This is a difficult one for me. I had a lot of issues with the characters and the story, but I later in the piece realised that this is a slapstick piece, somewhere between Naked Gun and Steve Martinís LA Story. So a lot of those things are deliberate choices by you guysÖ I mean yourself (I kept thinking this script was written by two writers because it is about two writers).
I think there is still a lot of issues despite that.
WHAT I LIKED
About the right length. Nice and compact.
The camaraderie between Ed and Richie was quite good. You really feel these two boys really care for each other.
I have a lot of issues with the character interactions. But for some reason I really liked Izaan. I donít know why. Maybe it was the simplicity of his despicableness and capitalism. Thatís a really good line on when he talks about. For some reason he reminds me of Charles Dance in Last Action Hero. On Page 67. He has a great speech and makes a good point, ĎIzaan cares about one thing, money And having fun, just like every other American! Iím more American than you!í Liked his wife. Thatís a perfect villain for this kind of comedy.
In a story that should be very complex, there is something very sweet in the simplicity of it all, and the love between Ed and Richie.
If you were to decide to rewrite this, I would play up the Islamic Fundamentalist angle, there is a lot of meat there, and that would be quite an interesting story. The terrorist threat at the moment is very generic, and does not feel it really cracks a wallop. Even in slapstick your villains need to be threatening. I think Izaan and his donors have to be more Islamic fundamentalist like, they need to have those little jihadi qualities, at least when they are in their own meetings, lot of humour in the way those dumbasses present themselves
I donít know why that scene of Richie and Ed arming themselves in a supermarket remind of a similar scene in the Lost Boys.
WHAT I DIDNíT LIKE SO MUCH
My biggest issues is the tone. It moves from slapstick to serious. The whole MERC thing is played for slapstick laughs, but then we get this serious stuff in the relationship between Richie and Ed, where Ed is trying to let go and bring them too reality. There are some deep serious conversations here, whether it is worth pursuing screenwriting as a career, year after year, quite inspiring really. Mixed with the slapstick stuff, itís like putting new wine into old wineskins, they donít seem a good fit.
I donít know if this is an idea that you should pursue, this may be just a learning script (Iíve got loads of those). The idea of screenwriters trying to sell a script I donít think personally would play well on public level. Only scriptwriters likes us are really interested in that kind of thing, unless you want to make one of those. The days of the 2 million dollar script seem to have gone out with the days of Joe Esterhaz and Showgirls. (although there have been occasional big script deals), but these are terrorists wanting world domination so I guess they have the funds.
I would take out a lot of the frustrated screenwriter stuff. That stuff is interesting to us but not Joe Public.
Why do script within a script stories have to be so bad, even in a comedy? Iím referring to the cat running for public office. Can you see that being greenlighted?
A lot of the dialogue is what they refer to as Ďon the noseí. A lot is said that does not need to be said. But this is where I got confused, because you could be doing this deliberately because of the tone. The characters saying what has happened, like Izaan explaining to his donors that he is letting Ed and Richie direct because they have sold shit, we know that already. The one that really sticks out is when the two protagonist find out that they are making terrorist propaganda, a scene that should have little dialogue and be about emotional hurt, we have this:
I was really getting excited for
Me too. This really brings my
enthusiasm from 100 to like... 5.
I hope the actors won't feel it.
This is not how friends interact when they have just found out their greatest dreams have been dashed.
(this is a really interesting video on dialogue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PIndJU2ZWA
) . a lot of stuff should be told in other ways, especially the M.E.L.C. stuff.
Regarding the plot to upload the movie, maybe that would have worked a decade ago, but couldnít Izaan just upload the movie to iCloud or something?
There are typos aplenty. I would sort these out before entering any competitions or anything).
Pg. 59 Ė A number of men or security should be in caps.
Pg. 27 - Youíve put IZAAN duh! Izaan is middle eastern. Should be under RICHIE
Pg.28 - Do hotels have bunk beds?
pg. 30 - EXT. OUTSIDE OF RICHIEíS OFFICE should be EXT. OUTSIDE OF IZAANís OFFICE
Pg. 63 Ė Rubics should be Rubiks cube.
Pg. 71- my faut should be my fault
Pg. 76 - out driver? should be our driver?
Pg. 79 - solider should be soldier.
Pg. 83 - Ed says ĎI did ití it is unnecessary to have that dialogue here
PG. 88 - Good that comes which your work, should be Ďwithí your work.
If I was a studio head, I donít think Iíd greenlight this, no matter it strengths, I feel it would be too nuanced for the cinema going public, thinking films about making films are boring. But I wouldnít have greenlight LA Confidential either. Now that sounds brutal, but that is just me. I am being honest.
The connection to Dunkirk may be too strong, but it is clearly a strong influence on our two heroes. You would think they donít watch any other films.
The fake Russian cab driver turning out to be an American agent at the end seems too neat and convenient.
The scenes in the climax with the security guards laughing at Russian videos may be a bit too slapstick. Can Izaan just wipe pepper spray off his face, wouldnít he be severely weakened?
This is a way before being ready for presentation.
Thatís it. I wouldnít rewrite, I would take this as one of your learning scripts and focus on new scripts. Donít be like me, developing one script year after year. But what do I know? Iíve never sold a script. I am trying to find out how long writers took to right their features, I would be really interested to find out how long it took you to wrote this.