Contraband (2012)

19 01 2012

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Screenplay: Aaron Guzikowski

I went into this one expecting a vanilla Mark Wahlberg action flick.  In what is a criminal case of misrepresentation by trailer this was not at all what I got.  Instead of the fast paced action movie the trailer sold me on this turned out to be a plodding grind of a film which wasted my time and money.

The familiar plot follows an ex-smuggler (Wahlberg) who gets pulled back into his life of crime through the actions of his brother in law.  He deals with one last smuggling run while fighting off threats against his family leading up to the anti-climactic big reveal of the boss behind it all.

Saddled with a very predictable and familiar plot the cast does little to entertain.  Wahlberg pretty much plays himself (again) and there is so little chemistry between his character and his wife (Beckinsale) that I found it difficult to maintain any level of tension when she is in danger.  Dialogue is poorly written and delivered flatly by a supporting cast that is frankly better than what they are given to work with.  Ribisi, often a scene stealer in stronger projects, is a sad cliché and much like Ben Foster and the rest of the cast wasted.

Pacing is uneven and slow most of the time leading one to ask “When does this end?” about 40 minutes in.  Overall there is very little to redeem this attempt at an action movie.  Hold out for whatever comes out next.




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