Who's in it?
Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and Kate Beckinsale
What's it About?
Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) was a legendary smuggler in his home town in New Orleans, that was until he decided to go legit, settle down and set up an alarm company to support his wife (Beckinsale) and two kids. But his brother in law's actions force him back on the job when a drug run goes badly and he ends up owing resident bad guy, Briggs (Ribisi) $700k with only 2 weeks to pay.
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, Contraband is an action/thriller/remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam, which starred the very same man. Wahlberg does his very best bad boy in this one but, as ever he's the one we're rooting for. Contraband has an impressive cast, both in main characters and bit parts. Giovanni Ribisi is the perfect choice for the affected, drawling criminal, terrorising the family, Ben Foster too as Walberg's recovering alcoholic smuggling parter with more on his plate than anyone knows. The only character I found miscast was Kate Beckinsale as the wife, she's completely lost and probably too big a name for this part.
The plot is simple and doesn't need to rely on consistent action to keep you entertained, subplots, scenery and occasional comedy are enough to keep up the pace yet once the action happens, it happens fast. The footage inside the freighter, on the Panama Canal and in Panama itself are expertly shot and edited just right to allow the twists and turns take you by surprise.
While Contraband is not going to stay with you for any amount of time, it's an enjoyable evening out. A clever heist thriller with action enough to satisfy any regular cinema goer, it's not explosive but the acting alone is worth the watch. The more discerning amongst us will even spot an extra Wahlberg thrown in there. That makes it a Wahlberg twofer, what's not to love?
Opens in Irish cinemas March 16th.