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Being a hard R-rated film with involvement of John Cena, the wrestler turned Hollywood star, and the stunning comedian Alison Brie as well as other cast members like Pierre Morel who directs it this time for an R rating “violence and language” although it might have been given a PG if there were no bloody scenes or F-words occasionally. Freelance movie seems to be very innocent to a fault, especially when the genuine laughs are few and far between. That is why some fellow critics argue that Freelance is badly flawed in many ways; this is our analysis.

Admittedly,Cena’s new movie kicks off like a near-perfect dark comedy with a long POV sequence introducing Mason Pettit (played by Cena) as we catch glimpses of his army career, followed by return into society where he now has family in the “boring suburbs”. However, there comes a point when POV photography ends and Freelance devolves into conventional filmmaking while illuminating us on his day-to-day activities as an embittered lawyer. He has got a wife at home who hates him so much and daughter whom he tries hard to bond with. One of his best ideas was telling her to stand up for herself at school but gets Mason into trouble when she ends up in the head teacher’s office after fighting another girl. Oops! Never seen that before…

In comes Sebastian (Christian Slater), an old buddy of Mason’s presently running a private security company known as Contract Defense Initiative (CDI). CDS wants someone like Mason aboard. After thinking about it for some time, Mason finally agrees to do something: protect reporter Claire Wellington (Alison Brie) on her upcoming trip to interview fictional Paldonia’s President Venegas (Juan Pablo Raba). The catch? In this mission gone wrong years ago where some soldiers died including many comrades from their shared unit.

At last, some real chuckles come out once Mason and Claire reach Paldonia. Venegas (played by Juan Pablo Raba) is not only eccentric but a bit flamboyant as well, the latter of which he acts out most impressively. Cena has honed his comedic skills through the years, with the scenes where he rolls his eyes at Venegas’ weird gestures being the funniest parts for this film. Another highlight of it is seeing character actor Marton Csokas return to film as one of the two antagonists planning coups against Venegas while they’re on assignment with him. This guy is a Gen Y movie goer’s dream because we’ve all seen Csokas in previous popcorn flicks like XXX, The Bourne Supremacy and even Kangaroo Jack.

But in comes Mason to save the day from that villain, carrying Claire and Venegas through the jungle so they can escape the bad guys. Funny moment here: Mason hobbling around with a bad back after the first escape, a growing pain that certainly empathizes with signs of aging which is affecting anyone. The next step is to run down this path with Mason trying to get Claire away from Venegas so that he could return to the states soon for safety. However, Claire, a desperate journalist whose career has gone down drain wants to remain and do a follow-up – an audacious decision when one considers that there are helicopters unleashed on them by Venegas’ conflicted nephew who wants his uncle’s position as king. Miraculously, Venegas finds them and shoots at the chopper, thus playing hero this time while saving Mason’s life in return.

We start to warm up towards Venegas but what Mason cannot shake however is his memory of Venegas’ alleged involvement in his men’s death back in those days. Maybe there is more than we had thought. All this while, Mason and Claire begin bonding; we can’t help but sense some sexual energy here too. It’s a shame Morel didn’t go for any lascivious fun here. Ah well maybe in part two then? But I doubt it will ever come true.

From then on out, more of that harmless tone continues into the movie and even feels kid-friendly most times as well. I don’t think that’s what people were supposed to see in this film which was marketed as arguable darker action-comedy or more hardcore comedy-action films since adult material may be just profitable at box office.compared younger-adult-content.” The president finally sits down with Claire for an interview and missed another opportunity for jokes and/or gritty violence there as well—what if they interviewer head flown south instead? What if during filming locals from venegas village start acting like they’re out of their minds around Claire? Oh well. Also, Brie’s a talented and humorous performer but there’s none of that here in her supporting role.

The momentum finally picks up during the third act when the villains once again discover where trio is hiding at Venegas’ little village. After this, there follows a dangerous horse chase scene, which becomes a victim of cheaply made green-screen visuals. These days it appears to be a trend that quite many projects in Hollywood have fallen into. Additionally, throughout the horse sequence in this movie it is clear that most of the time actors are being used as stunt doubles. Eek.

The cheeky nature of these nearly-exciting minutes reminded me of the Lost City, a film that featured Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. It was also PG-13 and significantly more successful from both commercial and critical perspectives. It’s something to think about, isn’t it? Besides, Christian Slater is another chance to see some great character development wasted. For example, in his Golden Globe winning role as a hacker on USA Network’s Mr. Robot series, Slater can easily be sleazy and intriguing too. We had in our hands a possible movie with him as the villain throughout only that we waited for this twist to happen but it never did. There however is one revelation he makes regarding why Mason got appointed for this particular security job in Paldonia but it is not enough since we still yearn for more toughness or dark humor or whatever you may call it.

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