The new action-comedy film Freelance is outright your very basic mindless action flick, the likes of which have plot points only to accommodate moments of gunplay. But what makes this film even worse is the lack of any chemistry between the performers and any depth with regards to the characters and their motivations. It follows Mason Pettits, an ex-army veteran who reluctantly takes up a mission for his friend’s private security firm and comes across the same enemy who had caused his exit from the service. Overall, Freelance might be suited for a watch if you are looking for something completely mindless; otherwise, the film is best avoided altogether.
Plot Summary: What is the film about?
Freelance begins with a brief summary of our protagonist, Mason Pettits’, life before the events of the film. After growing up always trying to help people around him, the man made the wrong choice by becoming a lawyer. There was the prospect of every kind of stability in his life—from a fat salary for a job as a lawyer to having a stable family with a wife and a child—but all this was too drab for Mason. Frustrated by what he was doing in life, he made the sudden switch of professions by getting himself enlisted in the US Army Special Forces, only a year before completing his law education and landing a great job. Being a Green Beret fighting for his country immediately gave the man a purpose in life and brought him immense excitement and happiness, all of which he had been missing for all this while. In the most successful phase of his life, Mason found love as well and married Jenny, with whom he also has a daughter, Casey.
The most important mission for Mason with the Green Berets came when he was deployed as part of a team intending to assassinate the dictator of Paldonia, President Juan Venegas. However, this mission went completely sideways when a rocket missile hit the Army choppers, making them crash. While many of the Green Beret soldiers lost their lives that day, Mason survived with permanent damage to his waist. As he was relieved from the army, the man lost all purpose in life once again. He forced himself to complete his law education and started practicing as well. But instead of being able to help people in some direct and meaningful way, he had to deal with petty cases that were essentially just about making money. The man’s own frustration has an effect on his personal life, too, and Mason’s marriage with Jenny is on the brink of ending.
Around this time, Mason is contacted by Sebastian Earle, an old friend from the Special Forces. After he too was relieved, Sebastian started his own private security firm, CDI, and he had earlier wanted to bring Mason on board as well. However, the protagonist always refused, for being a gunman-for-hire was essentially being like a mercenary to him, which was against his moral standards. Sebastian now approaches Mason again, almost asking a favor of his old friend since this one-time mission required someone extremely capable, and Mason fit the bill. He was needed to accompany a journalist named Claire Wellington to the nation of Paldonia, where she was about to interview Venegas. It is the setting and the old foe, who had shot down their army helicopter, that are able to convince Mason to take the job. The protagonist finally agrees and leaves the USA, knowing well that his marriage life as well as his physical health are both on the line.
What happens in Paldonia?
On their way to the country, Mason tries to find out more about his co-passenger, Claire. Although Claire had been a renowned journalist, a professional mistake some time ago had gotten her out of the limelight. The woman had then struggled to find any serious job, and it was only now that she was getting the chance to interview such a high-level politician. Although the dictator, Juan Venegas, had not given any interviews to any media personnel in the last ten years, he had now himself invited Claire to talk to her. The two individuals do have a common friend, but the exact timing of this interview still remains a concerning mystery. Mason believes that this whole job is for Claire to cleanse her public image and get back to serious journalism, and he does not respect this choice of hers since going to Paldonia is extremely dangerous.
The dangers of the situation make themselves evident very early during the trip to Paldonia, after Claire and Mason are welcomed by the dictatorial President. On their way towards Venegas’ private country estate, the convoy is suddenly attacked by a group of militants who intend to kill the President and his guests. It is naturally Mason who fights back and protects Venegas and Claire, but he does not really intend to help the President. Therefore, when the opponents are all killed, Mason wants to take Claire through the forests and towards the nearest city, from where they would fly out of the country, but he refuses to take the President along with them.
Mason immediately contacts Sebastian and informs him of the whole situation, also asking for help to escape the place. As he considers any interview to be no longer possible, he convinces Claire of this same plan as well, and Sebastian promises to send in help through some local contacts. However, when a chopper and some armed men make their way towards the pair inside the forests, they turn out to be enemies and not rescuers. Mason has to keep Claire safe, for this is his job, and then he heroically shoots down the pilot of the chopper to bring it down. They are still attacked by some of the armed militia when President Venegas comes to their rescue, and Mason finally agrees to accompany the man.
Who was leading the coup against President Venegas?
The next section of Freelance basically sets the record of President Venegas clean, for the man turns out to be no heartless dictator but someone who is very much concerned about his citizens. The entire situation happens to be that Paldonia has rich deposits of the rare earth mineral called lanthanide, which is extremely necessary for the manufacturing of mobiles, laptops, and basically every piece of modern technology. Because of this, rich conglomerate companies from the West wanted to mine lanthanide in the country, but this is known to have a tremendously bad effect on the soil and any life form in the home country. Along with this, allowing foreign companies to extract the minerals and export them would also lead to great financial losses and the exploitation of the masses. Because of this, President Venegas had prevented all foreign companies from setting up bases in Paldonia, and this made him an enemy of such powerful people. His intention was to use the natural resources for the benefit of his own country, by themselves mining the mineral and selling it to foreign clients.
It was for this reason that Venegas often faced such attacks from mercenaries and militants, who were paid to kill him by external forces. At present, there is a particular group of mercenaries who intend to kill the man and take over mining projects in the country. This group, based in South Africa, is led by a man named Jan Koehorst, who is working for tech conglomerates that want to secure a way of mining lanthanide in Paldonia. Along with directly launching attacks on the man, Koehorst was also funding a military coup in the country by paying the army general to get Venegas killed and replace him with his nephew Jorge. Although Venegas and Jorge were related by blood, the latter had no political skills and also lacked the stern determination of his uncle. Jorge was, therefore, preferred by the external powers, since making him the President of the country would be hugely beneficial for them.
But despite all these plots against him, President Juan Venegas remained determined in his fight to protect his motherland and all the citizens of his country from oppressive outsiders. His rousing interview with Claire convinces Mason as well that Venegas is extremely loved by his countrymen, unlike what he had been told during his Army Special Forces mission. In fact, Venegas has such good connections that even the rebel forces, who often stage protests against his regime and also carried out a revolution a few years ago, are his friends. The leader of the rebels is a very good friend of the President, and in essence, the revolutionaries are paid by Venegas himself to keep staging a show of opposition and maintain a balance in the politics and society of the country.
Later on in Freelance, when Claire gets kidnapped by Koehorst and his men, Mason makes a plan to save the journalist in exchange for Venegas. Although it is made to seem like Venegas would finally be handed over to the private militia, the entire scene changes as thousands of revolutionaries swarm the streets and protect Venegas. Since the private army has been paid only to kill Venegas, they cannot open fire on the innocent citizens, as that would get them into huge trouble. It is also revealed that Juan Venegas had realized that the threat against his life this time was extremely serious and could really be carried out. He had also figured out the coup that his army general and his nephew were launching against him. It was for this reason that Venegas had invited a journalist from the Western world, for the very first time in his entire tenure as President, so that he could tell the world about why Paldonia was targeted and why he had kept his country out of reach from any outside influence for so long. Although Mason’s perception of the dictator does start to change, he still cannot forgive the man for launching the rockets on the army helicopters that had killed so many of his fellow soldiers.
Who had launched the missiles against the Army helicopters?
Now that the image of President Venegas has been cleansed, Freelance sets out to defend him in the only remaining aspect—the incident of the helicopter crash. The President now reveals that during the time of the American invasion, he had given up all hope and was preparing to escape to some other country through the underground tunnels. Paldonia’s army forces were not equipped enough to track the American choppers and shoot them down, and Venegas firmly believed that the aircraft had been hit by friendly fire. However, towards the end of Freelance, it is revealed that it was actually Koehorst who had fired the missiles.
Although the exact reason for this attack is not mentioned, it is clear that had the American government infiltrated the country, Koehorst’s deal with whoever had hired him would have fallen through. Thus, he had shot down the helicopters and killed so many of the soldiers. But neither Mason nor Sebastian had known about this, and in fact, the current mission had also been given to Sebastian’s private security firm by Koehorst. Although Mason had been told that he was to keep Claire Wellington safe, in reality, he was supposed to kill Venegas, which would be facilitated by Koehorst and his team. Since Sebastian knew Venegas to be their eternal enemy, he had kept this as a surprise gift for his best friend, feeling that Mason would be delighted to kill Venegas and exact revenge.
Can Mason take his revenge?
But now, when the entire situation changes, Mason informs Sebastian about all that is happening, and the CDI owner and leader comes down to Paldonia to help his friend. Although the cousin, Jorge, is shot dead by the opponents, President Venegas survives the attack, much to the delight of his countrymen. Mason, with Claire’s help, also kills Koehorst and wipes out the cruel opposition for Paldonia. Sebastian and Mason also kill off the remaining private army personnel, bringing peace to the country. President Venegas gives up his dictatorship and announces a public election to be held next year, ushering in democracy now that the threat against his homeland had been secured. Although, given his immense popularity among the citizens, Venegas would surely win the election and come into power again.
Freelance‘s ending shows Mason returning home to the US and reuniting with his family. Although Claire had once tried to get intimate with the man, Mason had stayed loyal to his wife, and his marriage with Jenny is now restored to a healthy and happy one. After his return, Mason suddenly checks his account balance to find that Venegas had wired him 5 million dollars as a reward for helping the man, and with this, he finds new hope in his life. While Claire has regained her name and popularity in journalism for having extensively covered the events in Paldonia, Mason also finds peace and decides to settle with his family and spend his time with them.