Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi. Ben Foster, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Diego Luna and Kate Beckinsale
Running time: 1hr-50min, Rated R, Available on DVD
Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) was one of the best smugglers who decided to leave his past behind and focus on his wife and family. His brother-in-law Andy (Landry Jones) wants to make a name for himself in the smuggling business, but doesn’t quite cut it in the brains department and gets himself involved with a drug dealer. Chris naturally wants to save his wife some grief and smooth things over with the violent Briggs (Ribisi) whom threatens the life of Chris’ family if he can’t come up with the money he’s owed. Chris is then forced to gather his crew and attempt to smuggle millions in counterfeit bills.
Another American remake of a film I probably would not have gone out of my way to have seen anyway. All of characters were somewhat dumb, and the brother-in-law character was such a moron I was rooting for his demise or at least something really bad to happen to him; and yet he’s forgiven every single time he effs up. I wouldn’t care if he’s family; you can only forgive them for so much. I would at least let him go to jail so maybe he’d learn his lesson and I would be free of his consistent asinine shenanigans because this dipstick needs supervision. Giovanni Ribisi is a great bad guy, and I will give him props for his performance. I was disappointed in Kate Beckinsale’s character because I’m so used to her playing such a strong female, and here she was just a bitchy idiot. Mark Wahlberg needs more variety in the projects he agrees to; his performance is just a copy of [insert any Mark Wahlberg action/thriller film title here].
The special features include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette (meh), a stunts featurette (the mirror head smashing was interesting), commentary with Director/Producer Baltasar Kormakur and Producer Evan Hayes.
The action scenes are intense for the most part, but they’re too short with predictable outcomes. The smuggling itself looks far too easy; makes me feel like I’m in the wrong business. Contraband is a safe date night popcorn rental, although basically forgettable.
Total rating: C
Reviewed by: JM Willis