“We're all mercenaries in the end...”
Look, The Contractor isn't the greatest film ever made but also it isn't the worst one ever made too. In fact this film is above average and despite being riddled by cliches, it still managed to keep me hooked and entertained (or maybe I just really love experiencing films on the big screen, and this allows me to overlook flaws).
The Contractor doesn't waste anytime settling into its genre cliches, and it does try to add a level of depth to its patriotic characters, who unfortunately are failed by predictability and weak writing. The writing fails the characters because there was message to be said here but the film choices not to go there.
The performances on the other hand are great, I find that Chris Pine (the best Hollywood Chris) does a fantastic job in playing the self-loathing and guilt heavy character. Most of the actors here are really good, and through their mannerisms and expressions we can tell that these characters have lived.
This film does some really cool things that immerses us the audience into this world, the sound design is one of my favourite elements of the film. There’s one or two moments where the sound of the gun shots literally made jump in fear because it was so real and felt so close, i applaud them on that. I even liked the use of flashbacks in this film and how sometimes these flashbacks would blend seamlessly with the present, creating a really cool insight into the psychology of the character, it’s quick little images that reveal so much about Chris’ character.
I guess my only major issue with film is it’s lack of a villain, i guess Kiefer’s motivations are rooted in capitalism but also what else? there’s gotta be more to him. Since the film speaks about the ranch being this homey, yet dangerous place but we don’t see that. We don’t feel it’s power and yearning for a quick payday even if it means destroying the world. Also, the final fight is very anticlimactic, though i do understand the approach because it’s a very character based film and not so much on the action, though it’s 50/50. The final fight could have been better, just so it makes sense with the emotional stuff that was going on.
Overall, The Contractor is a film that plays to its genre strengths and because it’s so well made and decently performed you forget that at times it hits some clichés. And, though it could have gone deeper with its message and themes - The Contractor is engaging and the action sequences aren’t bad at all, and i found that the film has this intensity to it and it’s so awesome especially when there’s minimal sound and it’s just the actors acting *chef’s kiss*