment they're walking/talking charicatures of a tourist impression of London / UK circa 1967.

Because it's the easiest thing to rectify first: Spelling / Typos - easily fixed but there are so many of them that at times I had to double check that they weren't super-hip, super-cool new words that I wasn't aware of:

1. Dialogue that begins in lower case letters throughout the script: e.g. P16 POLICEMAN (MEGAPHONE) 'you' needs a capital Y
2. P12: "...sun causes and exquisite silhouette." 'd' on the an
3. P21 "John fills around..." (feels?)
4. P32 "ELL" instead of EEL
5. P36/37 "Skyscrappers" and "Crewmembers"
6. P45 "...an interference device sounds off to one side and sounds off..."
7. P46 "John tries himself off" (Dries)
8. P49 "If" instead of "of"; "Fed" instead of "Feed"
9. P51 "and" instead of "an"
10. P52 "...bullet holes in it's..." instead of 'Its'
11. P52 "...what took you so dam long?" instead of 'damn'
12. "...dinner roll of Lake's..." instead of 'off'
13. P55 'on route' / 'en route'
14. P66 "His hand is short off" (shot)
15. P79 "Riffle barrel" / Rifle
Forgot one - Descent instead of Dissent (P21)

Other comments:

1. The ending with the Rugby dude feels very contrived. I'd keep him for the beginning but he's not a main character so does he really need a resolution at the end?
2. Your use of commas in the wrong places (in dialogue and exposition) really does change the meaning and flow of some of your script. (Too many for me to highlight here but I would address that in the next draft).
3. I like your presentation style using CAPITALS in the new style of directing the readers eye to flow down the page. Your use of the myriad of possible CUTS is bewildering - I would only ask why you are directing from the page when you're the writer, not the director (yet)? It's off-putting when reading. Why not leave the style of cut to the Director in production and in post pro editing?
4. I detest the use of exclamation marks in scripts, especially in dialogue. Are your actors going to be 8 years old and can only work if exclaimed at every line? Your a very, very good writer - you don't need a single exclamation mark in your script - not one. Do yourself justice and ditch all of them.
5. Similarly why not use INTERCUT instead of directing from the page with the instruction 'SPLIT SCREEN'? The Director might not want to use split screen, especially as it's a bit hackneyed now: '24', 'Spooks' (Boston Strangler - joke).
6. London Airport? You're from London, you use other landmarks in Paris, Bratislava, Prague etc - why not call it Heathrow or Luton or Stanstead or Gatwick - consistency issue.
7. John's scene in the tunnel when he's peeing and offers the germans 'marks'. I thought they had the Euro by 2000? (I could be wrong but worth checking)
8. Landing an F16 under a 'Freeway/Autostrada', in Rome? Is this a deserted Autostrada or are other motorists likely to notice.
9. Gerald's spontaneous speech awarding the Medal of Honour - it made me laugh out loud - not sure if you were aiming at light comedy there but that was my reaction - I'd change it if this is a serious film and not a mocking parody (if this is a mocking parody all the way through I apologise because II've failed to pick up the other parody elements well enough).
10. P71 dialogue - cliched: GERALD - 'Merde'. Maybe you need this to reinforce the fact that french people say that when they're facing a tough situation - if it's a reinforcement thing for a target audience that needs it but...
11. P75/76 - I just don't see how the whole John Topless / Erotic Bar thing actually fits into your script. Even with the 'reveal' later on the Dane/Amazonian - I just didn't understand what the purpose of those scenes were. If it's to suggest that Gerald and John go back a long way, personally I would do something different to convey that - these scenes just took me off the story and proved irritating as a reader.

Final comments:

Despite the stuff above I really, really did enjoy your script. You can obviously write, produce a good story, strong characters, great pacing, strong premise, commercially attractive proposition.

I can't wait to see the next draft and cheers for letting other people read it.
 

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