Friday, October 23, 2009

Logline Central - C.O.D.

Logline Central is an irregular segment that takes a deeper look at loglines of scripts or projects that have just been purchased, as listed on DoneDealPro.

I saw an interesting logline earlier this week. It's nothing wildly earth shattering, but it did grab my attention - for both good and bad reasons.

Title: C.O.D.

Logline: A New York City bike messenger is forced to deliver three bombs under threat of his family receiving one. He must avoid capture by not only the authorities but also by an entire nation looking to stop him.
Carl Ellsworth
Rewrite deal. Original script was written by Lars Jacobson Barry Josephson and Royal Prospect's Neal Flaherty will produce. The project was picked up in March 2008 by DreamWorks.

What I like about this is the unlikely hero. A bike messenger - living in NYC, I see and meet plenty of them, so I'm already feeling a bit connected - has to deliver three bombs, while his family is held hostage (presumably). I'll go out on a limb and assume that he doesn't want to deliver these bombs - not a difficult assumption to make. Essentially, we have an Average Joe type guy who finds himself in less than desirable, dangerous circumstances where his actions lead to the endangerment of innocent or at least unknown people. COLLATERAL, anyone? Very much yes, but in a good way. Collateral was fun, and C.O.D. sounds like it has the potential to be, as well.

It sounds that way, that is, until you read the second half of the logline,
"He must avoid capture by not only the authorities but also by an entire nation looking to stop him." I get the authorities bit. Once that first bomb goes off - if they're planned to go off separately, that is - the authorities will be all over this. Even if they don't, it's New York, and someone will find out something's up. If being New York isn't enough, then the fact that this is a movie will push it over the edge. What I don't think I'm on board with, though, is the part about the "entire nation looking to stop him." Which nation? The U.S.? Why is an entire country trying to stop him? Is he nowhere near as innocent as the previous sentence leads us to believe?

Tying an entire nation into this throws a big red flag up for me. It might make perfect sense in a 100 page screenplay. But in a two sentence logline, I get worried. Am I supposed to have images of every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the streets of New York trying to run this guy down and pull him off his bike? It's one hell of a big obstacle to throw in there, and it has me concerned. I'm still very curious, but now that's not just in a good way. Nonetheless, Carl Ellsworth gave us such thrillers as RED EYE, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, worked on DISTURBIA, and seems to be attached to Y: THE LAST MAN. So time will tell.

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