Freelance (2023) Review

Forgettable Fun


Freelance won’t make anyone’s best of the year lists but it’s a serviceable action comedy with John Cena at his best and a few decent action set-pieces; it is let down by the forgettable script which I feel could have been funnier but there are still a few laughs.

Plot: An ex-special forces operative takes a job to provide security for a journalist as she interviews a dictator, but, a military coup breaks out in the middle of the interview, they are forced to escape into the jungle where they must survive

Review: Freelance is the kind of movie we don’t see much anymore and feels like a throwback to the 90’s reminiscent of movies like 6 Days 7 Nights; what Freelance does differently though is you think it’s going to go in a predictable will they/won’t they direction but instead it becomes something quite different which I won’t spoil here.

At first Alison Brie’s character Claire Wellington is quite insufferable but she becomes far more appealing as the story progresses and she is a natural at comedy. John Cena can play this kind of character in his sleep as the wonderfully named Mason Pettis, but he still makes him sympathetic and somewhat relatable as a man who didn’t want a normal life but has been forced to settle down. I didn’t know Christian Slater was in this which is another point in the movie’s favour as he is one of my favourite actors.

At an hour and 45 minutes Freelance is for the most part well-paced but it does lag a little in-between the action scenes and it could have done with an extra set-piece or two. As this is directed by Taken’s Pierre Morel what we do get is well executed with some fight scenes, real explosions and awesome shoot-outs.

Where the movie falls down is the script which just isn’t as funny as it could be; I smiled a couple of times but it lacks genuine belly laughs. The highlight is Juan Pablo Raba who plays the supposed dictator Venegas who may or may not be the monster everyone thinks; he has some of the funniest moments but even then it struggles to be truly hilarious. It ends up becoming more serious for the action-packed finale which is understandable and Cena’s final fight with villain Marton Csokas is awesome but ends a little too abruptly.

Overall, Freelance is a fun ride with Cena in good comedic action hero form and there are a few twists and turns to make it more interesting than you’d maybe expect from the trailers. The script isn’t that great with very little you’ll remember once you reach the end credits, but the action is slick and it’s a perfect Saturday night movie.