The Contractor is a 2022 American action thriller film directed by Tarik Saleh in his English-language film debut.
The cast includes Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, J. D. Pardo, Florian Munteanu, and Kiefer Sutherland.
Filming began in Europe, including Fort Bragg, in October 2019 and will conclude at the end of 2019.
The Ending of the Contractor Explained
The casting of Chris Pine in “The Contractor” is almost stunt casting. Pine has been every bit the glamorous, all-American hero that other famous Chrises play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman films and Captain James T. Kirk in the modern “Star Trek” films (he even memorably poked fun at Hemsworth, Evans, and Pratt in an “SNL” monologue).
However, in “The Contractor,” director Tarik Saleh puts Pine through his paces. Pine plays James Harper, a desperate former soldier who turns to the shadowy and morally dubious world of private contracting as a mercenary, in a thoroughly beleaguered, unglamorous performance.
In an exclusive interview with Looper, Pine described “The Contractor” as “a really complex little Rubik’s Cube of a script” that appears simple at first glance.
The film attempts to satisfy as an intrigue-laced thriller in the vein of the “Bourne” franchise, but it also serves as a message film, drawing attention to the personal difficulties that servicemembers face, as well as the moral and legal grey area that results from privatizing a significant portion of our national security.
As a result, “The Contractor” is a little hazy and difficult to follow because it cares more about emotional texture than resolving every plot detail. Let’s read between the lines and fill in some blanks. This is how the ending of “The Contractor” is explained.
What Happened to James and Mike in the Contractor?
Salim, Mike, and James stole a virus-infected laptop after killing an alleged bioterrorist. Mike then went ahead for extraction, while James stayed behind to rest.
However, the extractors betrayed and attempted to kill James, confirming that he was set up and that Mike was most likely murdered after the laptop was obtained.
After surviving assassination attempts, James returned home using a forged passport, only to discover Mike alive and well at home with his family.
When James cornered Mike, he confessed that he thought James was murdered because of Rusty’s report. After an emotional argument about how they were being used as mindless assassins, James admitted he had evidence that Salim was developing a vaccine, not a virus.
In fact, Rusty’s employers intended to release the virus and profit from Salim’s vaccine. That meant James had only one option if he wanted to return to his family without Rusty following him.
What Happened to Rusty’s Operation in the Contractor?
Later that night, Mike drove up to Rusty’s farm to pretend to have a business meeting, but the encounter turned into a massive firefight, with Mike and James, who were hiding in the jeep trunk, opening fire on their former allies.
But it didn’t end well for Mike because Rusty was able to knock him out twice. Then James broke into Rusty’s cabin and discovered him bleeding from his own wounds. Instead of giving him an honorable death, James shot him in rage and attempted to save Mike.
Mike died on the way back, leaving James to burn the car and remove the evidence while promising Mike he would tell his family about the hero he was.
Did James Reunite With His Family in the Contractor?
James was hesitant to return home, but he couldn’t abandon his family the way his father had. In an earlier conversation with Mike, it was revealed that James’ father was a soldier suffering from PTSD and depression, which caused him to abandon everything.
James wasn’t sure if he had killed himself, died, or started a new family, so he buried his father’s belongings in the backyard and staged a mock funeral.
Over the years, a scarred James kept seeing other soldiers take their lives, often wondering if he would end up like his dad. His wife, Brianne, was also scared of potential tragedy, and he had to prove to her and their son, Jack, he would always be there.
But the final moments of The Contractor showed him calling out to them outside their new home, which they got after Rusty paid them off when James “died.” The credits then begin rolling as Jack sees his father again, reaffirming James went back because he needed them to get through his battles.