27 April 2007 | claudio_carvalho
An Obstacle to the Progress
The widower teacher and baseball and basketball coach Ray Keene (John Cusack) lost his wife that died of cancer two years ago. When his teenage son Chris Keene (Jamie Anderson) is caught by the police smoking pot, Ray invites him to hike and camp in the woods to increase their bonds. Meanwhile, the mercenary assassin Frank Cordell (Morgan Freeman) is arrested by FBI after a car accident in the middle of a contract to kill an important target. While Frank is traveling on the road escorted by three FBI agents, his men try to rescue him, but his car falls into a river and is carried by the drift. Ray helps the wounded agent and the cuffed Frank to leave the river, and feels responsible to deliver Frank to justice. The former policeman and stubborn Ray does not listen to Frank's proposal to leave him alone and travel through the woods with Chris, trying to find a safe place. But the men of the Frank and an undercover agent in the team are chasing the group with different lethal intentions.
"The Contract" is a shallow and flawed thriller that has the intention of being dramatic and serious, but actually is laughable. The silly plot is full of coincidences and stupid actions taken by most of the characters. For example, in the beginning, the FBI agent leaves the car to help the truck driver on the road; the attitude of the crew of the helicopter is simply ridiculous when they land, specially the pilot; the way a suburban coach defeats trained mercenaries is shameful; and the coincidences when the bad guys shoot and miss the target are awful; the hiker Sandra loses her boyfriend and never grieves; and the corny romance of Sandra and Ray, and the incredible sentimental attitude of Frank Cordell in the end make this film a great deception. The motives why the reclusive billionaire apparently could not criticize the stem cell research program in a democratic and free country are never clarified, only tagged as "an obstacle to the progress". Is this a reason to kill and important man? My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "O Contrato" ("The Contract")