An excerpt from my script review for Flatliners which will be available 10/09/17:
2.) Plot Stability
This was one of those that scripts that, even at over 100 pages, I didn’t constantly check what page I was on.
In fact, I’m not even sure what the total page count ended up being, I was that engaged in the story.
This is the first goal we should be shooting for when writing a script, getting an reader from page one to fade out without it feeling like a chore.
Was this my favorite screenplay of all time? No.
Was it one of the best stories I’ve ever read via this medium? Again, no.
But it should be stated how well paced scripts can still lead to positive reads even if the content isn’t totally revolutionary.
Along those lines, there weren’t any innovative plot points or techniques implemented that we ourselves can’t also use.
This script was just good, old-fashioned writing.
And that’s what we should all be aspiring to!
Maybe it was the House fan in me, but I enjoyed this script.
There were some minor things that bugged me, but overall, even the characters sitting/standing around discussing things moved along at a pace that kept up with the action in the rest of the story.
Right from page 4, the scene was set with Courtney asking the question, “What happens when we die?”
Very clear theme and we know what the characters are working towards throughout the story.
Quick character intro via Harvard Med School, and right into “heaven” we go with the characters taking turns simulating near death experiences.
The effects of the “afterlife” are miraculous, focusing everyone’s brains like lasers onto their jobs as doctors.
And this part is cool, because along with helping people, we’re also riding the high they’re on, knowing that at any moment it could all come crashing down!
And down we go with the death of a character…I won’t ruin things if you want to see it.
But here are my minor gripes…
First, I really didn’t like the lame reconciling past sins theme. It felt forced, and for a project exploring the deeper meaning of the afterlife, a tie-in that’s a bit more intellectual could have been chosen.
Second, there was ZERO payoff with the brain Courtney stole. In one scene, we see her looking at it with the line of description reading “She has big plans for this brain” and then NOTHING.
Fix those two things and you’ve got a great reboot!
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