Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: An involuntarily discharged US Special Forces sergeant risks everything for his family when he joins a private contracting organisation.
Review: Recently I’ve found myself saying the same thing over and over again about the movies I’ve seen—so much potential wasted. I’m going to get straight to what I think was the biggest issue of this movie. Not the ONLY issue mind you, but the one that hobbled the story the most, and that was the directing. When you have powerhouse talent such as Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman) Ben Foster (Leave No Trace, 3:10 to Yuma) and Kiefer Sutherland (24, Designated Survivor) you need to give them room to do their thing. Instead, it feels like Swedish director Tarik Saleh was so focused on keeping the story “grounded” he held the reins too tightly, and in doing so sucked most of the energy out of the kind of story that badly needed it.
Leaning more towards the dramatic elements, writer JP Davis tells the story of a US Special Forces sergeant, James Harper, who is unceremoniously discharged from the only job he’s ever known. And with bills piling up and his family depending on him he joins a private contracting organisation. I’m positive most people are going into this expecting a lot of action and pulse-pounding moments. Those people are in for a lot of disappointment. While there are a couple of actions beats, they’re shot with no real sense of energy or real urgency for that matter. Chris Pine’s performance is one the most subdued I ever seen from him. And the fact he’s reunited here with his co-star Ben Foster from Taylor Sheridan’s stellar modern day western Hell or High Water and they don’t get much screen time together, is a straight-up misfire.
The movie is trying its best to show how flawed the American military system is. A system that basically takes men and women, teaching them to live and die for said military and generally spits them out without looking back. It’s weighty stuff but that weight is never truly felt here. Pine can only do so much and not surprisingly his most memorable scene is with Foster. The film concludes with a shootout that should be captivating but it goes by so quickly and ends just as fast; none of it resonates. The entire time I was watching this movie I was thinking of Hell or High Water, which is never a good sign.
With all that wasted talent (Nina Hoss and Eddie Marsan included) The Contractor is a movie you could easily skip and not regret it. It’s not a bad movie as a whole; just a terribly stale one that has a strong premise but ultimately wastes its time and those of us who gave it a go.
Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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