Excellent Movie, Despite Its Flaws (by stevendecastro)
Whether it is the masterful editing or the all-around great acting, this movie is vastly underestimated. Since I have seen it several times, I am well aware that the director Josef Rusnak has left some critical loose ends, but the movie was saved by the cinematography of Wedigo Von Shultendorf and editor James Herbert, both of whom have better credits the Rusnak. There are many loose ends in the plot which lead the viewer nowhere. For example, the superintendent,inspecting a crime scene, draws our gaze by closely examining a shard of glass, but that evidence is completely irrelevant. Later, <more>
the protagonist is warned that he is walking into an ambush, walks into it anyway, for no reason.But the greatness of the movie lies, first, in the flash-forward editing style that was pioneered by Tony Scott in Man on Fire, and second, on the wonderful performances of Wesley Snipes, Eliza Bennet, and Lena Headey. This movie is a jewel in the rough.
A surprisingly human movie. Better than most of the genre (by siderite)
Having just seen Hit-man, another film of the type "good hit-man fights bad hit men", but incredibly stupid, The Contractor seemed to me of incredibly unexpected good nature. The main character is human, fallible, vulnerable. He does his job as well as possible given the circumstances, he tries to save his skin as well as possible and when a stern "Moscow rules: if the mission fails you're already dead" assignment comes his way he feels no confusion when deciding he should stay very much alive, no matter the mission.Of course, in all this gem of a script idea there is <more>
also bad screen play, occasional bad acting and things that make no sense. It's like a good machine without oil, everything is well made but not really working. The action scenes are shaky and amateurish for a Snipes movie, but then again, the point was not the action or the technical prowess of the hit men, but the fact that they are human beings.At first I thought it was going to be another Nikita/Leon ripoff, but the girl story arch was sensible and reasonably original. The ending was a little bit forced, too.Bottom line: in the abysmal hell of bad written hit-man action movies, this obscure film is a real gem in the mud and a reminder that the budget is not really important, nor the genre of the film, but the very real effort of actually trying to make a movie, not just money.
A somewhat different type of hit man movie.... (by Lunaroseice)
This movie was not what I expected from Wesley Snipes. I started to get disappointed. But the more I watched, the more I realize that it was mis-marketed.It is not an action movie so much as a movie that has some action in it. The dialogue is sparse which means the actors really have to work that much harder. Directing wasn't that bad but the shoot-out with strobe lights was a poor idea. The longer I watched, the more I wondered if this is actually a British film rather than an American. The tone was much different.This movie deserves a better rating than people have given it. Try <more>
watching it without thinking of it as an action movie and you may like it more. It is really an excellent film.