The Contractor 

Serviceable Bourne wannabe

An unfairly discharged Special Forces sergeant (Chris Pine) needing to provide for his family accepts the advice of brother-in-arms Ben Foster and joins up with a private military ourfit led by Kiefer Sutherland. His very first mission badly misfires, betrayal ensues, and he realizes he may have made a fatal career decision as he fights to stay alive long enough to get back and uncover the real villain. Been there, done that, you say, and it’s true that this moth-eaten plot is the film’s biggest problem.

But on the plus side we have, at least in the setup, a pretty good case for the mistreatment of combat soldiers abandoned by the very politicians that sent them to war. It’s too bad this is pretty much forgotten once the shooting starts. The other big plus is Pine‘s gritty performance. He puts in some real acting, possibly a career best. The firefights ring true, but it’s more a suspense flick than an actioner, and the quieter moments carry the movie.

Bottom line, an above-average and intriguing if surprise-free professional warrior flick that will do until the next Jason Bourne movie comes along. (103 min)