Wednesday 20 April 2022

REVIEW: The Contractor (2022) - Starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, J. D. Pardo, Florian Munteanu, and Kiefer Sutherland

Review by Jon Donnis
I am not quite sure how they managed this, but they took a film with a decent sized budget, paid some big name actors to appear, and then made a film that comes across as if it was a low budget Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson film.

Chris Pine stars as James Harper, he finds himself involuntarily discharged from the United States Army Special Forces due to his use of narcotics to treat a nasty knee injury. With no income after losing his pension and a dodgy knee, Harper contacts his friend Mike (played by Ben Foster) who works with a private military company run by fellow veteran Rusty Jennings (played by the always entertaining Kiefer Sutherland). Now it is worth noting for Kiefer fans, that he isn't in the film much, which is such a shame, because when Kiefer has good writers behind him, he has shown consistency in putting in awesome performances, sadly in The Contractor he is given something of a side role.

Anyway, Rusty runs clandestine operations for the US Department of Defence and Harper signs on for a mission in Germany. Rusty gives an advance of $50,00 to Harper, so he can pay off his debts, and off Harper goes to Germany.

Hollywood sure does like their cemetery shots

In Germany Harper tracks a middle eastern scientist called Salim (Fares Fares), and gathers what information he can. Rusty informs the team that Harper is a part of that Salim is working for ISIS, and is developing a chemical weapon and to take him out and retrieve all of the work done by Salim.

Before you know it, there is cross after double cross, Harper is on the run, and the film then plays out.

Chris Pine plays his part ok, nothing memorable, but not bad by any means. The problem is that the film is just a bit dull. As I said it is like watching a low budget film, but with a few high budget moments thrown in. The film has bombed at the cinema, which I think is a bit harsh. I just think that they could have easily made the exact same film but instead of a budget of $50m, it could have been done for $10m or less, and the viewer wouldn't really have known the difference.

Kiefer Sutherland with his cool beard!

The Good
The action scenes, shoot outs etc are all ok, pretty standard Hollywood stuff these days. Chris Pine plays his part well, and what little we see of Kiefer Sutherland is very welcome.

The Bad
It is all just a bit predictable and in parts dull.

A huge budget for what should have been a straight to digital release.
Not bad by any means, but expected much more.
I score The Contractor a disappointing 6/10