Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Contract

Morgan Freeman's an ex-military assassin, and John Cusack's a soccer dad who stumbles into his path. Cusack's Ray Keene, who happens to be camping in the wilderness with his tweener son when his life intersects with Freeman's Frank Cardin, finds himself in an impossible situation of trying to stay alive while delivery Cardin to the authorities.

Look, there's more than a couple reasons The Contract went straight to video despite a top shelf cast. It's an average story with average acting that delivers less than an average ending.

There is one moment of the film, however, that really struck my interest. Early in the movie, when Ray Keene and Frank Cardin first meet, Keene has to made a decision: does he (a) willingly allow Cardin to escape, knowing the killer will eventually kill again but that he and his son will be unharmed, or (b) take custody of Cardin, understanding that doing so puts his life and the life of his son in serious peril?

It's a moral dilemma I'm not sure how to answer for myself.

Lots of folks talk about living lives dedicated to doing the right thing. That concept isn't always as clear to me as it seems to be for others. It's obviously the right thing to perform an act that effects dozens of people positively, which taking custody of Cardin would accomplish. But, protecting one's son from danger or death is also the right thing.

And truth be told, if it came down to my kid dying or someone else taking the fall...

Well, it might not be everyone's the right thing, but I'm gonna make sure my kid's safe.

Although, I guess that makes for a short movie, eh?