Blacklist Coverage Genre: Action & Adventure, Action Thriller, Adventure Drama, Political Drama, Crime Thriller, Political Thriller
Logline: In the wake of his twin brother’s kidnapping by Isil militants, an operative must conduct a series of stateside tasks in order to earn enough money to finance an off-the-books rescue mission.
Strengths: 115 DEGREES is an exciting modern thriller that pairs global issues and stakes with a focused and personal human story. More than just another bad-ass Special Ops protagonist, Harrison Fowler is a particularly sympathetic lead and could easily stand at the center of his own franchise. His massive personal investment in the mission due to his brother’s life being on the line provides massive stakes while making him instantly relatable.
The supporting characters are similarly distinct and well-formed. The writing displays great craftsmanship and skill, with strong dialogue, gut-wrenching action sequences, and several great set pieces. The involvement of Syria and ISIS are handled with nuance and tact while contributing to the central thriller plot. Overall, the script has a number of positive story elements working to its advantage. For one, regarding story’s structure, the fact Fowler must conduct a series of operations within in the States before he is able to venture overseas to rescue his brother makes for an intriguing approach to this particular thriller. Rather than having Fowler involved in a straightforward rescue op that unfolds over the course of a film, the writer’s decision to make him earn the right to carry out the rescue op makes his brother’s ultimate saving seem truly earned.
In terms of story’s many staged set pieces, Fowler’s scheming’s seem equal parts suave and adrenaline-fueled – tonally, these many set pieces feel as if they were plucked straight from a Bond film. Furthermore, Fowler’s assistance in the reuniting of father and daughter at story’s end makes him seem a more complex lead than many other typical action spies. It is also worth noting the sociopolitical relevance of the bad guy agenda – a modern-day threat clearly understood by most, therefore rendering it in very little need of narrative justification. This is a heavy hitting action thriller that definitely will catch the attention of industry readers from the character Fowler alone. Harrison Fowler is a dynamic protagonist and we really are able to get behind him from an early place in the script.
One of the coolest things going for his voice overall is that he's troubled, but not in an overly sympathetic way and at the end of the day it's his expertise and passion that make him really fun to follow along with. The script pays attention to detail well. For example, when we see in the flashback that David has asthma, we later see when Fowler reaches him and frees him that he hears the familiar asthma wheezing from his brother. It's this type of thing that really exemplifies the terrific character work overall for each of the supporting characters as well. It's very easy to picture these people and watch them interact due to their unique voices and character descriptions.
Although this is a military/political thriller, the script doesn't go overboard on jargon and instead creates some very natural and captivating dialogue that helps keep things relatable for the reader and potential audience. All said, the script checks many of the boxes required of quality action-thrillers. Prospects: This is an exhilarating and action packed thriller that is sure to catch the attention of industry readers. It's a fun read and the protagonist, Fowler, works well for the audience to connect with. The dialogue is a strong suit and stays natural throughout.
The script could work as a part of a franchise, issues are pretty micro and at the very least this will be a strong writing sample. The use of ISIS is very topical and integrated well throughout. The project maintains a number of positives, mostly as it pertains to its adrenaline-fueled set pieces, the political relevance of its plot, and the intriguing nature of its love story. That said, some additional work should be done to make Fowler’s receiving news of his brother’s capture seem more conventional -- in the end, this will help the project seem more viable in the eyes of film executives. No matter what happens from a production standpoint, the overall quality of the writing should help the writer generate interest amongst industry representatives, should he / she not already maintain representation.
Crosswind Films 2017