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Contraband
Year:
2012
Country:
USA, UK, France
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
6.5
Director:
Baltasar Kormákur
Mark Wahlberg as Chris Farraday
William Lucking as Bud Farraday
Amber Gaiennie as Danny's Bride
Jason Mitchell as Walter
Paul LeBlanc as CBP Official
Connor Hill as Michael
David O'Hara as Jim Church
Robert Wahlberg as John Bryce
Giovanni Ribisi as Tim Briggs
J.K. Simmons as Captain Camp
Ben Foster as Sebastian Abney
Kate Beckinsale as Kate Farraday
Kent Jude Bernard as Tommy Raymer
Diego Luna as Gonzalo
Lukas Haas as Danny Raymer
Storyline: Chris Faraday once smuggled illegal items or contraband into the country on freighters. He left that life behind, got married, has a family and went legit. But when his brother-in-law got involved with Briggs, a drug dealer and when he blew a deal, Briggs demands restitution which he can't deliver. So Chris offers to find a way to pay Briggs but then he threatens Chris' family if he doesn't deliver. So he gets on a freighter destined for Panama and he sets out to bring back some counterfeit currency. Briggs "goes to see" Chris' family. When Chris learns of this he asks his friend Sebastian to take care of them which he does. He tells Chris that it would be better to bring drugs instead of the cash.
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Reviews
tired and formulaic
A retired smuggler, a living legend in his field, is forced into one last job by his young brother-in-law getting in over his head with the bad guys. He has to utilise every trick he knows, and invent some new ones, to win out against all the odds and save his family.

Mark Wahlberg as Chris Farraday gives his usual charismatic performance, the one element that steadies this film and prevents it from becoming utterly implausible. The plot goes for high octane and adheres to the creed that 'things must happen', so that someone is always in conflict with someone else in practically every scene. Farraday knocks heads with his brother-in-law, wife, father, best friend, the local drug runner, the captain of his ship, his best mate on the ship, a Panamanian fence, the fence's psycho boss, and eventually his own best friend. For such a charismatic guy he chooses his companions poorly.

The actual smuggling is quite deftly handled. There is tension in the scenes where they have to get the goods on the boat and off. Unfortunately, events at home and in Panama make little sense. Briggs (a badly miscast Giovanni Ribisi) is clearly no threat to Farraday, so why does he do his bidding? The Panamanian gang boss just happens to be setting up a heist the day Farraday pops by, and bizarrely invites Farraday along - did one of his hoods call in sick? The heist itself is so poorly planned and executed it is merely a suicide mission, a poorly plotted sequence to set up a contrived pay off at the ending. Farraday's wife, an under-utilised Kate Beckinsale, makes a recovery that borders on miraculous. It's a shame, because there are interesting characters it would have been worthwhile to spend time with if the plot had not been so preposterous.

Dialogue is clichéd, with Beckinsale actually saying to her husband at one point, "He's my brother!". The film rushes to get to the fighting and action sequences and so other cinematic concerns, like characterisation and plausible cause and effect, get trampled underfoot. Makes you appreciate films like Die Hard and Enemy of the State even more.
2012-08-25
It's almost has good as The Town
A former smuggler(Mark Wahlberg) who has moved away from that life, he now runs his own security business, and also has a beautiful wife(Kate Beckinsale) and three great kids, life couldn't s be any better. Until his wife's brother, who is a smuggler, and messes up on a job. That puts him and his family in danger with a dangerous drug dealer(Giovanni Ribisi). So now the former smuggler must go back to his old ways in order to save his family, but will he make through, or will he be in over his head?

A pretty entertaining crime thriller. Mark Wahlberg is good in the title role, like a old style tough guy. Kate Beckinsale as his wife was alright, but not strong enough. Giovanni Ribisi was awesome at being evil, you just enjoyed not liking him. Ben Foster and Lucas Haas are also good too. Also a great crime drama, that really grabs you hard. At time it can be predicable, but still entertaining.
2012-01-17
A forgettable caper unworthy of the talent representing it.
Generic, redundant, predictable and convoluted are the first thoughts that come to my mind after watching Mark Wahlberg's Contraband, but boring is not. Which means however bad or hole-ridden the script and screenplay were, the director managed to deliver a racy entertainer that doesn't let those earlier thoughts come up while watching it.

Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-con/smuggler turned legit after he started a family with Kate (Kate Beckinsale). Kate's brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) gets in the bad books of a local gang after a deal goes wrong. After Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) the current boss of the local gang puts pressure on Andy to come up with the money, Chris has to go back to his old ways for the sake of the family to do one last job.

Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster goes over their roles robotically while Giovanni Ribisi just changed his appearance a bit while rolling away his trademark accent and voice diction. Only Kate Beckinsale looked like the only one in the movie who had a little motivation to perform though the scope was for just a couple of minutes. On the direction front, the look and feel of the movie is slick with minimal but contemporary background score. Though the events unfold in blinding speed, they do not look rushed until it reaches a later part in the movie. Most of the subplots felt contrived and a bit too many considering its linear narrative. Though the screenplay relies on what-happens-next format, it hardly generates enough suspense or ends up building up pressure points on highly predictable or non-surprising revelations.

A forgettable caper unworthy of the talent representing it.
2013-12-24
Don't Waste Your Time. Piece of crap! We turned it off after 15 minutes.
I love crime movies, and I love the main actors in this film. But when my sons and I sat down to watch it, after 15-20 minutes, once we knew where the whole thing was going - the big problem had they had to solve, so to speak. And not one of us gave a rip...

It was like, "Wait you want me to sit through another hour and a half to find out they accomplish what I couldn't care less about." No thanks.

Should have known to avoid this thing when it said this was the director's first Hollywood film (on IMDb). Hard to believe they got all the actors to sign on, unless they did it somewhat as charity to help New Orleans, where it was filmed. I grew up across the lake from New Orleans, and that wasn't even enough to make me want to sit through the rest of it.
2012-06-13
Been there done that!
"Contraband" is an action movie slash heist thriller that turned out to be a decent movie, not a great one but decent nonetheless. The movie is made so by Mark Whalberg and Ben Foster who play great together on screen and feed-off of each other both as friends and ultimately rivals..

One of the great weaknesses of the movie is its visual style and production value. It borrows quite heavily from directors such as Paul Greengrass, and Michael Mann in particular. Substitute New Orleans with Miami and this could have been Michael Mann's quiet but brilliant and thoroughly underrated movie "Miami Vice" with Collin Farell and Jamie Foxx. "Contraband" does so much borrowing that it borders on plagiarism...if there is such a thing for movies...there were some scenes where I really thought I WAS watching "Miami Vice"...

"Contraband" is one of those movies that have started cropping up at the beginning of January ever since "Taken" proved such a great success at the box office. Now studios populate January with all kinds of action flicks, hopping to duplicate that same success, unfortunately for them, they seem to forget the cardinal rule...regardless of the intent...they must be good movies, which is exactly what "Taken" was! "Contraband" tries hard, and while it is not an epic fail, it only succeeds minimally. If not for Mark Whalberg and Ben Foster, this would be yet another forgettable bore fest...
2012-01-20
decent stuff
Chris Farraday was a smuggler par excellence ; a man who is a past legend in that business .

But he has left crime to turn legitimate , and has married and had kids .

All right , but a man may want to leave the underworld , but does the underworld ever want to leave him ?? The brutal answer to this question is no.....

His wife's brother loses his cargo trying to smuggle drugs , and the supernastypeople who he was running drugs for now threaten Farraday that if he does not do a smuggling operation of counterfeit currency for them to return the money they lost on his brother in law , they gonna kill Farraday and his family.....

So Farraday has to go to panama to do the job they tell him to do.....

And he leaves his wife and sons in the care of his friend.....

But the supernasty people are even nastier than he thought...... For their real intention is to make him smuggle drugs , something that he's loathe to do......

And his friend is in league with them , keeping tabs on his wife and kids for them and even having lecherous intentions towards his wife......

As Farraday has to mingle with brutal drug lords in panama he realises what is going on......

But his enemies manage to rope even the captain of the ship he's sailing on into their gang to close the trap around him.....

So one brave man has to draw all his energy and resourcefullness and his cunning and daring to triumph against all odds to save his family , his kids and his future.....

And what his enemies haven't reckoned is that he's smarter , gutsier and has more chutzpah than they could ever imagine......

And he is capable of bringing revenge onto them just as they are counting their unhatched chickens......

Just how does he do that ??

Go and watch the movie for that.....

Verdict---good .
2012-10-18
An entertaining popcorn flick, but ultimately forgettable
Former contraband smuggler turned legit family man, Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself back in the game after his brother-in-law gets in over his head with mobster Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi). Now Chris has two weeks to get the money that's owed to Tim or he'll kill his whole family in this remake of an Icelandic film.

If not for the star power involved, I strongly suspect we would be watching a straight-to- DVD type deal. Don't get me wrong, if it had gone that route it would be an upper echelon DTV movie, but as a cinema released film it's just a tad too cliché and overtly familiar to be that memorable. It's stylized and entertaining enough, but there's not really any meat here. A decent popcorn flick no more, no less.

My Grade: C
2012-05-23
Awful
In a word, horrible. The film has a predictable action, evil gets it, everything ends well and Mark Wahlberg something stronger than Chuck Norris.

Who wrote the script i do not think has more than 12 years, like when the police get to the captain house,arrested him and the two criminals when captain could simply say "No sir,everything is OK" or criminals could threaten him to keep quiet. Or Biggs which goes every 10 minutes and threatened his wife Faradday. Everything seems so hair pulled and fake.

I think it's the worst film I've seen of Kate Beckinsale,i don't understand how could she accept to play in such a miserable,2 penny, movie.
2012-04-07
Not original, quite boring.
When I read about the cast I thought it was worth watching. I was wrong. The movie was very boring. Mark Wallberg still can't act. He's the lead actor who can't do anything wrong, so the movie is not exciting.

Wallberg is into the big robbing business and at the end, when the merchandise comes out of the water, I thought I have seen this before in Once upon a time in America I guess. So it is a boring movie that also is not original.

If you haven't seen this movie, well done. Keep it that way. If you really have nothing else to do, still don't watch this movie. Just go and read a book.
2012-09-01
Pretty lame heist movie
I was asked to go to this movie and went last night. I watched one preview on IMDb and could tell you the general idea of how the movie played out. Mark Wahlberg was so lucky throughout the whole movie that you think that the karma from what he suffered while trying a pop career as Marky Mark is finally paying off in a big way to his characters.

Aside from the awkward amount of pure good luck, the movie was just a few explosions, a couple of okay ideas and some cheap suspense. At no point did I ever want to leave the movie, but there were a few points where I laughed in the theater at a scene that was so wild that I couldn't take it seriously.

The acting was (for the most part) all convincing enough to believe and for sure didn't detract from the movie and the story itself was good.

All in all, it was entertaining, but barely, and probably not $9.50 entertaining. Redbox or Netflix it if you really want to see it.
2012-01-18
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