The Contractor Finally Puts Chris Pine Front and Center



DIRECTOR: Tarik Saleh

WRITER: J.P. Davis

CAST: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, JD Pardo, Florian Munteanu and Kiefer Sutherland

RUN TIME: 103 minutes

RATING: R for violence and language

GENRE: Action, Thriller

DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Pictures

The Contractor, a fascinating new film out this week, is a slow burn of a movie that finally puts the spotlight on Chris Pine. Pine, at least point best known as Kelvin-universe Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movies, is easily one of the most underutilized actors of our time and in little gems like this movie he’s finally allowed to show it.

Now granted The Contractor will never be up for an Oscar, though it certainly has elements that deserve it, Pine manages to give his character far more depth and life than it would have in another person’s hands.

The film revolves around James Harper (Pine) who has been involuntarily discharged from the U.S. Special Forces. Broke and unable to provide for his family he reaches out to an old friend (Ben Foster) and finds himself on assignment overseas as a mercenary for Rusty (Kiefer Sutherland).

What should have been a routine job in Berlin goes South and Harper finds himself without a team unsure who to trust. It has all the essential elements of The Bourne Identity with a few new twists and turns.

Pine plays Harper as aging and fragile. He is human at his core and by no means a super action hero. Honestly, that’s the best part of the film and it’s a shame there wasn’t more of it. It’s fun to see Pine thinking on his feet trying his best to simply survive and get home even though he’s told again and again that that’s impossible now.

Though the film starts out quite slow, Pine comes out of his shell when he’s on-screen with Foster. That’s not really a surprise considering this is the third film they’ve acted in together. That bond is already in place and it doesn’t take a lot to bring out the chemistry between them. Less so with Sutherland which is a bit of a surprise. Still, Pine makes the film what it is and worth watching.

The Contractor puts Pine through the wringer and it’s a better film because of it. Pine is willing to put himself on the line to give the film more realism and it shows. Let’s hope this isn’t the last time Pine is given the spotlight, we need more of him in Hollywood.