December 7, 2023


Moving Forward

‘Freelance’ Review: An Action-Comedy Misfire

Pierre Morel’s Freelance follows disgraced American journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie) and her ex-armed forces bodyguard, Mason Pettits (John Cena), as he escorts her to the fictional South American place of Paldonia for an exceptional job interview with its dictator, Juan Venegas (Juan Pablo Raba). Even though the film starts out by presenting Paldonia and its chief as unrepentantly evil—among other points, we’re advised that Venegas is responsible for the deaths of half of Pettits’s previous squad yrs earlier—it inevitably reveals that numerous imperialist forces and corporate-funded mercenary teams have been actively undermining Venegas as a indicates of forcing him to offer precious organic means for a cheaper rate.

That’s a stunning switch of activities, specially for an motion-comedy, specified Hollywood’s normally simplistic representations of beneath-designed international locations whose circumstances are offered as justification for American intervention. Regrettably, which is the only surprise to be discovered in Jacob Lentz’s screenplay, whose stabs at humor are so badly conceived that they seldom qualify as these kinds of, and even when they do, they’re additional very likely to elicit groans, such as a recurring and painfully ironic crack about Pettits being…petite. What’s worse, however, is the haphazard way with which the filmmakers frequently juxtapose these lighter moments with additional dire scenarios, with the former regularly undercutting the latter’s intended gravitas.

The film’s romance plot, such as it is, is no considerably less egregious, and in no little portion because of to the void of chemistry involving the three leads. The number of situations that Venegas hits on Claire are intended to show him as equally charming and non-threatening when he’s actually just objectifying her. In the meantime, the unavoidable flirtations among Claire and Pettits not only arrive out of nowhere, but are swiftly cut shorter when Pettits realizes that he’s even now in appreciate with his estranged spouse (Alice Eve).

This sort of awkward, in the end pointless scenes are par for the training course in Freelance, a movie that does not feel to know what it wants to be. By its conclusion, what we’re remaining with is a cinematic Frankenstein, whose disparate genre components have been cobbled collectively with no significantly consideration or fuss. As these types of, the movie in the long run feels as aimless as it does airless—too blasé for its a lot more major messaging to land and not virtually humorous more than enough to make you forget it.


 Forged: Alison Brie, John Cena, Alice Eve, Christian Slater, Marton Csokas, Juan Pablo Raba, Julianne Arrieta, Molly McCann  Director: Pierre Morel  Screenwriter: Jacob Lentz  Distributor: Relativity Media  Jogging Time: 109 min  Score: R  Yr: 2023