[Quick Summary: IMF agent Ethan Hawke goes after the elusive "Job" who killed his teammates.]
How do I convey, "This is an action film!" (without saying so)?
Let's examine this opening scene (p. 1-2):
- Jack is inside a hotel room closet in Kiev.
- On a small tv, he watches surveillance of two men in the next room.
- One man (Anatoly) interrogates a sobbing man (Kasminov).
- There's a dead woman on the bed.
Up until this point, this could be a thriller or a drama.
Then on p. 2:
"JACK, impatient, checks his watch.
JACK: Jesus, she's been under too long. Come on, come on!"
A-ha! Jack, and others, are in on the con.
Notice that this is p. 2, and we're moving fast, i.e., action-y pacing.
- Jack's concern re: the woman = Urgency
- Anatoly's physicality hurries things up
- Genre words: "bare bulb", "blood", "shabby room"
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: An action opening has suspense, much like a thriller, but its pacing is often quicker (urgency, dire consequences).
Mission Impossible (1996)
by David Koepp & Robert Towne