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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Mercenary: Soldier of Fortune Moderators: bert
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  Author    Mercenary: Soldier of Fortune  (currently 5310 views)
greg
Posted: January 5th, 2006, 7:38pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, newbie to the board but not a newbie to the game.

To start, you've got some good writing here.  I found the dialogue to be relatively smooth throughout the story.  Sure, there were some instances of unbelievable dialogue, such as when Jason is threatening people, but for the most part everything sounded well.  Jason's threats though:

"If you refuse to answer it or say you don't know AS an answer, I'm going to drive this knife deeper into your leg." This actually sounded okay, but I think we've heard this many, many, many times in others movies before.  Something new, although kind of sadistic, would be to jam the knife in other places of the body if he doesn't answer.  I think that really means business.

One instance where it didn't work was when he was mouthing off William on the phone.  "Listen you twisted mother fucker!  If you so much as breath on her I'm going to rip your fucking heart out and feed it to you!"  Jason's a hardass, we know that, so I don't think he'd say "twisted motherfucker." That really seems more like a teen horror type of thing.  Maybe something like "Listen you fucking shithole," or something basic or even something super creative.  I'm nitpicking here cause again, the dialogue was pretty well done.

The characters I can go either way on.  I don't really think you made as much character development for Jason as you could have, or characteristics for that.  He seems like Garbiel Logan from the Playstation game Syphon Filter, which is kind of the problem because most video characters don't have big personalities.  But on the plus side, this DID seem kind of like Syphon Filter, which is a game I enjoyed very much.

William didn't seem incredibly evil.  He's a well-mannered and intelligent guy, so he kind of has a low class evil type of thing.  Kind of like John Travolta from Broken Arrow or something.  Antoine was an ass, nice work there, and Ashley was the dame in distress which worked as far as I could tell.

Ya know, the story of Canada and the United States going to war is very interesting and I had alot of fun reading this, but on a realistic level, the odds of it is astronomical.  There wasn't an instance in the story where the Canadian Government was mentioned, which I really think was crucial to the development of the story.  It's kind of like the Sum of all Fears where even though it was a terrorist organization attacking the U.S., the Russian government played a key role.

Technically you have some work to do.  The constant capitalization of names really started to be a distraction.  Capitalize them the first time they appear and only when they're speaking, that's it.  Also, I really liked the mercenary involvement and you had the Spaniard, Asian, African, etc., but again, it got distracting to read RUSSIAN MERCENARY looks at SPANIARD MERCENARY.  We know that they're mercenaries, so it would be a better idea to refer to them as RUSSIAN or SPANIARD, or even give them names but they're roles were pretty brief.

Don't describe how the title will appear in the opening credits, that's something that you see in a Kevin Revie script.  Drop the angles and center the dialogue.  For some reason it was all over the place.  By the way, I'd change the title just to MERCENARY.  Adding the Soldier of Fortune makes it sound more like a sequel...like Syphon Filter: The Omega Code!!

Overall, the script flowed well and hey, there was action throughout.  Your descriptions I felt were well written since I could visualize most if not all of what you were describing.  The whole concept of Canada and the U.S. going to war is very interesting, so this made for a fun and enjoyable read.  Good job!


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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 5th, 2006, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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I'll be here for a while.. heh heh
check your PM, t...


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guyjackson
Posted: January 7th, 2006, 1:36am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
Wow, newbie to the board but not a newbie to the game.

To start, you've got some good writing here.  I found the dialogue to be relatively smooth throughout the story.  Sure, there were some instances of unbelievable dialogue, such as when Jason is threatening people, but for the most part everything sounded well.  Jason's threats though:

"If you refuse to answer it or say you don't know AS an answer, I'm going to drive this knife deeper into your leg." This actually sounded okay, but I think we've heard this many, many, many times in others movies before.  Something new, although kind of sadistic, would be to jam the knife in other places of the body if he doesn't answer.  I think that really means business.

One instance where it didn't work was when he was mouthing off William on the phone.  "Listen you twisted mother fucker!  If you so much as breath on her I'm going to rip your fucking heart out and feed it to you!"  Jason's a hardass, we know that, so I don't think he'd say "twisted motherfucker." That really seems more like a teen horror type of thing.  Maybe something like "Listen you fucking shithole," or something basic or even something super creative.  I'm nitpicking here cause again, the dialogue was pretty well done.

The characters I can go either way on.  I don't really think you made as much character development for Jason as you could have, or characteristics for that.  He seems like Garbiel Logan from the Playstation game Syphon Filter, which is kind of the problem because most video characters don't have big personalities.  But on the plus side, this DID seem kind of like Syphon Filter, which is a game I enjoyed very much.

William didn't seem incredibly evil.  He's a well-mannered and intelligent guy, so he kind of has a low class evil type of thing.  Kind of like John Travolta from Broken Arrow or something.  Antoine was an ass, nice work there, and Ashley was the dame in distress which worked as far as I could tell.

Ya know, the story of Canada and the United States going to war is very interesting and I had alot of fun reading this, but on a realistic level, the odds of it is astronomical.  There wasn't an instance in the story where the Canadian Government was mentioned, which I really think was crucial to the development of the story.  It's kind of like the Sum of all Fears where even though it was a terrorist organization attacking the U.S., the Russian government played a key role.

Technically you have some work to do.  The constant capitalization of names really started to be a distraction.  Capitalize them the first time they appear and only when they're speaking, that's it.  Also, I really liked the mercenary involvement and you had the Spaniard, Asian, African, etc., but again, it got distracting to read RUSSIAN MERCENARY looks at SPANIARD MERCENARY.  We know that they're mercenaries, so it would be a better idea to refer to them as RUSSIAN or SPANIARD, or even give them names but they're roles were pretty brief.

Don't describe how the title will appear in the opening credits, that's something that you see in a Kevin Revie script.  Drop the angles and center the dialogue.  For some reason it was all over the place.  By the way, I'd change the title just to MERCENARY.  Adding the Soldier of Fortune makes it sound more like a sequel...like Syphon Filter: The Omega Code!!

Overall, the script flowed well and hey, there was action throughout.  Your descriptions I felt were well written since I could visualize most if not all of what you were describing.  The whole concept of Canada and the U.S. going to war is very interesting, so this made for a fun and enjoyable read.  Good job!


Thanks Doc I appreciate the review.  Sorry guys about not getting back to you on your own screenplays.  I'm reading some of all of yours right now.  I'm going to start with your shorts and then move on to the feature legnth ones.

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bert
Posted: January 7th, 2006, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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Guy:  Did you know that when you "quote" somebody, it is OK to go into the text and delete segments of their post, just leaving the parts you want to respond to?

Quoting the whole, entire post -- when it's right there in the post above it -- looks kind of wierd, and clutters your thread.

Not busting your chops or anything.  Just saying, in case you didn't know.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Stephen Wegmann
Posted: January 7th, 2006, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
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huh.

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Don't get me wrong, I like this script.  I might even say it's really good.  But I only have one problem:  You use "we" too much.  If you took all the "we"s out this would easily really, really good.  The "we"s detract from the reading because it makes it feel less like a film.

This is a great script, the "we"s were just getting a bit annoying.

Stephen


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guyjackson
Posted: January 28th, 2006, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
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Resubmitted this again.  I have taken out the we see's and cleaned up the format a bit.

I have also added more dialogue and a couple more scenes that explain the main character's history and I decided to change the ending.

There may still be some formatting errors, so I'll go back again and clean them up hopefully.  I'm trying to get this ready to submit to BlueCat.      

Revision History (1 edits)
guyjackson  -  January 28th, 2006, 3:38pm
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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 30th, 2006, 12:45pm Report to Moderator
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Lemme know when the updated version is back up and I'll check it out again!


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Jaykur22
Posted: February 9th, 2006, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Guy

(**SPOILERS**)

Here is a disclaimer, I’m relatively new at this, I’ve only read through a couple screenplays and asked questions on the site, so my knowledge on format and the like is limited.  I can only comment on story and concept, so that’s pretty much all I do.  I’m pretty thorough so I hope your prepared.  Lastly I don't read other people comments cause it spoils it sometimes, so if you see repeats sorry.  

I looked over your script.  You definitely have a solid beginning on a solid action film here.  I felt your opening was the strongest aspect of this screenplay, I like that your main character doesn’t speak for so long.  It truly establishes the character as a badass.  Normally I’ll review a screenplay and talk about some general comments and then some specific things I noticed.  So, hopefully that’s what your looking for.  Normally I describe what I didn’t like in more detail, and just say a certain line was good, so it may seem like I’m being overly critical.  If you find  that I apologize, I only write to help.

As for general negative points I’m concerned an audience may find a war between the United States and Canada humorous and not take your premise seriously.  I even had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea, kinda makes you laugh when you try and picture someone seriously saying Canada is invading the U.S.  Also I found about the half way point through the screenplay that Jason stops being a badass, he starts talking too much.  Keep him the silent deadly type, you started the screenplay like that, and it really captures the audience, cause your like what is this guys deal.  If you tell us too much we stop wanting to know you know?

Also a general point.  You describe things and expound in great detail for example you say short haircut etc... I got what you were saying the first time.  That’s that.

As for some more detailed observations.  

5- Perth Amboy NJ=seems like an un-American town, an audience could struggle with this city.  Is it necessary for it to occur her, could it be somewhere else for American sounding?

7- Now putting goggles- I was told that you can’t now put on something you just put it on…Kinda like Bob starts to walk…you just walk…

8-Small computer attached to the left arm of Jason (this was what I was talking about with how you expound) =try= Jason’s left arm has a small computer…

8- capture=capture

33- Why would a invasion destroy America’s reputation??

50- Extremist leader so weak?  I don’t understand that comment?
     You also use the word “tricked” it doesn’t feel like it fits there.

59- Jason makes an excuse for his behavior…I’m thinking this guy is a badass, he doesn’t make excuses…the character I picture would even bother answering

61-“this is the ploy” –don’t like that line

62-Don’t understand why blowing up Buffalo would help him escape

64-Antoine=great line
     -note* people seem kinda dumb in this screenplay…this guy just drops a secret mission protocol on the ground???  Have him burn it….

65- 20,000 mercernaries not enough…look into the number of national guardsman in NY alone it’ll blow you away the size of our army.

69- “Now it’s up to you” I don’t understand that line

*Why do the mercenaries kill Jason’s neighbors???

72- Why does Canada blame us for the actions of mercenary, why would they attack us?

73 I think the proper way to do this it POV

74 “with holds a few chairs” ????

77-the gun in mouth was my second favorite part.  Savor the moment though, don’t just blow his head off, let the suspense build.  Make us hear the steel on the guys teeth.  I have ideas for this scene but you may not care what I think so…I’ll leave it at that.

78-I thought she was a reporter not a rebel?

80-“cackle’=crackle

82- Jason’s line= it’s ok…I don’t think it’s good enough…I think you can write it better.

Williams could say: Jason where are your manners???

84- why are you having your audience watch him change.  Seemed weird.  Your audience is teenage males I’m assuming, and I don’t think they want to watch that.

86- au contrary=au contraire

91= Everyone in this screenplay makes dumb mistakes…I’m concerned that it makes the story predictable…truly intelligent characters could bring some twist to you plot…

92-This is the point where the Canadian war with America started to make me laugh, it’s not supposed to be funny but I just picture south park…you know

94-What if they try to trick her into it instead of using brute force???

95- Ruler of North America-seemed kinda hokey

97- why are they all of a sudden trying to kill her?

103- Look up what Canadian court martial means, you say Jason is kicked out of the country, but a court martial doesn’t entail that, what I mean by look up court martial I really mean find the term or charge that would kick him out of the country.  

106- the reason for the war, wasn’t good enough to convince me that it was realistic.  Too easy you need more…

Jason should be something other then a private investigator…something ironic like pest control might work in your favor…It seems like private investigator isn’t far enough away from his real occupation.  I know private investigator is nothing like an assassin I’ve know a few (private investigators that is) but they are criminal justice related.  If his real occupation and his cover occupation were more opposite I feel you might be able to do more with the story?  He could hide weapons in a truck of some kind…I don’t know I’m just brainstorming…and I’m sure you’d want to use your own ideas so I’ll stop with that.

I thought you should have a flash back at some point to the Arabian slit throat incident.  You could use it in many ways.  Develop suspense, or show the story instead of telling it, you know…

All in all I looked over my review it seems fairly negative.  Mainly cause your just going to hear the bad I guess.  The good is your action sequences and those are more something that wow you when you see them, and not necessarily when you read them.

Another major concept I thought you should add was some twists to your plot.  Right now you have a backbone to a fairly interesting action movie, mainly the action scenes themselves.  But the characters do some many dumb things that it makes it predictable.  What I’d hope to see is you develop twists, and you could of course do this multiples ways, but if the characters were more intelligent it could lead to some plot twists.  So that the action and the story were both very engaging.  

Feel free to bounce ideas off me, I’m always looking for someone new to the game like me to run ideas by, especially since it makes it easier if your familiar with the person's work.  Also I’d appreciate it if you don’t mind taking a look at my screenplay I submitted it to Don today.  It’s entitled Forefathers.  Don’t think I took “forefathers” from you, it’s been called that long before I read this screenplay.

Jaykur22


Mason: "Are you sure you're ready for this?"
Stan Goodspeed: "I'll do my best."
Mason: "You're best. Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*** the prom queen!"
Stan Goodspeed: "Carla was the prom queen."
Mason: "Really?"
Stan Goodspeed: "Yeah!"
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