HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
Man Who Skied Down Everest, The
Bottoms Up!
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Human Contract, The Signed, sealed, delivered and yours
Year: 2008
Director: Jada Pinkett Smith
Stars: Jason Clarke, Paz Vega, Idris Elba, T.J. Thyne, Joanna Cassidy, Steven Brand, Jada Pinkett Smith, Ted Danson, Ann Ramsay, Tava Smiley, Karl Makinen, William Abadie, Daniel Escobar, Nicole Muirbrook, Kenneth Dolin
Genre: Drama, Sex, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Advertising executive Julian Wright (Jason Clarke) has a failed marriage, troubled family life and an important business deal on the line. So it is no wonder he is so tightly wound. Nevertheless, Julian finds himself unable to resist the seductive, uninhibited Michael (Paz Vega) who opens the door to a more free-spirited way of life. Their tumultous affair takes its toll on Julian's job while he also discovers Michael is hiding more than a few secrets.

On the surface the writing and directorial debut of actress Jada Pinkett Smith revives the classic corporate themed yuppie-in-peril erotic thriller so prominent throughout the Eighties and Nineties: e.g. Fatal Attraction (1987), Disclosure (1996) or basically anything starring Michael Douglas. Fans of scintillating Spanish star Paz Vega will no doubt relish the abundant scenes where she slinks around in skimpy designer lingerie. Meanwhile the glossy, kinky sex scenes carry elements of that po-faced, slightly ridiculous sado-erotic philosophy underlining the DTV output of Zalman King, stylishly staged and photographed in a manner that titillates without seeming tawdry. However, the tone and underlining ambitions of the film are significantly closer to the kind of intelligent, provocative eroticism more commonly found among the European art-house circuit.

In erotic thrillers sex leads men down a destructive path. However, while Michael is a troubled personality, she is no spider-woman and Julian is no hapless whitebread hero ensared in her web. When Michael strips off she reveals as much about her emotional state as she does physically and the sex scenes provide a window into two compellingly flawed, multifaceted human beings. Slick and, to a certain degree, self-important, The Human Contract wears its philosophical pretensions on its sleeve but Pinkett crafts intelligent dialogue, throws some compelling twists and turns and draws terrific performances from her two leads: Jason Clarke and Paz Vega, in a rare American outing worthy of her talents. Pinkett herself plays a supporting role as Julian's half-sister who is trying to escape an abusive spouse in a sub-plot that occasionally feels contrived and unnecessary yet does reveal a significant facet of the hero's personality. The film also features a strong supporting cast including Idris Elba, Ted Danson and Joanna Cassidy appearing as Julian's mother, yet another significant female presence proving the key to unlocking his tortured psyche.

Although the film admittedly struggles to hold viewer interest in boardroom politics and corporate wrangling, the half-heartedness of that aspect of the plot may be partly the point. Michael does after all embody the exciting alternative to Julian's stifling corporate driven existence. Pinkett is similarly more preoccupied with using their erotic obsession as a springboard to pose questions like what is a relationship supposed to be? Are the protagonists indulging in soul-searching waffle as shallow justification for base lust or can their morally murky connection prove as fulfilling, loving and nurturing as any regular romance? For all its pretensions, The Human Contract deserves some credit for its mature, complex and thought-provoking stance on sex. Cult film fans may warm to the film given Julian and Michael bond watching the Thomas Edison silent film version of Frankenstein. Whereupon Michael uses the monster as an intriguing analogy for whether our obsession with goodness overrides our yearning for greatness.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4920 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: