Monday, 19 July 2010


Written by James Simpson.

This one was a last minute choice for a read and impulsively favoured over three high profile screenplays, as I ended up craving something completely unknown. So going in with no clue, hopeful expectations, and a hint of the action, crime and thriller genres within the title. Did this unknown script deliver? The verdict is: Without question.

The story takes place in Detroit and centres on Tyler "Ty" Hackett, 27, who lives with his girlfriend and abandoned younger brother Jimmy. Whilst running two jobs and barely able to make ends meat, Ty realises he's not providing enough for his brother and their relationship is becoming even more dysfunctional. His girlfriend, on the other hand, is happy that they are spending Christmas together and isn't bothered by a lack of money, or currently, a lack of electricity. But this doesn't sit well with him and at the end of a day's work as a security guard (transporting money), he is given a way out and proposition by his veteran co-workers, which would see him walk away with a share of the contents of their next cash pick-up.

The screenplay was a heartfelt, suspenseful and exciting read. It's a lesson in the power of simplicity; a simple premise and set up, and its enhancement by housing believable and motivated characters, and a dramatic plot that fuses them so well together.

The main character of Ty was sympathetic from the start due to him being the underdog and struggling to help support his girlfriend, brother and himself. A man who's got it bad, but hasn't let it change him, not yet, at least. The supporting characters, work colleagues and especially, the antagonist, who was terrific, were nicely written; individual voices, believable, and one or two characters; dislikeable and pretty scary stuff at times, but in a good entertaining way. They all followed their own paths and motivation, and were consistent within that which made for a far more complex, exciting and suspenseful read.

Once the premise and character-choice came to fruition, everything was up in the air at all times and you didn't know what was going to happen next. The script's pace is relentless and is one of the fastest set ups and progressions of a story I've read so far. It was gripping, eventful and resourceful stuff. It won't make the most profound or dramatic film of the last ten years, but it was a great, suspenseful, action-roller coaster read, and one with heart.

The story is simply about being happy with your "lot" in life, not necessarily with the hand you've been dealt but the people and family around you. Life isn't about money, riches, or living comfortably or extravagantly; it's about family, the small things, and making the best out of what you have.

Naturally I'm looking forward to the film, as this has great screen potential and could be a pretty awesome film. It's nothing groundbreaking, just a great, suspenseful story/character action-situation, told well. Fingers crossed...

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