Film Review: Contraband

| 23 February , 2012 | Reply

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna
Sassi\’s Star Rating: 4/5

Marky Mark stars as Marky Mark, in the new Marky Mark feature film.

There\’s something admirable about a man who can make a fortune playing the same role over and over again.

And hey, if you appreciate Mark Wahlberg (and I kinda do) then when it works, it\’s a formula for a very entertaining film.

This time Wahlberg stars as Chris, an ex-drug smuggler now on the straight and narrow. He\’s a working class family man, and it is blue-denim-blood paradise with his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and two children. But when his younger brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) blows a huge cocaine shipment for one of the most prominent drug lords in town (Giovanni Ribisi); Chris\’ life is torn apart as his family\’s wellbeing is threatened for collateral.

Chris has to raise the money, and fast. There\’s only one way he can do it – get back into the game one last time. But this time he refuses to become re-involved in drugs, planning to smuggle millions of dollars in counterfeit bills from Panama back into the US.

Contraband is your typical heist movie, plus. Gritty and violent, this film has its moments of fun, but they don\’t do much to counteract the sordid portrayal of what getting involved in the illegal drug industry really means. Well, except for&you\’ll know what I\’m talking about when you see it.

Famed Mexican actor Diego Luna makes a chilling appearance as unstable Panama cartel boss Gonzalo, and the easy cash run truns into all hell breaking loose. Corruption, deceit, and backstabbing abound in a web that gets more tangled as they weave. A disarming combination of spectacular action and brutal personal violence is captured masterfully by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur; who acted as a producer on Rekjavik-Rotterdam, the film on which Contraband is based.

Mark Wahlberg may have (quite rightly) come under fire last month on the US promotional tour for this film with his claims that if had he been on one of the fated planes during the 9/11 tragedy ‘things would have gone down differently\’. But despite what you think of him outside films, it\’s hard to deny that he\’s good in this role. And it\’s that arrogant overconfidence that helps him work as a character like Chris.

So if you can accept the Marky-Markness of it all, Contraband is worth seeing.

Contraband is in cinemas now.

Love
Paige

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