Ain't It Cool News Script review

Last Update: 09 November 2000

Ain't It Cool News Script Review

Source: Ain't It Cool News

April 2000

And now here is a killer script review from ol' Smilin Jack Ruby...

With all the hubbub surrounding this new sci-fi pic to be directed by the writer, Kurt Wimmer, and produced by Jan De Bont and Lucas Foster, I figured I'd log a script review. You may remember it's recent mentions with the name Leonardo DiCaprio attached, but those seem to have been just rumors. It is currently in pre-production and yes, it looks like it will be filmed in the capital of Romania at the immense palace of government.

"Librium" is definitely sci-fi, but borrows heavily from "Fahrenheit 451" and "Logan's Run." The story initially follows two Grammatron Clerics (future cops) who are psychic - names: Preston and Partridge - who live in a futuristic society that is controlled by everyone taking a daily dose of a drug ironically called "librium" which keeps everyone's emotions down. The actual city of Libria is a beautiful modern place with buildings that reflect the new, modern great society. However, surrounding Libria are no man's land kind of zones where criminals who don't take their librium hide out. The first scene in the script is of Preston and Partridge along with a SWAT team going in, shooting up all the criminals, and finding that they have the Mona Lisa and other famous paintings. These, like all memorabilia of the old pre-librium days, are put to the torch (a'la "Fahrenheit...").

Preston is the real focus of this story as he is one of the best Grammatron Clerics - meaning he's one of the most psychic. When it turns out that Partridge has stopped taking his librium, Preston has to track him down and immediately kills him. This is fairly early in the script, actually, and is what sets off Preston - who's wife was killed for "sense crimes" which essentially means going off librium and feeling something. Preston, subconsciously or on purpose knocks his daily dose of librium off his bathroom sink and goes a day without librium. Oops.

I don't want to give anything more away, but that's probably as much information as you'll see in a trailer or in an advanced critic's review whenever this picture comes out. There are more things borrowed in this movie as well. There's a resistance movement fighting the "1984"-like unseen controllers of Libria and the way they interact with Preston is straight out of "Demolition Man." Though the "controlling the population with drugs" angle is a fairly popular one in sci-fi, I don't think it's been done before with the kind of budget this movie is bound to pack. And yes, there's a lot of "The Matrix" in here as well as Preston is something of the cold, hard Agent Smith at the beginning.

The subplot with "the woman" who Preston inevitably falls for now that he's off librium will hopefully be fleshed out a bit once the production gets closer as right now she is quite one-dimensional and I never really understood why he fell for her other than convenience to the script. But, oh, well.

Done well, this movie will probably look very "cool" and have a lot of people lined up to see it on the basis of the poster and whoever they cast as Preston. When you actually see the movie, however, you'll understand what I mean when I say there's a lot of stuff in here we've seen before - more than usual for a sci-fi pic.

-Smilin' Jack Ruby


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