Contracts (2020)

Assassins are pitted against each other in Alex Chung’s martial arts action thriller that has some intricate twists and turns.

A mysterious masked figure is targeting assassins and Anthony Lo is in the middle of the action. A top notch assassin and martial arts expert, Anthony is contacted by fellow hitman Marc Sullivan. The masked figure has been targeting members of his crew. However, for Anthony, things have become personal when Malice, a member of his crew and the woman he loves, is murdered by the masked figure. Anthony forms an uneasy alliance with Marc as they are determined not only the identity of the rogue assassin but who hired them and why.

This action packed martial arts film from Canada started out as a short that was intended to be the first of a trilogy of films. However, it was soon determined that it would be better off as a feature film. Writer-director Alex Chung took a few years to craft the film from a short into a feature and adding some twists and turns with some tight editing despite a few small flaws, he made a 75-minute action packed film that has a throwback to 80’s and 90’s American martial arts films with a dash of Hong Kong style kickboxing action and some grappling.

Chung also takes the lead as Anthony, the assassin who is determined to find answers. Chung does pretty good in the role with Jermaine Carty as the second lead as Marc Sullivan. These two have a love-hate relationship in the film as they seem to both work together and yet, as one can imagine, there just doesn’t seem something right about why Anthony is hired to do the job. With shades of revenge and an actual conspiracy involved, the story’s twist and turns churn out well and could possibly lead to a sequel. One can only hope.

The action is pretty good for what we have here. The one exception may be Malice’s fight scene as her hits don’t exactly make an impact as expected like the other guys. That doesn’t mean that Margaryta Soldatova doesn’t have the moves, but it seems more of a technical issue in terms of angles and effects. It just seemed missing, but that doesn’t take away the film overall in terms of its action. Again, Alex Chung heads the fight choreography unit and does it quite well, even appearing behind a mask as a Reaper, who is a masked assassin that is part of an actual group of rogue assassins. The finale is quite bloody and at times shocking.

Contracts is not a bad martial arts vanity project for Alex Chung. A great idea to stretch a short to a feature with twists and turns in the plot with some old school style kickboxing and grappling makes this a fun martial arts action film to check out.

WFG RATING: B-

IndieCan Productions presents a Foolhouse Films production in association with Nameless Killer Productions. Director: Alex Chung. Producer: Alex Chung. Writer: Alex Chung. Cinematography: Giulio Calisse and Aidan Tanner. Editing: Alex Chung.

Cast: Alex Chung, Jermaine Carty, Kyle Stewart, Margaryta Soldatova, Dan Sanderson, Michael Carter, Neil Bishop, Christena Gaunce, Jonathan Pang.

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