Contract to Kill          review by Bobby Blakey

Anyone that knows me knows I love martial arts films. Like most I grew up on them and will watch anyone that comes out and to this day I still love and hold out hope for a great Steven Seagal film so I watch them all. His latest, Contract to Kill teams him up with Russell Wong, but does it step up his game or will it miss the mark all together?

Contract to Kill follows Harmon, a CIA/DEA enforcer investigating Arab terrorists captured in Mexico. With his team--seductive FBI agent Zara and spy-drone pilot Sharp--he flies to Istanbul and uncovers a brutal plot: Islamic extremists plan to use Sonora drug-smuggling routes to bring deadly weapons, and leaders, into the U.S. To prevent an attack on America, Harmon must turn these two savage forces against one another before his time--and his luck--run out. While this film still doesn’t live up to my hopes for his return to his Out For Justice and Marked For Death days but it is better than some of his more recent flicks. This time around the addition of Wong helps things a bit as he gets to carry some of the load with a couple of decent fights, but sadly he is regulated mostly to running a drone. Nothing is worse in a film like this than taking one of the people that can do the action and putting them out of the action for the majority of the time. On the Seagal side he brings the exact same performance he does to every role with the hard to understand mumbling at times. It’s hard to complain about this because he never waivers from his style so going into one of his films you know what you are going to get.

Anyone that watches a Seagal movie is only watching it for the action and this film offers up plenty of it. Despite his films not living up to his past filmography I am baffled to why his long-time collaborator director Keoni Waxman continues to shoot the fights so bad. Seagal still clearly has his skill still and instead of trying to make the films more dynamic and fast just let him do what he does and it will stand on its own. Once again in this film they use a lot of cutaway shots and crazy camera work making it hard to really enjoy him showcasing his Aikido skills. Sure he is older, but someone with his skill and background can no doubt still carry a fight scene and I want to see it. Let him adjust it to his strengths now and in turn you will get a much better visual treat of the man in action as opposed to it looking like it was adjusted to his lack of ability which I refuse to believe is the case.

I didn’t hate this movie despite its flaws as it was exactly what I expected. It has a decent story that is all over the place at times, but if you are a hardcore Seagal fan like myself then you will no doubt still have a decent time checking it out. Check out Contract to Kill available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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