An excerpt from my script review for The Magnificent Seven which will be available 10/24/16:
2.) Plot Stability
This script was entertaining.
My question here is, by itself, is entertaining the audience, with minimal twists, enough anymore?
Have scripts (films) progressed past just entertainment?
Do they need to enlighten? Teach? Mind fuck? Etc.
I ask, not just rhetorically, but because my recent scripts have been complimented for the writing, for the plot, but ultimately I was told there weren’t enough twists to exceed other projects that have been made.
That worries me, because if this new standard it true, we’ve entered a cycle of consistently “one upping” predecessors that can’t be sustained forever, eventually reaching a level where twists enter the ridiculous.
But back to this story, it hit all the plotted points, on whatever mental charts we choose to use, was decently paced, and had a minor twist or two.
Nothing mind blowing, but is that always necessary?
Page 7 – Introduction to the “bad guy” and his men aren’t dicking around, as they level an entire town.
(This is good, because a worthy villain creates empathy for our hero, even before we meet him.)
Page 14 – Enter the hero, Chisolm, who upon first impression is also pretty formidable.
(The two eventually clashing is something we want to see.)
Page 26 – Enter Star Lor…er…Faraday. The rogue of the group. Capable, but there’s something unsaid between he and Chisolm, so can he be trusted?
Page 37 – Filling the ranks, we meet other members of The Seven, in this case Jack Horne, who’s been slowly tracking down two would be bounty hunters that threw him off a cliff.
Page 42 – In addition to a few other “less than likely” heroes, our group is complete with Red Harvest, an Apache warrior in search of a new tribe.
Page 50 – The midpoint! The Seven takes back the town from Bogue’s hired men, but they know it was easier than the battle that lies ahead, leading us to…
Page 58 – TRAINING MONTAGE!!!
(Or more appropriately, a fortification montage.)
Page 74 – The crack shot of the group, who’s meant to be the sniper, Goodnight, isn’t so sure a shot anymore. Uh-oh!
Page 78 – And then Goodnight says…Good night, as he rides off into the moonlight abandoning his fellows.
Page 85 – In a “Girl Power” style twist, Emma is just as good with a rifle, so the True Seven includes her, not Goodnight.
Page 88 – Another minor twist. Chisolm agrees to stop Bogue early on, which he admits is impossible, and up to now we were wondering why. Turns out Bogue killed Chisolm’s family.
Page 90 – The final fight, complete with a TNT explosion you’d expect from this style action/western.
Page 95 – Tougher than nails Horne has a woman that “tamed the beast” and because things can’t go perfectly for characters in a story, her house is on fire, with she and her newborn baby in it!
Page 97 – And unless you’re stupid, you knew Goodnight would come riding in to save his buddies, particularly Billy.
Page 105 – Chisolm rides over a cliff, everyone expecting him to be dead, but miraculously his bloody, dusty hand pulls the rest of him back up onto solid ground. Wait! Where have we seen that before?
Page 111 – In typical western fashion, after saving the town, (most of) our heroes ride into the sunset.
Were parts of this story predictable, even without seeing the original? Sure, but that didn’t mean I liked it any less.
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