03rd Feb2021

‘Contracts’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Margaryta Soldatova, Kyle Stewart, Christena Gaunce, Dan Sanderson, Jermaine Carty, Alex Chung, Neil Bishop, Michael Carter, Jonathan Pang, Rufio Luey, Graham Jezioranski, Paul Krysinski, Giulio Calisse, Reuben John Tumanguil, Tim Biemann | Written and Directed by Alex Chung

Action films have obviously been around forever but there’s a certain type of action film that has clearly influenced Contracts and its creators. Before John Wick in 2014, action films lacked originality and the explosiveness that that franchise has provided and has now influenced a whole host of filmmakers since. It’s fair to see that their are plenty of action flicks that just wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for John Wick’s success but to do something similar, on a very small budget, is a very hard thing to do. But that is exactly what Contracts tries to do.

On the face of things, Contracts doesn’t seem like it is anywhere near as entertaining as its big budget counterparts. In truth, much of the movie is somewhere around the average mark. The acting, the story, the script, much of the cinematography and it also has quite a bit of that awful-looking CGI blood (has that ever looked good?). But in amongst all of this is fight scene, after fight scene, after fight scene. And thankfully, because there is so many of them, they are by far the best things in the movie and they are ALL highly entertaining. You’d think that with so many of these scenes that they’d get a bit boring or feel very samey but it just doesn’t happen that way. They come across very much varied despite many of them being hand to hand combat. We do also get an array of weapons though, from guns to knifes to metal bars. All used in the most brutal ways possible. The brutality is actually pretty shocking at times and even that CGI blood (there is some practical effect blood too) can’t take anything away from it. This is some harsh and hard-hitting action. The fight choreography is excellent and you’ll feel every stab, every punch and every kick almost as much as the victim on the end of them.

It came as no surprise to me when I discovered that the director has worked as a stunt performer in some high profile movies and shows including The Boys, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and Arrow. Alex Chung also wrote and stars as the lead in Contracts. Considering he takes on all these roles it’s highly impressive how the film comes out. He puts all his fighting and stunt experience into his first full feature as director and has made sure all the actors I almost as he is at on screen fighting. And there are no better scenes than the final fight.

Set on a beach, which is a great setting when much of the movie before has been set inside buildings, it’s a 2-on-1 fight to take down that final villain. Almost video game style. It goes on quite a long time, there’s lots of blood, unique fighting and brutal injuries again and again with a satisfying conclusion.

There’s always going to be people that need great acting and Oscar-worthy scripts but there’s also people who just need good action for seventy five minutes and that’s what you get with Contracts. Anyone who enjoys action movies will enjoy the originality and almost non-stop action that Contracts provides.

*** 3/5

Contracts is available digitally, in the US, now.


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