All I knew about this script going into it was that it was about a guy who is buried underground for most of the story and that in the movie, that guy was Ryan Reynolds….It made me laugh when the character was described on page two as “physically unremarkable…”. Obviously, this was before the role was cast…
Anyway! I was very interested to read this script because I couldn’t imagine how they could pull it off. From what I heard, the guy spends most of the film underground. I suppose it either could be a really exciting suspense story or crushingly dull…
It started off very strong. The guy is, well, buried in a box. He awakens to realize he’s been buried alive and, after the initial and understandable freak-out, he starts trying to figure away out of this mess. There is a cell phone – not his – buried with him. It has a weak signal and is already down to half the battery life. Cool. A ticking clock to create tension. It works. He calls home and leaves messages for his wife and son.
[Editor’s note – Ryan’s…uh, I mean PAUL’S wife is named Linda. Bonus points awarded to this script.]
Ry…Paul gets a text message on the phone. It’s 10 numbers, which he dials and speaks with the terrorist, Jabir, who buried him. Even though Paul is a truck driver / contractor, he is considered an enemy American soldier. Jabir makes his demand – $5 million by 9pm from Paul’s family or the embassy or he “stays buried like a dog”.
It was about at this point that I abandoned my blog article and focused on the script. I couldn’t put it down.
It was absolutely, unbelievably brilliant. It was riveting and full of tension, suspense, politics, fear, and drama. It was probably the most exciting script I have ever read.
And the entire story took place inside the coffin.
No cutting away to tearful family members, no rushing around at the F.B.I with worried looking officials shouting into cell phones and banging on top secret computers. The whole damn thing took place inside a wooden box.
Damn, that’s good writing.
Reading this made me want to set The Kids Are All Right screenplay on fire. They called THAT brilliant writing?? Oh, hell’s no….
I don’t know what else to saw except wow. Wow.
And if it weren’t for Ryan Reynolds, I probably never even would have heard of this film.