An excerpt from my script review for American Ultra which will be available 8/24/15:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Here we go!
The description is BY FAR the best part of this script.
Funny. Playful. And disturbingly graphic.
I really hope the Captain read this, since everything from character descriptions to action sequences were right up his alley.
Buckle your seatbelts for Example Fest!
A 737 taking off! WHOA! SHIT! LOUD!
MIKE Howell, 29, … a charcoal sketch of the American slacker.
Sheriff Bernie WATTS, 44, who looks exactly as
you’d expect a 44 year old man named Bernie Watts to look…
Adrian YATES, 29,… He’s straight top-gun, squared-away, half poli-sci geek and half fratboy douche, with a haircut that makes you want to shoot him three times in the chest.
All fun and playful, with my single criticism being cut the intros down just a tad.
Moving on to some nasty action…
But Mike twists his way free, turns and brings up Krantz’s
iPhone, quickly puts it up against Laugher’s front teeth, and then SLAMS HIS PALM INTO THE BACK OF IT-
-KNOCKING LAUGHER’S TEETH DOWN HIS THROAT! WHOA! EW!
Mike quickly grabs the pull-hook of the bench press machine, and SLAMS IT INTO NEWTON’S THROAT; the weights drop, ripping out Newton’s throat and LYNCHING him on the machine!
Finally, arguably THE BEST lines of description I’ve ever read in a screenplay…
WOW, this is a lot of action to write out, let’s hope you’re having more fun reading it than if I just wrote “Mike goes ape on these motherfuckers.”
MIKE ATTACKS- LAUGHER BLOCKS
Listen, I’ve written a lot of action here. You know it, I
know it, and I want this script to be under 110 pages
because, c’mon, it’s Stoner Bourne, not Kafka. This isn’t
They have guys…There are like, fight coordinators, guys who can make this look awesome.
This isn’t a comic book. We all know ultimately it’s going to come down to what we can shoot on the day anyway, right?
So just take my word for it that the fight between Mike and
Laugher makes any of the action in the new James Bond films
look like fucking 1960s Batman. It’s violent, it’s
incredible, they beat the living shit out of each other, and it ends with them
REPEATEDLY STABBING EACH OTHER WITH SCREWDRIVERS before Mike BURIES A CLAW HAMMER INTO LAUGHER’S FOREHEAD, and then
collapses, seemingly dead.
The script just broke the 4th wall, and did it brilliantly.
Strike a similar tone with your own writing and readers will remember you, even if they pass on your script.
(Pray that Ryan Reynolds has similar moments in Deadpool.)
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