Review: By Hook Or By Crook, 'Contraband' Smuggles Decent Entertainment
Whether or not Wahlberg dug deep into his “Marky Mark” street-props past for this role, one can rest assured with his family’s survival on his mind…‘Contraband’ forced him to take a walk on the wild-side!
Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy, screws up a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best -- running contraband -- to settle Andy's debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills. Things quickly go haywire and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Beckinsale), and sons become their target.
It’s no secret ‘Contraband’ is a remake directed by Baltasar Kormákur who also stars in the Icelandic original ‘Reykjavik-Rotterdam.’ It’s pretty much plastered everywhere. And although I’ve never seen Iceland’s version, therefore, nothing to compare it to…’Contraband’ is the type of film which suffers from a massive case of predictability. However, even though one pretty much knows what follows next – mistakes, unplanned surprises, and individual character objectives – there’s an element of exhilarating entertainment and satisfactory-based anxiety which arises as it plays along. No ifs, ands, or buts about it one can rest assured that when there’s illegal action going on, there’s some severe high-stake complexities which will always lead to a nice showdown of gun-toting, fist fighting, chest pounding that’ll go on from both ends of human nature’s spectrum.
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