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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > The Contractor (2007/Wesley Snipes)

The Contractor (2007/Wesley Snipes)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C+



I give Wesley Snipes much credit for hanging in there as lesser action oafs and supposedly potential stars have come and gone while he (and we) got shafted on the Blade franchise that has since imploded with his absence.  Unlike most of his contemporaries in the Action business, he can actually fight, act and was one of the first high-paid stars in the genre when his overseas box-office was up there with his biggest rivals.  Originally shot under the title Shooter, now the title for a lesser Mark Walberg effort, Josef Rusnak’s The Contractor (2007) is about a hitman someone hires in the government only to try and frame him for a larger crime.


Though this is somewhat formulaic, the makers really try to make this lively and succeed enough, including casting Lena Hedley (300) as the female lead and Charles Dance (Alien 3, For Your Eyes Only) as a high British official.  After the set-up, the action begins and all in all is at least not intelligence-insulting and Snipes still has the moves his many younger would-be successors can only dream of.  It is like comparing Fred Astaire to an MTV hack who only thinks he can dance, but Snipes has actually sharpened his moves, which is why the film has the energy and drive to overcome some of its shortcomings.  If you like Snipes or a decent actioner, you will want to give The Contractor a look.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is can be color limited and soft too often, but Director of Photography Wedigo von Schultzendorff (Igby Goes Down) again does a nice job of shooting the material nevertheless.  Helping is the limit on shaky camera work.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, on the consistent side and Nicholas Pike’s ambitious score helps.  The only extra is a making of piece.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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