NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

The Human Contract DVD Review

By     get stories by email

Not unlike the hedonistic characters in quick redemptive turnaround at the center of this corporate erotic thriller, The Human Contract is intent on having its cake and eating it too. Which is to say that there's plenty of ongoing frisky hot sex and assorted libidinous depravity, before a decidedly incongruous cautionary family values proviso kicks in.

The filmmaking debut of writer/director Jada Pinkett Smith, The Human Contract intimates through its title, the destructive contradictions that loom between emotional integrity and the mandates of the ruthless corporate world. And likely based on Smith's own negative observations hanging out in Hollywood.

Jason Clarke is Julian, an LA hustler on the rise among a band of aggressive, hard drinking corporate hotshots. When he's handed a potential billion dollar account from a family values oriented client, Julian is ordered by the company to ditch his pending divorce for now and maintain a straitlaced veneer, at least until the signatures are clearly in place on all necessary dotted lines.

But Julian just can't seem to contain his erotic urges or inclinations towards rough sex for long, as the kind of guy who chases women with just about the same frenzy he chases accounts. And he is soon stumbling into one scandal after another. The primary catalyst for his sudden round of unrelenting bad luck is Michael (Paz Vega), an exotic vamp with kinky interactive obsessions whom he meets by chance at a bar, while cooling his heels waiting for a date he suddenly could care less about.

And when Julian next encounters Michael on the street one night and follows her to an outdoor screening of an old Frankenstein movie in a cemetery, I kid you not, there's no turning back for this designer suit stud and his combo self-mutilating/voyeuristic hottie with a male name that suggests, uh oh, abnormal dangerously predatory female desire. Likewise set up as a prop for the usual bad mommy demonization on screen, though it's never clear exactly why, is Julian's resented shrewish suicidal single mother (Joanna Cassidy) who looks nothing like him. While his sister, played by Jada, resembles him even less, mix 'n match elephants in the room which are never explained an iota.

Though The Human Contract is laced with a lush, foreboding sense of surroundings, this is quite a peculiar story to be penned by a woman, so focused, does the film appear, on blaming all the woes of men - and some women too - on females. And with such excessively detailed too much information hot sex on the menu and so little psychological insight going on above character collarbones, that there's little to be gleaned here about contracts, human and otherwise.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated R
2 stars

DVD Features: Commentary with Writer/Director Jada Pinkett Smith and Cinematographer Darren Genet; Featurettes: The Human Experience Making of Featurette; The Roll of Film: Cast discussing their definition of the term Human Contract.

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site