I’m not sure if there is a more tried-and-true plot for the modern thriller than the one where terrorists or criminals take some average Joe or Jane, kidnap their family, then force them to do some criminal act to save them. Then, in the last act of them film, our protagonist uses what they know in their chosen field to turn the tables on the bad guys. Finally, we get a frantic chase between the lead criminal – usually foreign – and our protagonist which climaxes in either a one-liner from the hero or a repeated line of the villain’s dialogue earlier in the film thrown back at them for maximum impact before a violent death.
It’s so formulaic that I wonder why studios or production companies even pay for scripts with this formula anymore. Can you really walk into pitch meetings these days and go "It’s The Net, but with ninjas!" or "It’s Firewall, except with narcotics trafficking!"?
Apparently, you can, as Screen Gems has just shelled out for a "thriller" called The Crossing, a script from newbies Byron Willinger and Phillip De Blasi. The plot revolves around an innocent couple vacationing south of the border. The obligatory kidnapping takes place, but this time the wife has to save her spouse by transporting a bunch of heroin back to the US. Wouldn’t you know it, tho….once she gets there, she turns the tables on the bad guys.
I’m taking bets that just before the semi with the heroin goes up in a fireball with the lead bad guy in it, the score builds to a crescendo and she turns to the camera and says "Smack this."
No, really, I’ll take action on that.