Enjoyed Freelance? Here Are 8 Similar Films to Watch

A 2023 action comedy film directed by Pierre Morel, ‘Freelance’ introduces us to Mason Pettits, an ex-special forces soldier who is regrettably stuck at a soul-crushing desk job. He reluctantly accepts a well-paying freelance assignment to protect a disgraced journalist, Claire Wellington, as she ventures into a dangerous foreign land to interview its dictator, President Venegas. As they meet the head of state, a coup sweeps the nation, and they are stuck with the most wanted man in the country. While Venegas’ security detail is decimated, Mason takes out their attackers, impressing the dictator to no end.

The disparate trio trudges through the wilderness and villages, with rebels hot on their tail. They harbor varying priorities; while Mason is focused on keeping them alive, Claire sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime to revive her journalistic career. The light-hearted comedic film is interspersed with high-octane action sequences and John Cena’s characteristic humor. Its intriguing premise and foreign backdrop serve to further elevate the experience. These are some movies like ‘Freelance,’ that can match its comedic situations, spectacle-based fun, or gripping premise.

8. The Lost City (2022)

Directed by brothers Aaron and Adam Nee, ‘The Lost City’ presents an adventure comedy revolving around a novelist, a cover model, and a billionaire who kidnaps them to uncover the secrets of an ancient city. Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock), a romance author, is on a book tour with her novel’s cover model, Alan (Channing Tatum), when they are kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe). Abigail realizes that Loretta has written her novels based on deep historical research carried out with her late archaeologist husband, and believes her to be the key to finding a priceless treasure on a remote island.

Wanting to prove himself to be more than just a make-believe hero, Alan takes up the role of Loretta’s protector as they inadvertently find themselves hiking through forests in search of the lost treasure. The film is filled with tongue-in-cheek comedic moments and hilarious action sequences, which are sure to entertain fans of ‘Freelance.’ Both films involve scenes of the leads in a battle for survival in a forest as a powerful enemy sends his forces after them.

7. Close (2019)

Helmed by Vicky Jewson, ‘Close’ is a riveting thriller that follows a skilled bodyguard, Sam Carlson (Noomi Rapace), tasked with protecting a young heiress, Zoe. As kidnapping and assassination attempts are made on Zoe’s life, the two are forced on a journey of survival across an unfamiliar land. The bodyguard and heiress forge an unlikely bond as Sam realizes that the young girl has no one to help her. The film seamlessly blends adrenaline-pumping action with nuanced character development, exploring the psychological toll of facing steep odds and constantly being hunted. If ‘Freelance’ interested you in the idea of a bodyguard and their client traversing a dangerous landscape, ‘Close’ will keep you on the edge of your seat with its relentless pursuit and gritty action sequences.

6. Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Under the direction of Taylor Sheridan, ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ follows Hannah (Angelina Jolie), a smokejumper haunted by a tragic mistake. Stationed on a lonely fire lookout tower, she encounters a traumatized young boy on the run from ruthless assassins. The pair of hitmen will stop at nothing to tie loose ends, and once Hannah escapes into the forest with the boy, they start a forest fire to corner the two. As Hannah utilizes her survival skills to fight and protect the boy, she confronts both external threats and her own haunted past.

The film skillfully weaves elements of survival and redemption, creating a tense and emotionally charged atmosphere. For fans of ‘Freelance’ who enjoyed the element of a guardian and their charge surviving in a dangerous forest, ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ offers an enthralling story, that forgoes comedy in favor of character development and thrilling vulnerability.

5. The Gunman (2015)

‘The Gunman’ is an action thriller that follows a former Special Forces operative named Jim Terrier, on his quest for redemption. Haunted by a violent assignment in the Congo, Terrier finds himself targeted by a professional hit squad years later. Having unwittingly inflamed lawlessness in Congo, shadowy figures kidnap his girlfriend to force the operative out of hiding. Jim embarks on a journey of redemption, one which leads him to uncover a web of betrayal and corruption. ‘The Gunman’ shares its director with ‘Freelance,’ and also features an action adventure through a foreign land beset by rebellion. The film is made in Pierre Morel’s characteristic style of flawed characters, and gritty action, backed by a compelling premise.

4. Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

With Michael Davis in the director’s chair, ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ revels in its adrenaline-fueled action sequences and immerses its enigmatic protagonist into a relentless battleground of bullets and chaos. The plot ignites when the mysterious Smith, intervenes to protect a pregnant woman pursued by gunmen. The narrative unfolds into a non-stop frenzy of over-the-top gunfights, where Smith employs inventive and absurd methods to safeguard the newborn baby. Much like ‘Freelance,’ the film propels us through a rollercoaster of intense action sequences and outrageous stunts. Both films feature skilled marksmen protecting a vulnerable mark while refusing to take themselves seriously and injecting plenty of comedy into the relentless action.

3. Hidden Strike (2023)

Special forces operatives Dragon Luo (Jackie Chan) and Chris (John Cena) are pitted against each other along Baghdad’s Highway of Death. While Luo protects a convoy of oil workers, Chris is tasked with capturing a particular engineer with security clearance. However, Paddock, the mastermind behind the attack, betrays Chris, leading the two erstwhile enemies to reluctantly put their contrasting abilities together to save lives and stop one of the biggest heists in history. Directed by Scott Waugh, the film features a hilarious performance by John Cena similar to ‘Freelance,’ but one which bounces seamlessly off Jackie Chan’s comic persona. The two are similarly attuned during action scenes, with the larger man becoming a raging tank, while Chan retains his ninja-like nimbleness and precision.

2. Knight and Day (2010)

With James Mangold at the helm, ‘Knight and Day’  chronicles the unexpected adventures of June Havens caught in the dangerous world of secret agent Roy Miller. June becomes unwittingly entangled in Roy’s mission after their encounter on a plane. Roy realizes the danger she is in and pulls her further into his increasingly outrageous journeys to keep her safe. As they dodge danger and outsmart adversaries, a romantic connection blossoms amid the chaos. However, Roy’s true motives remain mysterious, leaving June torn between trust and suspicion.

The film is mirrored by ‘Freelance,’ in its seamless combination of heart-pounding action and lighthearted humor, while it delivers an additionally thrilling experience full of twists. Both films have their own brands of humor and rely on the premise of a skilled protector and his unwitting patron being carried off on a tide of tumultuous adventure.

1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

In the directorial hands of Patrick Hughes, ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ is a dynamic action-comedy that centers on Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), a skilled bodyguard, forced to protect the notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). When Kincaid agrees to testify against a ruthless dictator, Bryce becomes his reluctant protector despite their unsavory past. As they embark on a high-stakes journey from England to The Hague, the odd duo faces relentless pursuit from various adversaries, which they take on with their humorously conflicting styles.

Similar to ‘Freelance,’ the film combines explosive action sequences, hilarious situations, witty banter, and an unexpected camaraderie between the mismatched team. Both movies are free-spirited in their approach to action-comedy, leading to the creation of memorable character moments and hysterical scenes.

Read More: Freelance (2023): Every Shooting Location Explored