Release Date: Jan. 13, 2012
Running Time: 110 minutes
When the smuggler’s blues hits in the uninspired thriller Contraband, it hits hard. Mark Wahlberg stars as a retired smuggler who tries to walk the straight and narrow for the sake of his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and their two kids. He’s forced to return to his old profession when his idiot brother-in-law (Caleb Landry Jones) finds himself $700,000 in debt to Giovanni Ribisi’s psychotic drug dealer following a botched deal. To settle the debt, Wahlberg reassembles his crew so he can smuggle counterfeit cash from Panama into the United States. Ribisi, though, has other plans for Wahlberg and threatens Beckinsale in order to get what he wants. As slick and as shallow as any episode of Miami Vice, Contraband unfolds in predictable fashion, with Wahlberg’s best-laid plans unraveling quickly and all hell breaking loose in Panama and back home in New Orleans. There’s even an act of betrayal that can be seen coming from the opening scene of this remake of the Icelandic thriller Reykavik-Rotterdam, which starred Contraband director Baltasar Komakur in Wahlberg’s role. Wahlberg is his usual affable blue-collar self, but Beckinsale is wasted as the wife who is in constant peril. Ribisi is so crazy over the top as the drug dealer that it’s almost impossible to understand a word he squeals. To be fair, Contraband is never dull, and Komakur turns the screws tightly is when the action shifts to Panama. Too bad things do get very silly down there in a hurry when Contraband throws in a contrived plot twist involving Diego Luna’s crime lord. It only confirms what we already suspect: add everyone’s IQ together and the total still wouldn’t break 100. There’s not one minute when you believe these morons could smuggle into the United States a meat-stuffed fried yucca root, let alone counterfeit money, cocaine and stolen items worth millions on the black market.
Aired: Jan. 12, 2012
Web site: http://www.contrabandmovie.net/