A release reminiscent of the first feature film Mission Impossible and many other films in which a protagonist is duped by his superiors and is forced to increase the overall death rate for the rest of the story. On paper, The contractor does not stand out for its great originality. James, the kind American hero, leaves the army and takes care of his sweet family… before returning to the service to try to save them, not from an evil terrorist, but from serious debt.
The antagonist’s identity takes shape fairly quickly and the course of action is rarely interrupted by violent changes. Small, The contractor It goes from point A to point B. But throughout a petty first part in action, the most personal and sensitive bets of the characters take shape. Chris Pine’s difficult return to the fold combined with Ben Foster’s concern for his disabled son embodies the main protagonists.
Patterns that do not serve as a gimmick for a story on autopilot. the scene of J. P. Davis it also surprisingly insists on the rage of the scientist’s family and on the brief exchange between Chris Pine and one of his attackers in bad shape after a chase. Focusing on the feelings of semi-tertiary characters, collateral damage from the events of the plot, the feature film directed by Tarik Saleh goes beyond the simple actioner nag that connects the inconsequential adventures and the clichés of the script.
The fork towards a more muscular second part is then all the more attractive, The contractor arming himself with some good technical knowledge during his action sequences. The precision of the montage and the roughness of the montage are then combined, striving to find a middle ground between a palpable crudeness and a barely spectacular brutality. In his bets and his staging, The contractor it does its best to be tangible and human.
the slim red pine
Therefore, the feature tries to don’t succumb to clichés, or better yet, to play with. In his first 15 minutes, this ex-soldier – who, like all American heroes, jogs – finds his family and spends time with them. The aerial short lens of Tarik Saleh’s camera follows the protagonists to the municipal swimming pool where the father teaches his son to swim, with an American flag above his head.
This fanciful and deliberately accentuated vision of the American family later falls apart when the JP Davis script reveals violence behind the flag. A social violence at the beginning, with the abandonment of former soldiers without economic coverage, but also psychological taking into account the marks, physical or not, that the exacerbated patriotism of Chris Pine’s father has left on his son.
A body that is not saved during the film. Between his knee injury -before the story- and the sacred blows James receives: the flesh of the hero is abused, the character that does not come out of the film jumping, happy and cheerful. Chris Pine is fragile here and doesn’t hesitate to indulge in outbursts of animosity against his opponents, especially during the same chase sequence that ends in the sewers.
Violence also emerges abruptly in the story, cleverly playing with the balance of downtime to spark bloody conflict at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s the fork already present in the trailer leading to the hunt for Chris Pine or the conclusion of the breakout in the company ofeddie marsan : Hidden violence breaks out without warning in the feature filmdisplaying a quite stimulating constant restlessness.
make america great again
Thus, the figure of the classic American hero is abused in The contractorJP Davis and Tarik Saleh prefer directing a humane and wavering character, rather than a morally unblemished bulldozer. In this idea of reworking the savior in the American style, the actor Kiefer Sutherland – whose fame is very focused on his character as an anti-terrorist agent in the series 24 hour clock – plays here the great manipulator of history.
A way to play with this image of a former hero who would now be one with the system, its manipulation and its violence. years later A history of violence, blue velvet or triple borderTarik Saleh and JP Davis thus discover that the sweetness of the American dream is only an illusion, that capitalism individualizes and that Americans should not be bothered too much. An uninnovative speech as such, but honestly backed by attention to the gallery of characters that run through the film.
With his Chris Pine trapped, alone and loved, The contractor advances towards a vengeful and desperate third third, reminiscent of the films of the great American filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (the wild horde, Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia). If Tarik Saleh and JP Davis do not reach a conclusion as dark as that of one of the New Hollywood masters, they nonetheless explore with The contractor a rather rare bitter gravity for an actor of this type.
The Contractor is available on Amazon Prime Video from April 4, 2022 in France.