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The Contract (2006)

5.7
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Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Major Frank Carden
...
...
Chris Keene
...
Agent Gwen Miles
...
Sandra
...
Davis
...
Turner
...
Police Chief Ed Wainwright
Anthony Warren ...
Royko
Thomas Lockyer ...
Johnson
...
Evans
Gary Whelan ...
Agent Stanfield
...
Michaels
Atanas Srebrev ...
Rodrigues
Maynard Eziashi ...
Agent Chuck Robbins
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Storyline

Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the while, he must protect his son and evade the assassin's team who are methodically hunting them down in the wilderness. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing standing between an assassin and his target is a father who must protect his son. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 2007 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El contrato  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Beresford writes extensively about this film in his recent memoir, "Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants To Do This". The production was apparently deeply troubled and Beresford was well aware that the script didn't make sense. The producers closed the shoot down after fifty days and Beresford was forced to use his own money to complete the film. See more »

Goofs

Everyone's (especially the bad guys) clothes stay clean and neat even after spending the night in the wet forest without shelter, helicopter crash, etc. Frank's suit seems to stay pressed no matter what. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Don't confuse me with a nice guy.
See more »

Connections

References Gunga Din (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

You Thought
Written by Frank Sorci and Jessica Tomich
Performed by Red Letter
Published by Sorci Music Publishing (BMI) / Three Degrees Music (BMI)
Courtesy of North Star Media
See more »

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User Reviews

A terribly pointless affair
4 June 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ray Keene is a former policeman who is struggling to build his relationship with his young son. His plan to bond over a camping trip in the woods goes sour though when they come across a hit-man (Cordell) in the middle of escaping Government custody. Keene holds Cordell at gunpoint but without a mobile phone signal they begin to trek towards civilisation. However with Cordell's men hot on their heels, Ray becomes increasingly desperate as he tries to get to the protection of the authorities.

I saw this film on an overnight bus crossing Argentina. I mention this not as name dropping but to admit that the sound was very low as must passengers were sleeping and relying on headphones or the Spanish subtitles. Without headphones or a working Spanish, I prepared to strain my ears and also use the subtitles the best I could. I needn't have worried because I could have followed this if the sound was on mute and the DVD was playing all the scenes on random shuffle. The plot is simple perhaps but it did offer a sort of moral ambiguity that was interesting to me at first. With two strong actors in the leads I expected the verbal fireworks to be more interesting than the action. In a way I was correct but this is not to say that the script was good – just that the action was poor. The moral complexity of good and bad is skirted on but is ultimately dumped in a ending that is nothing more than insultingly lazy writing.

Fortunately anyone getting to the end will not be surprised by this as it is pretty much what the previous hour or so had been like. The narrative is totally unconvincing and offers little to make up for it. The tension that could have covered the plot holes is absent and the action is mostly just dumb. Writers Katz and Darrouzet deserve much of the credit for this because really nobody is given much to work with. Director Beresford does the basics with little conviction but I did feel sorry for the cast. Freeman and Cusack both deserved much better than this nonsense. Freeman I assume was attracted by the chance to play a baddie and it is a shame then the script doesn't really let him do this with any effort. Cusack does what is asked of him but nothing more. The support cast are average at best in keeping with their cardboard characters.

Overall then a roundly poor film that offers nothing of interest and wastes the talents of the two actors in the lead. If I hadn't been a captive audience I would have struggled to make it past the 30 minute mark.


57 of 90 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Freeman was good, what was everyones favorite plot hole? eabg_22
Excellent Movie fredgarrett@yahoo.com
Why Did this Go Straight to DVD? TofuVic
Calm down...not so bad. jazzyjeffg1
96 minutes of my life I'll never get back... Unwavering-1
Only 1 good line in the whole film dutchiris
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