Mark "Don't Call Me Marky Mark" Wahlberg stars as Chris - a former
master smuggler in New Orleans who got out of the business, but might
not be able to stay legit for long. His brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb
Landry Jones), decided to take up the smuggling business, but had to
dump the cargo when the fuzz moved in. Now, the drug dealer he was
working for, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), wants the kid to make up for
the lost income and drugs.
To help Andy, who is his wife's, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), brother, Chris
tries to negotiate some sort of settlement, which leads to a demand for
him to make it good, or endanger Andy, Kate and their two kids.
Can Chris pull off one last scam to fix the situation?
Get ready for a bunch of storylines and characters you have seen
before, but Wahlberg makes them more palatable.
Sure, we get the former criminal who has gone legit, but he gets pulled
Sure, we get the guy who has to commit a crime to protect his family.
Sure, we get the series of twists and turns that make you question each
However, Wahlberg, with his tough guy likability and funny, sassy
responses to the people around him makes Contraband
OK. He brings a good energy to the part without becoming melodramatic,
and always plays a guy you can relate to and root for.
However, director Baltasar Kormákur and writer Aaron
Guzikowski give us half of everything we want. The action is good, but
none of it is mindblowing or exciting enough to get you to jump out of
your seat (like you might in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol).
Meanwhile, the heist/smuggling planning is kind of fun to watch, but
never gets intricate and involved enough to make us feel like we are in
a great heist movie.
Then, Kormákur should have told Ribisi to start acting
realistically, or get out. In the past few movies, Ribisi seems to be
playing the same weirdo, gonzo, crazy dude, which doesn't fit here. I
remember when he was a truly promising up and coming actor, but that
reputation is disappearing behind an overly comical portrayal that
doesn't fit in almost any movie.
Most of all, Kormákur and Guzikowski give the audience one
(or two) too many twists, turns and betrayals, which are completely
is an enjoyable movie when you don't have high expectations.
is rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use.