Review by Adam Donato
The Contractor is about the story of an ex-military man, James Harper, who finds himself in a tight spot when the family bills start piling up and he is out of a job. In a moment of desperation, Harper takes a gig as a private contractor in an effort to save his family from financial ruin. Chris Pine stars as Harper, with Gillian Jacobs from Community playing his wife. Ben Foster and Kiefer Sutherland round out the rest of the stars as they are the men who work with Pine on his mission. Can Chris Pine complete his mission and get back to his life with his family?
Every single year, Liam Neeson makes a movie or two exactly like this, but this one is much better. First of all, Pine is of the appropriate age to pull off an action role like this. Not to mention it’s nice to see Pine leading a movie again as he has mostly been reserved for supporting roles as of late. He does a very good job in this role as his character is really put through the wringer here. His character is relatable and brutal at times, but when he shines is when he is emotionally freaking out due to his circumstance. It’s a very sad movie and his character is ultimately sympathetic.
Ben Foster acted opposite Pine in Hell or High Water, where they were electric together. Here, their chemistry remains the same. His character finds himself in a similar situation as Pine and their scenes together are the best in the movie. Sutherland plays their commanding officer in this mission and his worldview is interesting enough to justify his reason for sending these men on this mission. Jacobs is the standard wife who is concerned about her husband going off to war.
Running at just over 100 minutes, the brief runtime of the movie is one of its strengths. The mission, despite taking place over a couple days, feels like a non-stop rollercoaster. The quick pace of the movie compliments the action well. It would be very easy for a movie like this to have an extra thirty minutes of filler, but this generic action flick gets straight to the point. This makes for a solid viewing experience.
There’s nothing new here at all. The Contractor is a very standard action flick every step of the way. Chris Pine works well enough as the lead that viewers should be invested in his character. Slap Tom Clancy’s name on the poster and would be the perfect movie to throw on cable for your dad. It's nothing special, but not bad at all.
The Contractor hits theaters and VOD on April 1.