The Contract is directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Stephen Katz and John Darrouzet. It stars Morgan Freeman, John Cusack, Jamie Anderson and Alice Krige. Music is by Normand Corbeil and cinematography by Dante Spinotti.
Widower Ray Keene (Cusack) takes his troubled son on a camping trip and ends up trying to bring a well known assassin, Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), to justice. Not easy since Carden's team are tracking them through the wilderness.
A plodding no thrills wilderness hunt type drama without a sense of purpose or suspense. Pic takes a familiar route with characters tainted by family strife or harbouring good hearts beneath bad exteriors, while the script tosses in mundane exchanges at frequent intervals. Cusack and Freeman are on auto-pilot, though the latter seems to be enjoying himself in a bad boy role, and nobody ever convinces us that this is anything but TV movie standard story telling. Spinotti's photography around a mountainous Bulgaria (standing in for Washington State) is the highlight, and what action there is is handled in decent fashion by the director. Yet as various interesting threads are dangled to end up not being pulled, and the formula of genre is adhered to wholesale, you understand why it went direct to video and why all involved have pushed it out of their minds completely. 4/10