Verdict: .5 / 5
I hate this movie. This is the type of straight-to-DVD trash that incinerators and DVD-shredders are made for. What’s that? There are no such things as DVD-shredders? That’s it, I’m submitting a letter to the Obama administration immediately requesting them for this, and any other Curtis “50 Cent“ Jackson movie I have the unfortunate experience of witnessing.
Curtis Jackson is not an actor. I wouldn’t even cast him in a poorly made foreign soap opera based on the lack of talent he is showing here. Heck, I probably wouldn’t cast him as a prop in any movie. He shows no emotion what-so-ever, and I cannot for the life of me tell you what his character is thinking or going through at any point in this movie. He smiles a lot, that’s all I can tell. He has no charisma, no charm, nothing at all that makes me want to watch him on-screen. Unfortunately, he is just one of the many things wrong with this movie.
Where to start? Let me just say that I can hardly find a positive thing to say about this movie. I can normally point out one of two things in a film that were done fairly well, even in movies I hate. An example of this might go something like “at least I had a clear idea of the geography of the space in which the battle took place in”. How ridiculous is that statement, and yet I don’t know what I can say about this film, and the worst part of it is, I can’t even have a very good time mocking it! The film is so dull and bland that I can’t laugh at it’s badness. I literally counted down the minutes until it was over and every time I looked away from the screen in boredom, which was a lot, I caught my reflection in the mirror and saw grey hairs and wrinkles growing right before my very eyes. Not really.
The script is a mess. Firstly, narrative wise, the story just doesn’t flow or know what it’s about. Thirty minutes into Freelancers I still had no idea where it was going or what it was actually meant to be about. Was it meant to be ‘Training Day’ with three sets of partners? Who knows. The entire movie is full of disjointed scenes that don’t flow, capped off with some terrible pacing. The writers and director are simply incapable of telling a story, it’s as simple as that. These people are incompetent.
The second complaint I have when it comes to the script is that the characters are pathetic, indistinguishable in many cases, and most important of all, have no morality or sense of inner conflict. If the essence of a good story is drama, and if drama is essentially made up of conflict, then what we have here is something that resembles the most illogical, inhuman, impossible story I’ve ever seen. I could not tell you what any one character might or might not do at any given point in this movie. The characters are almost psychopathic in the way they operate. They don’t seem to struggle with any moral decisions:- one minute they are talking about how they need to uphold the law and then in the very next scene they have been converted to the dark side and are criminals without even blinking an eye.
For those people who complained that Anakin Skywalker’s transformation to the dark side was quick, you need to shut your mouth right now because this film is setting new standards of how to turn people bad in a microsecond. I mean it literally took NOTHING for the characters to turn ‘evil’. On top of that, the script continues to give us unmotivated character moves, such as girlfriends getting angry for no real reason, characters deciding to turn back to the side of the angels for no apparent reason, and my personal favourite:- *Spoiler Alert* The moment where the main character shoots one of his best friends quite easily in order to save his girlfriend, who a few scenes ago hated his guts, and in a scene’s time, is going to pick up where life left off as if our main character hasn’t just kill his best friend.
If Spock were to watch this movie, he would literally implode, much like his planet did.
The character motivations obviously in turn affect the performances, all of which are pretty weak. Leading the pack by a country mile is Curtis Jackson as I mentioned before, but Forrest Whitaker also does a decent job of stinking up the screen. De Niro is also on bad form here, mainly due to the illogical progression of his character once again, but he’s the only one that seems to vaguely be believable as a human being who actually thinks like one. Vinnie Jones is also very average – I’ve never liked him much.
Finally let me end with a small rant about the technical side of the film. If my knowledge serves me right, the budget for this film was around $14 million. It’s not a bad-looking film at all, but you can very much tell that it was shot for quite cheap, especially in some of the car interiors, where the windows are completely blown out. Something about it just screams STRAIGHT-TO-DVD. The editing is also just a superfluous bunch of chopping that is meant to be cool and hip but just reminds of some of the average movies some people made at film school. Who knows, maybe I made one of those – but if ever I spend $14 million on something like this, get the navy seals, hunt me down, and put an end to the atrocities that I am subjecting the human race to.