A &E

Contraband Movie Review

Mark Wahlberg delivers an action packed performance playing a warm hearted and well-meaning ex-smuggler who intended to stay on the straight path, until he is pulled into one last heist.

 Chris Farraday (Makr Wahlberg), a home security salesman who is married to Kate (Kate Beckinsale), a hair salon manager.Even though Chris has left the life of crime behind, Kate’s younger brother (Caleb Jones) chases the fast money and gets in trouble with a greasy haired, goateed drug lord (Giovanni Ribisi). To save Kate’s brother and his own family, Chris is forced to take on one last smuggling act in order to pay off his brother-in-laws debt. Farraday takes a crew of misfits, including his brother-in-law, down to Panama on a merchant vessel run by a corrupt captain (J.K. Simmons). His intent is to smuggle millions of counterfeit US dollars and bring them back to New Orleans. What makes this movie such a suspense thriller is that nothing seems to run as planned.

Things go terribly wrong in Panama, andback in New Orleans, Kate and her two small children are harassed and threatened by the drug lord. Wahlberg’s performance is brilliant while playing cool headed and intelligent Farraday. He reassures Kate, reassesses the situation in Panama, and comes up with another plan that involves working with a local sociopath gangster ( Diego Luna). The suspense continues as things go wrong again, but Farraday’s quick wit is able to put the plan back on course. You’re left on the edge of your seat in suspense waiting for things to go wrong.

The movie would not be complete featuring Wahlberg without him either giving or taking a beat-down, without the usual nasty violence, the car chases, car crashes, and a lot of visible cash being exchanged, although, the movie was lite on sex scenes. The director Baltasar Kormákur creates suspense with tales of continuous miscalculations, increasing betrayals, and the timing of accidents throughout the movie. The suspense is endless as Farraday is forced to find new solutions to endless roadblocks while he tries to retrieve his contraband in Panama.

Ribisi comes off looking the part of a true scumbag who would sell his mother out for some shampoo, a razor, and a bar of soap; items that his character would obviously never use. Beckinsale plays a semi-tough blonde dyed hairdresser sporting dark roots, who is against Farraday going back to the old life, but would rather stay ignorant of the facts  as long as her little brother can pay his debts. Luna does an excellent job of portraying a local gangster that prefers the excitement of the crime more than the monetary rewards.

Overall, the movie was an endless action packed suspense thriller that bites and wouldn’t let go. Action and disappointment followed by more action and alternative solutions. Nothing would go right, with a new solution waiting around the corner. Walhberg and the cast create a satisfying movie that demonstrates that crime does pay, and it may even pay a little interest.

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