Excerpt: For some odd reason I draw a parallel between the careers of Mark Wahlberg and Adam Sandler. I really don’t know why. No, Wahlberg didn’t make a movie about a golfer who thought he was a hockey player and Sandler hasn’t played a gun-toting thug. Maybe it’s because they started their movie careers around the same time (the mid 90′s)? I really don’t know, but feel that this is a good segue into my review.
Excerpt: Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) was one of the best smugglers in the world, able to get anything he wanted past Customs and Port officials with ease. Keyword there being was. Now married to a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale), he and his best friend/partner (Ben Foster) have decided to go straight, start their own businesses and give up their old life no matter how much the local gangster (David O’Hara) might wish otherwise.
Excerpt: The lead actor from the original film, Baltasar Kormakur, takes over directing duties in this version which hops between New Orleans and Panama. Wahlberg is Bryce, a former smuggler who’s gone legit, installing home security systems and with his long-time buddy Sebastian (Ben Foster - was he still hanging around NOLA after the 2011 remake of The Mechanic? I think he even dresses the same here) seems to be safe from his old life of crime.
Excerpt: A remake of the Icelandic film Reykjavik-Rotterdam , directed by the original movie's star, Baltasar Kormákur, Contraband stars Mark Wahlberg ( The Fighter ) as Chris Farraday, former smuggler who has gone straight, married his sweetheart (Kate Beckinsale of the Underworld movies) and formed a legitimate home security business.
Excerpt: Super on-screen smuggler Marky Mark employs his skills in Contraband , almost to unbelievable proportions. With little time to go before an inspections crew raids the ship containing Wahlberg’s illicit goods, he concocts a scheme involving physics, salt, cocaine, weight ratios, bundles of money, and oceanic navigation. It’s awesome. Of course it’s utterly absurd, but with the proverbial back against the wall, there is no other out.
Conclusion: 'Contraband' will never be listed as one of the high points of Mark Wahlberg's career, but this taut thriller puts some fresh spins on a tired premise and ends up an entertaining, nicely executed adventure yarn. No deep themes or probing moral lessons here; just straightforward, plot-driven action that holds our attention. Good acting by a strong cast makes the material seem better than it is and helps mask the myriad cliches liberally sprinkled throughout the picture.
Excerpt: The Film Good looks, good body, and a good stare; Mark Wahlberg has all of the makings of an action star. So why are so many of his action flicks so mediocre? Contraband is another notch is Wahlberg's action utility belt. It's not a horrible flick, but it's certainly not indicative of what the guy could and should be pulling off -- especially when he's armed to the teeth with an all-star supporting cast.