Director: Tarik Saleh
Cast: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs
Release Date: June 7, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Chris Pine stars in the action-packed thriller as Special Forces Sergeant James Harper, who is involuntarily discharged from the Army and cut-off from his pension. In debt, out of options and desperate to provide for his family, Harper contracts with a private underground military force. When the very first assignment goes awry, the elite soldier finds himself hunted and on the run, caught in a dangerous conspiracy and fighting to stay alive long enough to get home and uncover the true motives of those who betrayed him. Also starring Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs and Eddie Marsan.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘The Contractor’ follows Special Forces Sergeant James Harper (Pine) who after being involuntarily discharged due to being caught taking pain medications finds himself struggling to establish a new path for his life. Against the wishes of his wife (Jacobs) but desperate to provide for his family however possible, James takes a job with a private contractor vouched for by his old friend and fellow ex-serviceman Mike (Foster) in order to utilize his skills and make some much needed cash. But when his first assignment goes terribly wrong he soon finds himself hunted and without anyone that he can trust. Determined to get revenge on those who betrayed him, James sets out on a new mission; vengeance.
Directed by Tarik Saleh (Tommy, TV’s Westworld) from a screenplay written by J.P. Davis (The Neighbor 2007) Saleh does a solid job at the helm of ‘The Contractor’ guiding the tale along with plenty of tension and excitement. The film also benefits from a notable cast that includes Chris Pine (Hell or High Water), Ben Foster (The Survivor), Gillian Jacobs (Come Play), Eddie Marsan (Wrath of Man), JD Pardo (TV’s Mayans M.C.), Florian Munteanu (Creed II) and Kiefer Sutherland (TV’s The First Lady), with the majority each offering altogether capable performances for the most part in their respective roles and helping to make this one work as smoothly as it does.
‘The Contractor’ is a tense, relatively well-crafted and consistently engaging thriller that offers up plenty of thrilling action balanced with enough emotion to keep you really rooting for our lead and the dangerous situation he finds himself thrust into. Even with a fairly solid yet somewhat basic story at its core, the talented cast does a great job of helping to keep it moving along smoothly. Chris Pine does a nice job in the role of James Harper, an ex-soldier struggling with trying to find a new life and then quickly falling back into his old talents when things go horribly wrong and he is forced to outsmart the various individuals now hunting him. The always stellar Ben Foster delivers an equally notable performance as Harper’s friend and fellow soldier who has his own personal struggles to maintain, namely caring for his son and his special needs. The rest of the cast does quite well in their own right and each help to bring together this entertaining tale into a relatable action drama that often has as much heart as it does explosive action. I would certainly encourage trying to give ‘The Contractor’ a shot whenever convenient if you enjoy an entertaining Black Ops thriller with plenty of action packed moments and it share of twists and turns along the way.
Overall, ‘The Contractor’ is a solid dramatic thriller that offers a decent, albeit somewhat generic story of an ex-soldier struggling to make ends meet who takes a job that quickly becomes more than he bargained for, but the capable direction and a talented cast help it to evolve into something quite decent that shouldn’t have any trouble holding your attention and keep you caring about the characters within. ‘The Contractor’ is recommended, especially for anyone that’s a fan of Chris Pine, Ben Foster or any of the other key cast and those of you who enjoy a solid action thriller with some characters you can care about might just want to try and give this one a whirl at some point too. It’s a fairly well done thriller with some heart that’s worth taking the time to check out and should also be worth the price of a rental.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘The Contractor’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with HDR-10, presented in its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a clean, sharp and well detailed presentation from start to finish that holds up nicely even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences throughout, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected or rendered problematic. Even while absent of Dolby Vision HDR which can be found on most recent Paramount 4K UHD releases, the HDR-10 addition still helps this one look pretty great and provide rich, bright colors and satisfyingly deep blacks. Overall, this is a solid Ultra High Definition video presentation that does its job well and should satisfy fans as well as first time viewers.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a clean, well balanced and at times quite hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It consistently takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send some music, along with gunshots, action, vehicle and nature effects, plus crowd chatter and plenty more whipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a fully capable 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that holds up nicely throughout and contributes some extra tension and excitement to the viewing experience.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘The Contractor’ does not include any bonus content.
*Please note: The above images were provided by Paramount and are not reflective of the actual 4K Ultra HD release or its quality. A standard Blu-ray copy of the film was not included in the release that could be used for screenshots therefore the above publicity stills were utilized. They are all the property of Paramount, STX Films and any other respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘The Contractor’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from STX Films & Paramount Home Entertainment
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