An average action potboiler you can give a miss
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and Kate Beckinsale
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
The last time we saw Mark Wahlberg on screen, it was in the Oscar-nominated movie The Fighter as the welterweight boxer Micky Ward. Over the years, he has established himself as an immensely talented actor capable of versatility, insight and sharp business acumen in his choice of roles. So why he would voluntarily agree to do this mediocre, run-of-the-mill action thriller is anybody’s guess.
Don’t be surprised if the storyline seems extremely familiar to you. It’s a rehash of many, many, action-thrillers we have seen over the years.
Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-smuggler who has long since abandoned his life of crime and now runs a legitimate security business. He is happily married to Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and has carved out a normal life. But his brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) screws up a drug deal for his crazy boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) and now owes him a lot of money. So, Chris is roped back into doing what he does best — running contraband — to settle Andy’s debt.
Farraday heads to Panama on a job for Briggs and returns with millions in counterfeit bills. His best friend Sebastien (Ben Foster, the mechanic) helps arrange the job. But things quickly fall apart and Chris finds himself in mortal peril.
Whether Chris manages to save the day and gets to spare his brother-in-law’s life makes for the crux of the movie.
To give credit where it’s due, Contraband has some pretty awesome action sequences towards the end. But that’s the most that can be said about the movie. Kate’s role is minimal and quite honestly, irrelevant. The movie is a far cry from the romantic comedy Reykjavik of the same director, Baltasar Kormakur. Perhaps that is why the movie is so contrived and formulaic not to mention its absolutely unconvincing plot line. That it is utterly predictable is needless to say.