Contract To Kill (2016)

Contract To Kill
(2016)- * *

Directed by: Keoni Waxman

Starring: Steven Seagal, Jemma Dallender, and Russell Wong

A man named John Harmon (Seagal, in one of his countless roles where he plays a guy named John) is described as a "CIA/DEA Enforcer", whatever that means. This CIADEAE, for short, uncovers a dastardly plot by Islamic terrorists to go through Mexico, using the pre-existing drug shipping corridors, to smuggle in weapons of mass destruction to cause a terrorist attack. Harmon realizes he must now contend with both terrorists and drug lords, so he teams up with Matthew Sharp, an expert at working with drones. That's why he's working with Seagal. Wah-wah! But he also teams up with Zara Hayek (Dallender), who is described as a "seductive FBI agent", and this must be true, because she ends up wooing Harmon. Just like you would with anyone three times your age and five times your weight. So, will Harmon fulfill his CONTRACT TO KILL? Wait, there was a contract in this movie? It's not about hitmen? Well, that's not important...

As we said in our Cartels (2017) review, at this point we were living in a Breaking Bad/Narcos/Sicario world. In fact, there are characters here whose names are "Sicario #1" and "Sicario #2". So, for writer/director Keoni Waxman and Seagal, this is yet another DTV variant of the drug lord movie, and let's not forget shows like Homeland were still very popular. The problem is that Contract to Kill is dull, mediocre, and slow. It's talky, interspersed with some perfunctory Seagal quasi-beat-ups because they think the fans demand it every so often.

The dialogue, such as it is, is just insipid and you never grow to care about the characters, and by extension, what's happening in the film at all. Russell Wong's main job in the movie is to be good at drones. As if this is a specialized skill that an eleven-year-old couldn't handle. So we see him with the drone remote control in his hand, moving the levers up and down. Whoa, hold on to your hat. There are many shots of drones and/or droning in the film. In many different forms and fashions. Both cameras and guns are attached to drones, as we see quite often. Perhaps this wasn't as much of a novelty in 2016 as the filmmakers probably thought it was?

Meanwhile, Seagal continually mentions a group of people called "The D-Boys". Maybe we missed it, but they never actually explained who The D-Boys actually are. Are they good guys? Baddies? A satellite faction of I Come In Peace's The White Boys? What? As far as Seagal, he doesn't quite have what we call a "sit-down" role, but there are many scenes of him sitting. When he has to do his fight scenes, they feel a bit forced and like he doesn't want to or possibly can't do them. 

Steve is looking pretty chunky in this one, and they try to hide it with black, flowing clothing, but it's rather obvious. By itself, the weight alone isn't a major dealbreaker or anything - we know Seagal struggles with his weight - but the movie around his orbit just isn't that inspiring or noteworthy. So, it, well...collapses under its own weight. Sorry to say.

As far as these latter-day DTV Seagal outings go, Contract to Kill isn't bad or good. It's simply plain and forgettable. It's just grist for the DTV mill, and if you watch it, there's a strong chance you won't remember anything about it just a few days later.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

Also check out write-ups from our buddies, DTVC and The Video Vacuum! 


Port Film Co-op said...

Please just forget about these bad-era Seagal flicks! Lots of interesting DTV stuff left as an alternative.

Ty said...

Agreed, there's lots of odd and cool action stuff on tubi. Seagal is the man you love to hate! (Or hate to love not sure which)