The Contract (Beresford, 2006)

I’m not quite sure what happened to Bruce Berseford. He’s made at least two masterpieces (Breaker Morant and Tender Mercies) and a host of other very good works, including Driving Miss Daisy. However, recently he’s slummed it big time with mainstream, poorly made cookie cutter thrillers like Double Jeopardy and this film, the Morgan Freeman and John Cusack starer The Contract. And even worse it seems like he can still draw talent and a moderately sized budget, but chooses poorly written scripts which end up undermining the entire effort. Dull, flaccid and inane, The Contract deals in cliche left and right, attempting to be a brave political thriller while dipping it’s toe into family drama, fate, and honor among men. All this mishmash makes for a hapless experience so it’s no wonder this film went straight to video. It takes real talent to muck up a film with Cusack and Freeman as your leads, but Berseford and company do just that. Avoid, even if your hoping for a faint glimmer of Beresford’s earlier talent, because you won’t find it.

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