Feb 202017
 

Contract to Kill is just the latest example of the downhill spiral in Seagal’s career with lazy stunts and even lazier acting. Beyond that, the screenplay was terrible and dialogue somehow even worse. I suppose if you’re into these so bad it’s bad films, it might be worth a rental if only to witness a train wreck.

 

 

Contract to Kill
(2017)

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 90 min. – $19.99 | February 28, 2017

Date Published: 02/20/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Keoni Waxman
Writer(s): Keoni Waxman (written by)
Cast: Steven Seagal, Russell Wong, Jemma Dallender, Mircea Drambareanu, Sergiu Costache, Andrei Stanciu
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurette, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.5 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 1.0/5


Well, another year and another crappy direct-to-video from Mr. Steven “The Whispering Beluga” Seagal and Grindstone Entertainment Group. Contract to Kill perhaps is, somehow, someway, the worst I’ve come across by Seagal and that’s saying something. It is the same old washed-out, former action star performance I’ve come to expect putting in the least amount of effort and once again, relying on stuntmen to do the heavy lifting and when you do see his face, it’s framed in attempts to hide his bad fighting skills.

So, this story, and stop me when it becomes familiar, focuses on John Harmon (STEVEN SEAGAL), a former CIA/DEA enforcer called back into the fold when a pair of terrorists are captured at the US/Mexican border. There’s apparently an imminent terrorist attack on the United States and via Intel, which Harmon may or may not find reliable, takes him and his team — FBI Agent Zara Hayek (JEMMA DALLENDER) and drone-pilot Matthew Sharp (RUSSELL WONG) — travel to Instanbul where a Mexican cartel leader (MIRCEA DRAMBAREANU) is set to have a pivotal meeting with an Islamic terrorist leader Avan Al-Mujahid (SERGIU COSTACHE) making a deal to smuggle bombs into the U.S. using tunnels.

Harmon’s mission involves having the two sides become paranoid at one another thus disrupting their plans but stateside, they have other plans which involves a bomb maker whose their real target and, I guess, had involvement of the airplane crash in Crimea a few years back, as demonstrated no less than three times with bad CGI. Meanwhile, there’s apparently a personal relationship between Harmon and Zara but like Seagal’s fighting style, the moves in bed are even, somehow, lazier; me wonder if this was a new low in the actress’s career following the awful I Spit on Your Grave 2.

Not much here to say about this, well, film. Contract to Kill was somehow worse than previous efforts if only because combined with Seagal’s usual whispering, you now have several scenes filled with exposition after exposition that I actually became both bored and exhausted, leaning forward in an attempt to even understand what the hell he was saying. In hindsight, I should’ve turned on the subtitles!

No surprise, but the acting isn’t good, which is to be expected from Seagal at this point and his co-stars aren’t much better but working with a screenplay as poorly written as it was, I can’t place too much blame on either Russell Wong (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) or Jemma Dallender (AST – A Sexual Thriller), though for Wong, he might’ve been the strongest asset… for as much as that’s worth and Dallender at least was cute, so… that’s something I suppose.

Contract to Kill was written and directed by Keoni Waxman, Seagal’s to-go guy marking their ninth pairing (not including the True Justice television series), the last being End of a Gun, which isn’t much different from the other offerings. The movie, as with some others, was filmed in Romania and features shoddy stunt work, a lame plot, bad dialogue and generally poor performances.

The only positive I can say it, there was one hilarious moment where Sharp guides a drone equipped with a semi-auto gun, targeting and then blowing up Zara’s car, an action she apparently didn’t get angry about nor caused tension later, hell Sharp never explains why he even did that.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5


This release comes with a glossy and embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

The Making of Contract to Kill (14:46; HD) is a featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with members of the cast and crew discussing the story and characters.

Trailer (2:04; HD)

PreviewsEnd of a Gun, Decommissioned, Code of Honor, MaraudersAbsolution

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Contract to Kill signs with Lionsgate and is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. This basically looks like any other direct-to-video flick, especially ones starring Seagal and filmed in Romania, where colors are generally natural looking and detail fairly sharp throughout. I didn’t notice much in the way of artifacts, aliasing or banding and it does have that clean digitally shot look.

AUDIO – 3.5/5


The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is basic but fine with, outside of Seagal’s mumbles, does offer clean dialogue levels though when the action picks up, the lack of depth becomes evident. The bulk of the audio is focused on the center and front channels with minor usage of the rears which was commonly relegated for Michael Richard Plowman’s (Absolution) generic action score.

 


OVERALL – 1.0/5


Overall, Contract to Kill is just the latest example of the downhill spiral in Seagal’s career with lazy stunts and even lazier acting. Beyond that, the screenplay was terrible and dialogue somehow even worse. I suppose if you’re into these so bad it’s bad films, it might be worth a rental if only to witness a train wreck. This Blu-ray is weak though the video and audio were okay and at least there were features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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