A gung-ho firefighter’s life is turned upside down when his daughter is kidnapped by a vicious mobster – who wants her heart to save his father’s life.
Remember when Die Hard arrived in theaters? (Or for those a bit younger – the first time you saw it on DVD?) An electrifying movie, from the very first scene. It’s a film with all the right ingredients: a character you care about – John McClane. Fighting for something worthwhile: his family. Thrown in a do-or-die situation, with Professor Snape as the bad guy? That’s some amazing stuff right there. An entertainment recipe destined to never get old.
And that’s the problem with some action thrillers these days. They keep the FX. The violence. The gore. But they forget you have to root for the good guy. We mean, really empathize. ‘Cause if you don’t, then the movie becomes just a string of pretty explosions. You gotta care what the character’s fighting for.
Which brings us to Code Black’s Graham Harris. 43 and divorced, his body’s seen far better days. He’s coasting over middle-aged hill, with the other side firmly in view. Which is unfortunate for someone in his line of work. He’s a firefighter: one of the gung-ho kind. Which means he’s constantly getting into work related scrapes… a habit that worries his teen daughter, MacKenzie. And if anything could make Graham retire, it’s her. For him, MacKenzie’s the most important thing in the world.
Unfortunately, others see her value as well. Namely, a certain Southern gentleman named Cabot. Cabot’s a vicious, murdering (yet ever-so-polite) son of a bitch. And the son of someone quite dangerous: Lincoln Sadler (63). Head of the most notorious crime family in the business. You see, Lincoln’s got a bad ticker, with a unique blood type. And MacKenzie’s the perfect match.
And Cabot’s hit upon the perfect plan. Kidnap local cardiac surgeon, Dr. Lambert, along with her family. Arrange for MacKenzie to have an “accident”, and end up in emergency. Then it’s just a matter of declaring the teen brain dead, and making the gory organ switch. Voila – a brand new Lincoln Sadler, good as new. Sure, it’ll take a bit of finessing. But it beats risking the Mexican black market scene.
But Cabot’s missed one important factor – Graham. A father who’ll fight for his daughter – to the death. Which might just be the price he’ll have to pay. Alerted by Dr. Lambert’s strange behavior, a suspicious Graham uncovers the plot; just as Cabot’s goons swarm the hospital. The building goes into lockdown – and everything else goes to hell.
Because now the clock is ticking. Can Graham survive Cabot’s hall-roaming death squads – in time to save his daughter’s life?
Mostly limited location, Code Black’s got what indie thriller directors look for. Tons of action, guns, and blood. And – most importantly – memorable characters to root for. ‘Cause you gotta love the good guy to cheer him on. You got a leading actor that’s the next Bruce Willis? Then have him try on Graham Harris for size!
About the writer, Matt Thompson:
Once, while in the midst of a scathing review of a whodunit slasher spec that labeled Matt as anti-American and pro-terrorist due to a seven line monologue that painted a combat vet as a potential suspect, a reader nevertheless described his writing as ‘generally competent.’
Matt has worked hard to live up to that standard ever since. Tell him how much he’s failed at writerlog “AT” gmail.com, or @AssortedMatt on Twitter. Or – even better – write to Matt and let him know if Code Black’s got your directorial name on it….
Budget: Not minimalistic. There is a fire fighting scene at the beginning. A car crash, and a helicopter to requisition. But once the action starts flowing, the hospital setting is all you’ll need.
READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!
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