The Contract (2006)
Don't Feel Obligated to Watch
Don't confuse me with a nice guy - Frank
"The Contract" is one of those movies which plays out before your eyes and once it's finished you will end up a little disappointed but within an hour will have forgotten much of what happened anyway. It's not that it is a bad movie just that it is so ordinary that it plays out at one level, never reaching any real drama or excitement and is why that despite starring Morgan freeman and John Cusack it went straight to DVD. To put it even simpler we have a father son cliche combined with your typical fugitive/ hunted storyline and that is it.
Following the loss of his wife to cancer Ray Keene (John Cusack - Must Love Dogs) and son Chris (Jamie Anderson) have found life hard and with Chris getting in to trouble when he gets caught smoking Pot Ray decides they need some father son bonding time and go camping. But it is as they trek through the wilderness they find themselves coming face to face with the handcuffed Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman - Edison), a mercenary who having been caught during an accident has escaped and is on the run with his team hot on his tracks as well as various law enforcement agencies. Being an ex-cop Ray feels it's his duty to escort Frank back to the law but with Frank's mercenaries breathing down their neck they quickly become the hunted.
The most interesting "The Contract" gets is at the start as we discover that Morgan Freeman plays Frank Carden, the leader of a small band of elite mercenaries and we witness them pulling off the first part of a two part job. Unfortunately after that it becomes very ordinary as we get the first cliche which is troubled father and son Ray and Chris who typically are struggling after the loss of Ray's wife to cancer.
Once "The Contract" shifts to the wilderness it becomes even more cliche with Ray & Chris leading Frank through the woods and down cliff faces as they try and keep ahead of Frank's men who are on their trail. It is so ordinary that when they try to climb down a cliff face in the rain you can predict that at some point Chris will slip and Frank will save him, it is that predictable. And it just goes on with more predictable moments of action as eventually Frank's men catch up and with Ray being a former cop is more formidable than they expect. There are attempts to make it more interesting, a twist over one of Frank's team unfortunately does little and seeing a naked woman climb out of a lake seems a desperate attempt to grab your attention.
The thing about "The Contract" is that it is so routine that neither Morgan Freeman or John Cusack delivers anything close to their usual performances. It's not that either Freeman and Cusack are bad it's just that they both seem on autopilot doing the necessary as there characters dimensions are non-existent. And to be honest Jamie Anderson as Ray's son Chris ends up giving the most interesting performance but even then Chris is a cliche character.
What this all boils down to is that "The Contract" is not a bad movie but considering who is in it, it is far too ordinary. There is nothing exciting or different about it and as such it plays out and after 90 minutes or so it is over and you will be left wondering why it wasn't more interesting.
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