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The Contractor Review: Chris Pine Shines In Uneven Black Ops Action Thriller

Chris Pine in Contractor

meeting you Hell or high water Chris Pine, starring Ben Foster, directs a solid action thriller about the dark side of serving his country. contractor It aims to tell the story of a man’s desperate efforts by his family to do the right thing after failing by incompetent institutions seeking supposed veterans. Like this Hell or high water it was a hard look at government and institutional failures that drove people to desperate measures, contractor presents a similar story that illuminates the unpatriotic nature of military service. However, while this movie showcases the clues Hell or high waterit doesn’t even come close to being so well crafted and isn’t that generous with the development of its characters.

contractorit used to be called Action Violence, – on paper – a Liam Neeson movie. The title is still reminiscent of recent action thrillers in which Neeson played a man with certain skills who was wronged and tried to bleed. That said, Pine is a great protagonist, providing lazily drawn depth and character nuances. Much has been said about the man’s dazzling blue eyes, but there is so much talent out there that gives us a deeper understanding of the pathetic state of his character.

Gillian Jacobs and Chris Pine in The Contractor

contractor It follows James (Pine), a medical sergeant who is dishonorably discharged after multiple efforts to get him re-implanted after an injury to his knee. With little work to find and a pile of bills, he turns to his friend in the military, Mike (Foster) for help. Mike introduces James to a covert ops team specializing in super-dark operations, supposedly approved by the president himself. This tribe of veterinarians forms a unit that performs a number of tasks, from reconnaissance to assassinating suspected terrorists. Of course, any discerning viewer may find that this is not honorable work, but James takes the bait. The movie is in many ways the antithesis of movies. zero dark thirty or 13 hours. This isn’t a pro-military piece of art, evident from the opening scenes, where audiences see a gruesome contrast between what is said about those who serve and how they are treated—as disposable weapons that are only good. not much else.

Tarik Saleh’s directing is definitive and brutal, but there is little talent to prove the message of JP Davis’ screenplay. There is little to enjoy overall – instead the experience is nauseating. contractor It’s a mind-blowing journey that gets dizzyingly depressing as you progress. All the pieces are there for the deeply touching tale of the tragedy of being a soldier, a weapon for a powerful government. However, as the movie draws to a close, all one feels is tiredness and little sympathy for our hero. The emotionally charged third act, which includes a scene where Pine plays with a big A, feels delayed.

Nicolas Noblitt, Chris Pine and Ben Foster in The Contractor

It’s no surprise that this script caught the attention of original producers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee. sicario and City. contractor It has a direct message about what it means to serve your country, especially the United States. There’s also a layer in James’ traumatic upbringing with a pro-military father who chose to be patriotic rather than meet his son’s needs. It’s hard to understand how the movie falls apart, but it’s worth noting that the inner struggle within James is only partially presented. Pine does a lot of hard work to bear the brunt of delivering a resounding, emotional performance that fills in the gaps in the script.

contractor An unsatisfying image sitting between two tasks. Mission One: Tell an open and honest story about the horrors of military service, private contract, and the dehumanization of soldiers during and after active duty. Mission Two: To be a standard action thriller about a man who has been wronged. There’s a way to combine these two elements to have a thought-provoking movie that also satisfies the insatiable hunger to watch a badass movie, but contractor stop doing it. Despite Chris Pine’s best efforts, the film fails to meet his level of commitment and emotional resonance.

contractor It was released in theaters, digital and on demand on Friday, April 1. The film is 103 minutes long and is rated R for violence and language.

Our rating:

2.5 out of 5 (pretty good)


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The Contractor Review: Chris Pine Shines In Uneven Black Ops Action Thriller

Chris Pine in The Contractor

Reuniting with his Hell or High Water co-star Ben Foster, Chris Pine leads a solid action thriller about the shadowy underbelly of serving one’s country. The Contractor aims to tell the story of one man’s desperate attempts to do right by his family after being failed by the inept institutions that supposedly lookout for veterans. Just as Hell or High Water was a searing look at the governmental and institutional failures that lead people to desperate measures, The Contractor provides a similar tale that shines a glaring light on the un-patriotic nature of military service. However, while this film touts the leads of Hell or High Water, it doesn’t come close to being as well-executed and is not as generous with its character development.
The Contractor, previously called Violence of Action, is — on paper — a Liam Neeson film. The title is even reminiscent of the recent string of action thrillers Neeson has starred in, where he plays a man with a particular set of skills who has been wronged and is out for blood. However, Pine is a damn good leading man who provides his rather lazily drawn character depth and nuance. Much has been said about the man’s dazzling blue eyes, but there is a great deal of talent there that gives us a deeper understanding of his character’s pathos.
Gillian Jacobs and Chris Pine in The Contractor
The Contractor follows James (Pine), a medical sergeant who, after many efforts to be deployed again after a knee injury, is dishonorably discharged. With little work to be found and a pile of bills, he turns to his army buddy, Mike (Foster), for help. Mike introduces James to a black ops team that specializes in super shady operations that are supposedly sanctioned by the president himself. This tribe of vets form a unit that executes a number of missions that range from recon to assassinations of suspected terrorists. Of course, any discerning viewer can see that this is not honorable work, but James takes the bait. The film, in many ways, is the antithesis of the likes of Zero Dark Thirty or 13 Hours. This is not a pro-military piece of art, which is understood from the opening scenes as viewers see the dark contrast of what is said about those who serve vs. how they are treated — as expendable weapons that are only good for killing and not much else.
Tarik Saleh’s directing is precise and brutal, but there is little flair on display to ground the messaging of J.P. Davis’ script. There is very little to enjoy overall — rather, the experience is a stomach-turning one. The Contractor is a white-knuckled ride that only gets more and more dizzyingly depressing as it carries on. All the pieces are there for a deeply poignant tale of the tragedy of being a soldier, a weapon for a powerful government. However, as the film nears its conclusion, all one feels is exhaustion and very little sympathy for our protagonist. The emotionally fraught third act, which holds a scene where Pine is capital-A acting, feels long delayed.
Nicolas Noblitt, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster in The Contractor
It is no surprise that this script caught the eye of Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, the former being a producer on Sicario and The Town. The Contractor does have a pointed message about what it means to serve one’s country, specifically the United States. There is also a layer regarding James’ traumatic upbringing with a pro-military father who chose to be a patriot over fulfilling the needs of his son. How the film falls apart is hard to discern, but it is worth noting that the internal struggle within James is only partially presented. Pine does a great deal of heavy lifting to carry the burden of giving a resonant and emotive performance that fills in the gaps in the script.
The Contractor is a dissatisfying picture that is caught between two missions. Mission one: tell an open and honest story of the horrors of military service, private contracting, and the dehumanization of soldiers during and after active service. Mission two: be a standard action-thriller about a man who has been wronged. There is a way to bridge these two elements together to have a thought-provoking film that also satisfies one’s insatiable hunger for watching a badass film, but The Contractor fails to do so. Despite Chris Pine’s best efforts, the film fails to reach his level of commitment and emotional resonance.
The Contractor opened in theaters, on digital and on demand Friday, April 1. The film is 103 minutes long and is rated R for violence and language.

Our Rating:
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)

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