An excerpt from my script review for Mission: Impossible 5 – Rogue Nation which will be available 07/03/23:
2.) Plot Stability
From my previous MI: Fallout review, I can’t remember much aside from the script’s format leading a long and tedious read.
Clocking in at 156 pages, this one was not.
It moved as quick as a 125+ page script can, and I enjoyed the twists.
Coming right out of the gate…
Ethan Hunt and Co. are tracking a “package” and something’s gone wrong in that it was loaded onto a plane for transport.
Their mission, that I assume they chose to accept, was to not let that happen.
Support staff chatting away on comms and we don’t see Ethan…until he’s clinging to the transport aircraft as it’s taking off!
This plays out about how you’d expect, and what audiences are paying to see with Ethan saving the day.
The second scene with our hero is what surprised me.
We’re used to IMF having these cool gadgets and covert locations to report to agents and have them report back.
Here is no different with a London record store. Ethan goes in, grabs a record, and when playing it, he is given new mission only to discover it’s from…
Not only did the bad guy tricked him, but he’s right there and traps Tom Cru…er, Ethan Hunt!
Why this works is we’re used to seeing new and unique methods to give Ethan his assignments, it changes from film to film, but here it’s a twist on what we’re expecting in that the bad guy has infiltrated his organization.
This is a fantastic way to handle a reboot or installment of an existing franchise.
Turning the audience’s expectations against them makes for entertainment!
And the rest of the script plays out in the manner we’d expect while still surprised us as it unfolds.
One thing MI movies do well is using the whole “mask” technique, in that Ethan and crew can show up as anyone at any time.
My one piece of advice for this type of action movie is to watch going overboard on details during some of your sequences.
We’ll talk about it more in a later section, but for instance I skimmed the opera scenes where Ethan was tailing the Flautist and the car chase for Morocco.
Seeing exactly how it played out wasn’t at the top of my list when critiquing the story, the end result was.
What should you do in your own script?
The first step should be to write it out as lengthy and detailed as you envision it happening on screen.
From there you do a couple revisions, cutting it down slightly each time so you’re distilling your (spec) draft down to just what is needed to drive the story onward.
We don’t need to read/see each and every turn motorcycles take through Casablanca!
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.