An excerpt from my script review for God Particle (aka Cloverfield Paradox) which will be available 02/12/18:
2.) Plot Stability
Good, old fashioned contained murder/mystery.
Murder on the Orient Express but on a space station.
No sooner does the “other group” of astronauts arrive on the station, then people start to die.
Lock them all up? People still die.
Lock everyone up. More deaths.
This is great for your story because it keeps moving forward, and the mystery is what drives the story, not over the top action or expensive visuals.
One of the reasons I enjoy writing contained scripts as much as I do, is because it’s a challenge to write these types of stories.
How do we better ourselves without said challenges?
But back to this script in particular…what worked was I had zero clue who to suspect.
Make everyone a suspect via motivation!
The writer does a decent job of giving most characters a plausible motive, and that’s fantastic, because again, you’re relying on old fashioned storytelling to entertain, not Michael Bay style storytelling.
Even at 111 pages, this script moved quickly for me, and I was engaged. That’s exactly how we want our readers.
(Note: This script is different than what Cloverfield Paradox turned out to be. Some criticisms won’t apply.)
But as with anything, there were parts I didn’t like.
How did the European Union know what happened to the Dandelion, and not the US? Did the European Union win the war?
How did Hamilton finally “see” Mars when everyone else missed it? Wouldn’t it have been pretty visible the rest of the two months when the entire crew was looking for an explanation?
Lastly, I didn’t like how the murderer was someone we hadn’t seen before. Where this differed from Murder on the Orient Express is that it added new characters to make the plot work. What Orient did beautifully was involve the entire cast.
This script’s solution felt “cheap” somehow, because you can always inject something completely new to make your plot work, it’s just not creative.
(Oh, and the Gravity style ending. Wasn’t a huge fan of that.)
Again though, these were minor “back of my brain” sorts of questions that didn’t ruin the main storyline.
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