Striking a balance and finding that middle ground [between overwriting and super-sparse writing] is the key to great screenwriting.
Page 22, for clarity's sake,"badge" --" budge?" Spellchecker might not catch it.
Page 16, not matches but marches
Page 27, should be couch not coach...
Page 71, should be weird, not weard...
Page 67, page 93, these action lines respectively, need to be in dialogue....
"Make sure that gets to your other son. Or your pretty wife and your son will die."
"Hands up or I will put you down, your Excellency." There's more. I just wished these were the biggest complaints I had.
Good job making Ray and Brian distinct from each other. They couldn't be more different. Like salt & pepper, or peanut butter & jelly, they just go together. However -
It is difficult to be accepted by the FBI. They take the cream of the crop and at the moment, Racheal and Martin don't come across this way... we need look no further then some of the choices they're making.
Also -- the reason your characters (more so Martin) sound like idiots is because you haven't done the work yet. They're not real to you, so they're not real to us. They're serving a bland story function.
Clarifying note: sorry, the term "idiot dialogue" sounds harsher than what it really is (it's not a personal thing). I probably should have used "on-the-nose" dialogue, which means the same thing, but doesn't sound as insulting.
What it is, is characters telling each other what they already know to pass information to the person who's reading the story.VIRGINIA
"Okay, Andrea, we'll rob the store just way we planned it last night."
"That's right, Virginia, we'll cut the power and go through the back door --"
"-- and then we'll grab the safe, just like we talked about doing it."
"Right, with the winch."
That's exaggerated, but I hope it makes the point. All writers do this, especially when they're beginning, and some of it can't be helped, sometimes, but it's something to watch out for and eliminate.
However -- since this is an early draft, I wouldn't worry too much about dialog. During you re-writes, get a really good sense of your plot and the best characters needed for your story. Because some of them need to go pronto
. Then go back and make your characters distinct and their dialog sound like what they'd really say, not just reciting what you need the reader to know.
One other critique: need to work on introducing your characters. The whole CAPS deal and maybe paint a brief picture of who are they, what they look like. In fact, I always feel your core 4 characters (which normally centers around Protag, Antag, Love interest, Confidante) should have a strong descriptive opener. Give the reader a strong impression of the characters you effectively wish them to feel strongest about. it's a character intro... you can take liberties..
As I recap...
Let's start with the muder of VP Matthews. OWEN's ID falling on the floor. I understand the effect you want to acheive, but it's problematic????????? Why? You've backed yourself into a corner, it makes your Agents look inept.
ROBY According to this gory story, it got covered by a bedsheet that was hanging. I think that's how we know if this story is true. We ask the security guards guarding the murder scene to check if there is any identification card under a hanging bedsheet.
So I'll reiterate again, I get it, this is movie, and often times writers have to stand reality on its head to make the story more interesting, interesting, but sometimes totally unbelievable.
No way it would happen like that, okay, 99.9%. If an FBI evidence response team had conducted a search of the scene, um.. they would have found it. If not there, then during the examination of the bloody sheet in the FBI crime lab. Having said all that...
Yeah, it's a momentary hiccup, but it IS a hiccup. But if you choose not to make a course correction, then... I mean, they are killing time, waiting for VP Matthews. Maybe Owens sits on the sofa and it falls between the seat cushions. Yes, it's a bit of a stretch... but... surely the audience would go along with it. It's plausible.
Perhaps Owens ID falls out somewhere else. Maybe -- as he's climbing into a getaway car.
Of course, you would have to adjust this bit of dialogue....
ROBY According to this gory story, it got covered by a bedsheet that was hanging. I think that's how we know if this story is true.
We ask the security guards guarding the murder scene to check if there is any identification card under a hanging bedsheet.
Dunno what else to say, except for you to re-evaluate that scene.
The forest; Ray tells a dream to Brian about a boy being murdered. They dig up the body, the Man(who killed the boy) shows up, tries to kill them. Suddenly the FEDs show up, but the Man is nowhere in sight. What happened to him? I'm already in the third act, and haven't heard another peep out of him. Readers are going to be looking for the "payoff" at some point. Why not have the Feds nab The Man too, it would further lend credence to Ray's special powers.
Again, the same principle with the bank robbery. In the context of driving the plot forward, it would be helpful for you to ask yourself, what is it that you're trying to accomplish with this scene? Is it really needed? I'm not quite sure how it fits in the overall scheme of things.
The British Scientist, it's a very interesting wrinkle...I won't offer any particular suggestions yet because I haven't finished the script... but FYI, If the British scientist being his father is not integral part of the story, then drop it. Why? Because it's too emotional of an issue to just "dangle" out there. You've got to think of the "weight" it provides. Reader's expect this to somehow be important -- and if it goes nowhere, has nothing to do with the story, then it's out of balance.
Basically *everything* in a script is there to somehow drive the story forward. You don't want any "dead ends" where the reader is left scratching his/HER
head and asking themselves, "What was the point of that?"
Then there is this matter -- when a clad of FBI Agents go to arrest Mrs. Matthews. The place would be surrounded...yet she escapes out the backdoor. Being that Mrs. Matthews has a plant inside the FBI, why not have him call her before the raid. Another way to go -- maybe the place has a secret underground bunker, or passage way, or whatever.
Just something to think about. Honestly, I think this is very ambitious but the whole thing needs an overhaul. Ok, that's all for now, going forward, keep your narrative concise and make it as captivating as possible. Give us a few "what the ****?" to hold our attention and pull us further in. I'd say you're halfway there.
This is just my humble opinion(JMHO) and that's all it is, opinion...