THE CODE - Action Thriller (political)
Screenplay: 114 pages.
Synopsis: At a White House press conference, the Vice President sympathizes with public protests against government spying and promises reform. In an office at the NSA, a man makes a cell call to “Bill” and offers him a “contract” that may rehabilitate him.
Lake Mead, Las Vegas, NV. LICENSER(*)INSTALLED reads a message on a phone and disappears.
KEVIN DORIAN, a pro-wakeboarder turning programmer, misses it as he is getting ready for his championship run. Later he gives that phone to Freddy, his 60-something manager in exchange for a new, just won phone. The licenser was uploaded by Kevin's uncle Peter who moments later and before he could meet with Harry, an old friend now with the FBI, crashes his Porsche into a canyon. Kevin (who studied programming with Peter), can't believe it was an accident, traces Peter's last moves to Bill PARSONS, a discharged USMC colonel, Peter's ex-partner and owner of a data mining debt consolidation firm who needs the licenser for his secret NSA contract. Thanks to CONNIE, Parsons' office manager, handling the company's futuristic technology, Parsons knows that it was uploaded to Kevin's phone. To make Kevin hand over his licenser phone, they acquire his debt, confront him with his recent business loan, which – as Kevin now regrets - is backed by his mother's house in London (that he owns). This gives Kevin no choice but to agree to provide the licenser phone within 24 hours. On his way out, Parsons employee Sandy secretively tells Kevin that she knows why Peter was killed. The FBI's Harry runs an undercover agent, Rachel. He too needs the licenser. Kevin meets with frightened Sandy, learns that Peter was stopped from whistle blowing to the FBI. Kevin asks her to send him the contract. Meanwhile Parsons gets informed that he has someone spying for the FBI. Sandy is called to his office. Parsons gives Kevin a warning call, just when Harry shows up at his doorstep. Kevin sends him away. At night he sees Freddy and, without telling him, exchanges the phones. Parsons gives Connie a special assignment. Connie stalks Kevin in a casino playing Blackjack, drugs and lures him to a hotel room. While Kevin is out, Connie has his phone "cloned" by Harry before handing it to Parsons - who has just learned that Connie is the undercover agent. Her real name is Rachel and she has a 13-year-old daughter, Laurie.
In the morning Kevin finds Sandy dead in the bathroom and himself wanted for murder. Parsons holds Laurie ransom, demands Connie to shut down the FBI probe and get Kevin in the room - as apparently he has modified the licenser on the stolen phone. Kevin flees into a casino, calls Parsons Inc., confronts an unknowing Connie (who operates the phone) with Sandy's death. Realizing the noose is tightening around her own and Kevin's neck, she warns him and leaves. Harry confirms the licenser is useless without Kevin. Connie teams up with Kevin before Parsons thugs get him, and in a daring car chase, she helps him to escape. But when at gun point she demands Kevin to follow her, he disarms and escapes her too. Parsons goes for the kill: Kevin finds his identity erased, his accounts non existent. At Freddy's home Kevin runs into an ambush. Only with luck he manages to conquer Parsons' fierce contract killer. Kevin runs, speeds down the highway out of town. His mother calls on Freddy's phone, asking him why he sold the house, tells him that she has been evicted from her own home. Shocked, Kevin stops the car, finds and decodes the contract Sandy had sent to Freddy's e-mail – realizes that Peter's licenser stopped a large scale conspiracy... He uploads the contract to the FBI and The New York Times (but keeps a sensitive data base "locked"), then calls Parsons, offers his expertise for Freddy and for his own identity.
Kevin meets with Parsons at his office. Connie, Harry and an FBI Swat team arrive, quickly engage Parsons' security guards. Parsons disappears in the mix up. Kevin, Connie and Harry rescue Freddy and Laurie from a booby trapped office. Small explosions go off and spread fires. While securing evidence from a computer, Connie gets caught behind growing flames. Kevin rips out a soaked piece of carpet for cover and gets her out. Then both get trapped by Parsons. Standoff... It comes down to the last bullet. Connie has it. Parsons burns in his own fire. An explosion throws Kevin and Connie against a wall. They kiss in front of a hellfire backdrop. Connie and Kevin emerge like phoenix arising from the ashes. Injured Connie hugs Laurie. Kevin gets hired by the FBI to decode the data base Parsons was about to use.
A Month Later: Kevin's mother tends roses in the backyard of a small house. Freddy appears at the little garden portal and invites her over to his house next door for tea.
© 2017 Stefan Carow
*)A licenser is a decoder or a key to a code, that has to be installed onto a certain device and cannot (easily) be transferred to another device.