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The Contract - Review

The Contract

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE last time Morgan Freeman united with director Bruce Beresford they delivered the Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy.

The Contract, however, marks a significant misfire for them both – not to mention co-star John Cusack.

On the surface, the plot offers an intriguing opportunity for two excellent actors to have plenty of fun. Cusack stars as Ray Keane who finds himself caught up in a nightmare scenario while on a hiking trip to reconnect with his son.

Their adventure brings them into contact with the mysterious Frank Cordell (Freeman), a hired assassin who has just recently attempted to escape police custody. Rather than minding their own business, however, Ray takes Frank captive and attempts to lead him back to the police, while the assassin’s henchmen follow in pursuit.

Hence, father and son are forced to trek miles across dangerous terrain in order to bring Frank to justice and save themselves in the process.

The Contract clearly takes its cues from thrillers such as Deadly Pursuit and Cliffhanger but it struggles to maintain a consistent rhythmn and squanders the opportunities presented by its two leading men.

The support cast, especially, are a wooden bunch of actors who bring nothing to the experience whatsoever, save to annoy viewers.

While the action sequences pale by comparison to the very best that the genre has to offer. Characters are also prone to making stupid decisions – which is fine for a TV movie, but a complete waste of Cusack and Freeman’s presence.

That said, the two leads do keep it watchable and Beresford affords them several nice moments together as their cat-and-mouse game intensifies.

It’s just a shame that the biggest question surrounding the endeavour is not so much who will survive, but rather why did they sign on in the first place?

Certificate: 15
Running time: 97mins