The Contractor isn’t what I would call a re-watch movie, but it was worth the first watch for those action buffs who like some good gun scenes mixed in with some hand-to-hand combat. I’m not sure I would call the plot a good one as it left me just a little confused in some places, but I didn’t leave thinking I wasted my money either. It had some good acting, some good fight scenes, and the weapons handling wasn’t bad either—for a Hollywood movie.
The Contractor was produced by American film producer Basil William Iwanyk, the producer of Sicario, The Town, Greenland, and the John Wick franchise. The movie tells a story about a Special Forces soldier who gets discharged from the Army and loses his retirement and benefits. Now a struggling father and husband, he is forced to take a contracting job with an old Army buddy who promises a big paycheck at the end. Kiefer Sutherland plays a limited role in the movie, but they still managed to cast some good actors for the action flick. I am a fan of action movies that have a lot of tactical equipment and operations in them, and The Contractor did have its moments with some good tactical searches, attire, and gun battles. Prine’s character played the role of a seasoned special forces operative, but still showed his human side and the desire to provide for his family.
What I liked
So, one of my pet peeves in most action movies is the gun scenes. Being in law enforcement and a tactical firearms instructor, I tend to be overly picky. I understand it’s a movie and Hollywood has to make movies overly dramatic and nothing close to reality for the entertainment of the masses. I can give them some slack, but I still have my limits.
The Contractor surprised me in some of the gun scenes. While still not completely realistic, there were a couple of gun battles that didn’t make the actors out to be untouchable rock stars of the tactical world. Most of the gun scenes had regular magazine reloads in them and not the annoying endless ammo dumps that some movies portray.
One plus for me was that Ben Foster was in the movie. Foster played an awesome role in 30 Days of Night and is a great actor. I think I would have liked him better as the main actor over Chris Prine. But I won’t knock Prine as he did okay in the role he played.
What I didn’t like
The movie starts out a little on the slow side, giving you a background into why James Harper needs to find work. As the movie goes on and the action scenes start picking up, the plot starts to struggle. There were a few plot twists that just didn’t make sense to me other than it gave the producer a reason to keep the action going. There were multiple scenes where endless bad guys just appeared and reappeared so that James Harper always had someone to fight. Again, I can cut Hollywood a little slack, just not too much.
After you get past those few typical action movie fillers, there just isn’t a lot of plot left at the end. At least, it was not the ending I would like to have seen after such a slow start. I was expecting it to build up to a big battle scene, but the “big” scene fizzles out a little and the ending left me thinking maybe they ran out of ideas.
There are not any “special” guns in this movie that make you say, “Wow I’ve never seen that one before!” But there are still some good gun scenes with your typical assault weapons that make you want to take a trip to the range and dump some ammo during mag changes and firing drills.
Throughout the movie, I noticed James Harper using a Glock (a good choice for combat operations) in a couple of scenes where he sits in his hidden trailer out in the woods and re-assembles one after cleaning it. There are also some M4s with silencers and equipment, like the helmet-mounted night vision goggles used in the first big gun battle. I did notice in several scenes that there was a good size flash coming out of the end of the M4s they were using, which isn’t very realistic since they were using suppressors on them. I’m sure this was for movie effects.
Overall, I think this movie had potential. I wouldn’t call it a failure, but I wouldn’t say I got excited about it either. It was a little slow starting, which I don’t mind if it all comes together by the end. This one, however, started to pick up but didn’t really get going, and then it just kind of ended in a hurry.
Like I said in the beginning, The Contractor isn’t a movie I will watch again, but I’m not upset about the money I paid for it on Amazon either. If you’re undecided, check out the trailer and see what you think!
In the meantime, here’s a clip from the movie.