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Zen/Fury by Mike Shelton - Action - Two brothers, both contract killers. One is calm, cool, collected. The other, has serious anger management issues, and the differences between them have caused a three year separation. But when their mother turns up dead, they must team up to find out who did it. With a list of suspects in hand, they set out on their mission, but when their suspects start meeting strange deaths at the hands of a pair of supernatural killers called The Blue Meanies, they start to question just how accurate their list is. 82 pages - pdf, format
an action script by Mike Shelton, how could anyone resist
This kinda reminded me of the film "four brothers" with Marky Mark
Mike, this script was a hit and miss with me, and unfortunatly there were more misses than hits
It did have some of that charm that you have in all your other scripts, but form me this was a lot weaker than "Hero" and "amsterdam"
there were of course some very funny moments, the first ten pages were very funny, I liked how you cut back and forth between Zen and Fury's day, that worked quite well.
but unlike your other scripts the dialog at times felt too spot on. Some examples,
on page 22 you have Zen say "lets try that bar he hangs out at"
on page 40 Zen says "speaking of Phil we should go upstairs for an update"
this dialog kind of took me out of the story which is something you don't expect from one of your scripts.
I did like the bob vila line on page 49
on page 57 you have Pal say "you know what these means" I think you ment "do you know what THIS means"
I liked the blue meanies however, I think they were the most interesting part of the script, plus you had some kick ass fight scenes in here as well, so good job there
Then came the ending which really dissapointed me, I did not like it at all, I felt it more as a ploy that a plot twist, then you added another twist on top of that which didn't work for me as well.
all in all this was not one of your stronger scripts, but it did have some funny moments and some good kills, so on that level it was decent, but as a hole it just didn't connect with me like you others did, but I am still looking forward to whatever else you put out, so keep it up
Thanks for taking a look at it. I was a little nervous about putting this one up, actually. Not because I thought it was bad or anything, but I'm usually a little hesitant abotu putting up features that seem "out of genre" for me. I even went through this about 5x more than I usually do, just to be safe, but I guess I still missed some stuff.
A few responses.
I agree with this not having the charm of "Hero" or "Amsterdam", definitely. I think both of those scripts play more to my writing skills in terms of comedy, without relying on too much action like this one did, and the main and supporting characters were probably more interesting as well.
I can see your complaints with the spot on pieces of dialgoue, but I think they're somewhat realistic. They haven't worked together in a while and would be prone to talkign about the next move in their plan of attack. I'll look into wording it differently.
I thought the Blue Meanies were pretty cool as well. Like, "What's up with these guys?". Pretty interesting villains I think.
Thanks for commenting on my fight scenes. I was worried about how they'd come otu since my last attempt didn't work otu so well. Glad to know they're getting better.
And lastly, the end. It really does throw a lot at you doesn't it? Every time I re-read this script, I kept trying to figure out some way to change it, something that made sense, but I was always at a loss. I originally thought of the mother actually being killed, and having them found out that the father did it, but all of the scenarios I came up with based around that weren't to my liking.
Anyway, thanks a lot for reading it. I'll keep working on this, but given the theme of this script, I'll settle for a decent at this juncture.
-I don't really like the opening. It's a little too full-on, the parallel, you know what I mean? The shaving cream was enough for me, personally. -"It means...after you...as in you go in first..." This line is too much for me. Cool calm and collected killers shouldn't resort to childish sarcasm. Same with Hulk smash. -"Who did it Phil? Who fucking did it?" "I don't know kid, I don't know." Is that intentional? It doesn't work for me. -Fury's last three lines start: "Fuck no", "The fuck I am", and "Fuck no". Overkill, perhaps? -Is the scene in the restaurant honestly that necessary? We already know Fury gets mad easily. No need to make him look like more of a dick, in my opinion.
Well, must leave now. This goes really quickly so I'll try and finish it today or tomorrow. Thanks for the read as always.
Two things on page 69: First, is there a scream when the Meanie dies? And second -- actually, on the top of 70, you forgot the word "anger" in the second sentence.
Hmm hmm. This one didn't work for me.
Number one in my mind: the action. To me, this played like a made-for-TV kinda thing. One short car chase -- with nothing too interesting -- and two small-scale fights were about all that there really was for action sequences. No big stunts, no big finale, no gunfights, etc. There just weren't any "big" action scenes.
Now that can work fine in some scripts, but to me, this one was written like it was supposed to be a big action script. The dialogue was all either comic relief or move-the-plot stuff, we didn't get into the characters that much past their initially set characteristics, and there was nothing thematic to speak of, so...what's the draw? I guess that's really my question. Who are you aiming at?
The first act was the weakest, in my opinion. It felt like the same scene recycled a few times. Fury is mad but Zen is calm...in a restaurant, in their bosses office, in the car, in a montage. Need to get into those characters more...what DOES make them so different? Otherwise, they're not really that interesting to watch interact.
I do have a question: were those actually freak accidents that killed the two on the list? Because if so, seems ridiculous -- if not, why would the Meanies want to kill those people? Just a thought. I also have a suggestion: what if the script started with a flashback of the boy's childhood, complete with an explanation of how the two ended up as they are? You could get Gail in there as well. Just a thought.
My overall thought? Have some more fun with the action. You know you're good at comedy -- or at least, I know you're good at comedy -- so get crazy with the action. Give someone some henchmen and have a big gunfight in Abdullah's warehouse. Drive cars through fruit stands. Jump a motorcycle onto a speeding train. You write the fights pretty well but in the end, would they really be that interesting to watch? I don't think so. Give us a curveball. Astonish and amaze us.
At least have someone jump away from an explosion in slow motion in case Nic Cage stars in it.
I think I have some more comments but I'll add them later -- thanks again for the read and I hope I helped in some way.
Thanks for the read, it was a tremendous help. I definitely agree with your assessment of this seeming like a TV movie. I kinda wrote it low budget and kept the action to a minimum on purpose since I wrote this for someone based on a general idea.
There is a scream when the Meanie dies, but it comes from the one that isn't killed.
The deaths of Sid and Fenster were just freak accidents, but the arrival of the Blue Meanies coupled with Pal's paranoia had Zen and Fury thinking otherwise.
The flashback is a nice idea. I'll look into that.
I definitely agree that I'm a much better Comedy writer than anything, and am working on expanding that part of my work even more with one spec in the outline stage and an assignment in the works. I also have a general outline for a Suspense Thriller, but that one has me a bit nervous, although I think it's an interesting concept.
Does Fury being dragged from the Metro count as an explosion?
I loved this script. It was so cool. If it was a movie I would add the DVD to my collection.
The ying/yang contrast of the two hitman is perfect and works great. I really dug the introduction of Zen and Fury how you cut between them doing the same thing but in their own uniqe way. Awsome.
Like your Coffee & Cigerette script, the dialouge is snappy and clever. The contrast between calm and rage is strong giving each character a very distinct voice and attitude.
The Blue Meanies works very well as their supernatrual pressence adds mystery and excitment to what has become a very formula type genre of crimes and hitmen. It is an unexpected element. Thank god you didn't try to rationalize it or explain it as to do that would make the idea lose it's mystical and fantasy flavour.
The big twist at the end involving mum I sort of suspected but wasn't suprised when it hit. You could sort of see it happening. I felt the twist could have been a bit more simple and the whole set up to get the brothers to bond was just a little too sweet and sickly for me. Why not just have brother's manipulated to get them to knock out powerful threats to Phil and his buisness?
But this is just a small squibble.
Also I didn't get the whole bet if brother could destroy the Blue meanies. Wouldn't these blue supernatrual creatures be a valuable asset to people like Phil and Abdullah? Why would they want them destroyed when they could could gain so much from their hitman skills.
Oh yeah and one more thing about the Blue Meanies. While I was reading I kept thinking . . . "Blue Meanies? Where have I heard that before?" than it struck me . . .
Are you a fan of the Beatles. Is it a nod and wink to them or coincident?
Thanks for reading and congratulations on being the first person to actually like this.
I wanted to keep the The Blue Meanies as supernatural, since I think if I would have rationalized it in the end with them being normal, it would have taken quite a bit away from it.
The twist was one of a few that I concocted, but this one just seemed to make more sense than the others so I went with it, and the threats being knocked out complemented that scenario best.
The bet was Phil having faith in them and standing to make a whole lot of money, which was more important than having additional hitmen to use. If they succeeded, not only would they get the money, but would also become a hot commodity for other work. Who wouldn't want they guys who killed the Blue Meanies doing there bidding? Also, it helped to serve as a happy ending.
I was aware of the Blue Meanies as I was writing, but it wasn't done as a nod or anything. I described them and just used the best name I could think of. It's more of a coincidence.