Freelance Review

Freelance Review
Freelance Review
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Freelance is one such rarity in how very dead it seems. This dead action comedy fails to be one of any genres written out by Jacob Lentz’s first screenplay ever having a contradictory dialogue with a lot of forgotten plotlines which thematic misses would make good ESPN Not Top 10 material. Nobody involved gets what they are doing at any point during Freelance’s runtime. Although this movie may be bad throughout, it never reaches “so bad, it’s good” territory where everything turns into chaos but still manages to entertain.

Ex-special forces soldier Mason Pettits played by John Cena is our protagonist here. Following an injury sustained while serving his country, he goes numb as a lawyer before trying to find something meaningful through his acceptance of a private security contract job. The introduction contains an ugly opening montage voiced over by Cena himself as Pettits spews army propaganda justifying why he enlisted instead of living with his wife, kids, and a white picket fence. Should the viewer laugh at a quip about him hating the suburbs because of “those” people, implying that having an affair with the hot neighbor is beneath him? That’s not clear since Freelance’s dry wit is neither wry nor obvious.

Freelance is an abomination of GoPro-style camera work, terrible CGI, and unimaginative action scenes. There is no movie magic: stunt doubles barely try to disguise themselves, green screen backgrounds look like shower curtains bearing foliage patterns pulled behind the saddled horses, and sets resemble thin plywood copies that are about to reveal what lies outside their edges. The visuals in Freelance embarrassingly lacked depth; they tasted as good as a slice of stale Wonder Bread stuck between two dollops of mayonnaise. You can see all the strings attached: RPGs fire missiles on strings in one scene while pixelated helicopters crash through dense Paldonian jungle floors as if post-production departments completed all their assignments right before sunrise.

Freelance Trailer

The only laughter comes from Cena and Raba trying to act on the opposite side of appalling characters, Cena playing an action-hero Adonis prototype and Raba being (supposedly) a quirky tyrant with a (loaded) heart of gold. There’s no sexual chemistry between Cena and Brie just as there isn’t any between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in Hobbs & Shaw thus rendering all the will-they/won’t-they dilemmas impotent like most performances in Freelance. Lentz is terrible at sustaining long-form storytelling, but Morel is worse; beyond this, Pettits has never learned anything, neither Venegas nor Wellington because Freelance has nothing to teach beyond simply reading out the answers. The concept of corporate disgust, anarchist takeovers, and nonsensical murder are so flat plastic that they treat poverty-ridden third-world countries as “funny” settings for a failed shoot-’em-up.

Freelance is one long frustrating movie that doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be with each scene. Is it the self-important global political statement about greedy capitalist states? A possibly cheesy bromosocialist comedy involving a professional soldier and gunfighter who become brothers through their differences? Maybe an up-and-down romantic affair where a journalist finds herself compromised by her bodyguard? The numerous mistakes left on the cutting room floor suggest that neither Morel nor Lentz truly know themselves.


Everybody involved here has been much better in other projects than what is exhibited in Freelance. None of us will ever make peace with John Cena, Alison Brie should be banned from all cinemas. Pierre Morel’s lacklustre directorial work goes hand-in-hand with the nondescript title of the film pulling its audience through a moodless toothless action hybrid that even when firing round after round of ammunition at its best plays out as forgettably inept. At least Paldonia isn’t a real place, meaning it doesn’t have to have the rancid legacy of Freelance looming over its tourism bureau.

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