Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
In Contract to Kill, Seagal plays John Harmon, he plays a dangerous man who is on deadly ground and out for justice.
Okay, seriously, I’ll stop now…
Harmon is a CIA guy who is also a DEA guy (is that a thing?) who investigates the cartel the way that they did in Sicario, and finds himself tracking how the cartel is working with ISIS to smuggle weapons into the U.S. Of course, he can’t do it on his own, so he recruits his former girlfriend/wingman Zara Hayek (Jemma Dallender) and a drone-happy technician, Matthew Sharp (Russell Wong), to figure out how to connect Istanbul to Mexico. It’s just that Harmon’s tactics might not exactly be above board, so he has to “do his thing.”
The thesis statement occurs early when Hayek says, “We all know that devout believers, real believers, have nothing to do with the rise in violence around the world, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything to try and stop it.” I’m not sure that actually takes away from the overall xenophobia, but the line was included absolutely on purpose.
Still, the bulk of the film seems to point us toward a world where everyone who isn’t our friend is our enemy. It would almost appear that everyone who doesn’t look like us is an enemy. And that’s dangerous enough, in a film that’s well put together.
Unfortunately, the film never takes off, and somehow, someone still made the executive decision to let the film hit theaters today. Instead of the more recent string of films that have been direct-to-DVD, this film appears to be marked for death as it were. Maybe it never works because Seagal seems to be grunting his way through lines he’s said before, or because the hand-to-hand combat we expect from Seagal doesn’t feature prominently, or because there’s just no real way to make a movie that plays with drone strikes all that engaging.
Unless you’re the biggest Seagal fan ever, I’d leave this one out of reach.