The Contractor


The Contractor

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,216
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Movie Info

Wesley Snipes plays an ex-assassin set up by his old bosses and pursued through London in this action thriller. Former sniper James Dial (Snipes) has carried around the ghosts of his last botched job ever since he failed to kill the leader of a worldwide terrorist group. After leaving the business and enduring a long exile in Montana, word gets out that the British government are holding the same terrorist in captivity; Dial is wooed back via the opportunity to make good on his initial failure. What Dial doesn't know is that he'll soon be framed for murder, putting him on the run in London's underbelly with the British police hot on his heels. Alone and distrustful, Dial claims only one ally: a twelve-year-old girl who aids him in hunting down proof of his innocence.

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Critic Reviews for The Contractor

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Audience Reviews for The Contractor

  • Apr 16, 2009
    I really enoyed this movie, its excting, entertaining with fantastic explosions, gun fights and a pretty descent storyline to be honest. This movie keeps you compelled to watch it with a great cast especialy lena headey who givees a brilliant performance. Its about a contractor killer from america who is broght out of retirement to do one last killing but unbeknowns to hi hes being set up, he travels to london to hit his target but in doing so he has the london metropoleton police and the american police afeter him. this takes you on a thrill ride of bullets really worth a watch!
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2008
    above average wesley snipes action flick. haven't seen charles dance in anything for ages...
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2008
    <i>"It's gonna get chaotic real quick"</i> <p> Following recent below average straight-to-DVD actioners such as <i>The Marksman</i> and <i>7 Seconds</i>, Wesley Snipes continues to institute himself as the new Van Damme or Steven Seagal. It's hardly surprising that actors like Van Damme and Seagal degraded their careers by starring in straight-to-DVD films, purely because their talent is non-existent: they can't act, but they can fire a gun. Wesley Snipes had no reason to be reduced to this quality. <i>The Contractor</i> is among Snipes' latest movies, and it's essentially a cousin to Mark Wahlberg's successful action movie <i>Shooter</i>. Both <i>Shooter</i> and Snipes' <i>The Contractor</i> focus on former specialist operatives called back into service before ultimately being betrayed and set up. But while Wahlberg's character is aided by a beautiful babe, Snipes gets his assistance from a precocious teenager. The screenwriter is essentially taking a page out of Luc Besson's <i>Léon</i> (also known as <i>The Professional</i>). So there we have it...<i>The Contractor</i> mixes equal parts of <i>Léon</i> and <i>Shooter</i>. However, it isn't as charming and absorbing as the former, or as thrilling and intense as the latter. Former professional contractor James Dial (Snipes) now lives a secluded life at his Montana ranch. He frequently evokes the memory of failing an assignment several years earlier when he was unsuccessful in eliminating a renowned terrorist. Dial is approached by his former employer who allows him the opportunity for another shot at assassinating the terrorist who is now under heavy protection in London. It will impart personal satisfaction as well as further financial advantages. Dial executes his task, but is then forced into hiding as the British police relentlessly pursue him. He's hurt and hunted, and it isn't long before he crosses paths and dubiously befriends young Emily (Bennett) who doesn't seem the slightest bit reluctant to help a highly wanted man evade justice. Alrighty then... Wesley Snipes demonstrates that, even with weak career moments under his belt, he can still carry a picture. For an action movie, Snipes brings staggering depth and intrigue to his character. Young Eliza Bennett is doubtlessly the film's biggest surprise. She competently masters her character and flaunts convincing acting skills. She has her unfortunate weak moments though, such as the unrealistically corny relationship with her grandmother. German director Josef Rusnak keeps the action moving and the pacing fairly brisk. With a terrific cast (for the most part) the film also exhibits plenty of decent drama. However the film is unforgivably marred by the cinematography techniques and the script. The shootouts, especially those towards the climax, simply cannot engage a viewer. All the action fails due to the almost Michael Bay-eque style of filming: fast cuts, shaky handheld shots that aren't properly focused, migraine-inducing strobe lights, and additionally some amateurish film speed manipulations (slow motion, things sped up...and even freeze frames). Some villains can't even hold their firearms correctly which is a sure sign that research was never a priority. The action is entertaining, but could be far more exhilarating. The movie also fails as a thriller because the twists don't raise the stakes. Additionally, Snipes' James Dial ostensibly prefers to avoid confrontations and gun-fights. Instead, he continually absconds. This could have worked, however with pay-offs so trifling and promising set-ups so common it feels unsatisfying. The screenwriter cannot avoid those dumb action movie clichés either. A gun battle on a construction site occurs, but do the workers or civilians nearby (which we clearly see following the battle's conclusion) care or call the cops? Nope, they don't even notice anything despite plenty of gunfire. And are we supposed to believe an investigation can terminate so suddenly? No paperwork? Come on! Overall, <i>The Contractor</i> isn't as terrible as I expected. It's also among the best straight-to-DVD films Snipes has featured in, although that is a faint praise. A promising story that clearly takes inspiration from <i>Shooter</i> and Luc Besson's <i>Léon</i> is marred by a below average script and an abundance of stupidity to boot.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2008
    I dunno, this film was alright, it passed the time and I was not bored outta my mind, good if your a snipes fan!
    Nikki M Super Reviewer

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