Contraband – Movie Review [4.9/10]
Review by MSN
Mark Wahlberg generally brings a terse, direct credibility to his work in action pictures. But that gets him only so far when he doesn’t have credible … OK, maybe “credible” is too much to ask these days, so let’s say entertaining, material to work with. While the jumping-off point for the New Orleans-set “Contraband,” his latest action movie, is as hackneyed as hackneyed gets (it’s the one about the old pro who’s gone straight and just when he thinks he’s out they pull him back in again, rinse, lather, repeat), it piles on complications and veers in new directions with such impressive dispatch that it more often than not sweeps the viewer past a bunch of plausibility checkpoints with no concerns save how the hero’s gonna get out of his next nasty jam. It’s a good, chugging caper movie for the most part.
Review by Triangle.com
Mark Wahlberg delivers the goods in “Contraband,” a B-movie about smuggling in boozy, corrupt New Orleans.
t may telegraph its punches and follow that “one last job” heist picture formula. But the cascading collapse of first one best-laid plan and then another and the odd moment of jaw-dropping surprise make this a thriller with its share of nail-biting moments.
Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, a smuggler who has gone legit – selling household alarm systems. His old man, Bud, is in prison. His wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), runs a beauty salon. They have two kids. He’s wised up and left “the life” behind.
But his wife’s younger brother (Caleb Jones) hasn’t. And after he dumps drugs overboard when the Customs and Border Protection guys board his ship, the kid is in the hole to a pretty bad hombre, played with his usual goateed glee by Giovanni Ribisi. To save the kid and his own family, Chris takes on that one-last-you-know-what.
Review by Newsday.com
After a long run of serious movies like “War Horse” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” I was looking forward to “Contraband,” starring Mark Wahlberg as a reformed smuggler reluctantly pulling one last job. Everyone needs a little action now and then, right?
Unfortunately, a little action is all you’ll get.
“Contraband” is a sub-par crime flick based on the 2008 Icelandic thriller “Reykjavík-Rotterdam,” whose star, Baltasar Kormákur, directs the American version. He takes the job way too seriously. All the ingredients for a satisfying slice of pulp are here — tattooed baddies, ruthless mobsters, the pretty wife who needs protecting — but “Contraband” is so busy establishing a dark mood of menace that it keeps forgetting to deliver the goods.
Wahlberg seems oddly emasculated as Chris Farraday, a security-systems technician, doting husband to Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and father of two darling boys. Chris and his buddy Sebastian (Ben Foster) were once “the Lennon and McCartney of smuggling,”