With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
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 him but the 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. Written by
Good Wahlberg action movie. Strong storytelling after the cliché start.
Contraband starts like "Gone in 60 Seconds", but instead of boosting cars it's about smuggling contraband, and like GI6S it's because of an idiot younger brothers and familial responsibilities that brings an ex-criminal/smuggler out of retirement for that one last job. Chris our smuggler protagonist is deemed the Houdini of smuggling but in reality, he's a general super bad-ass who can talk fast, kick ass and smuggle at superhero levels. We are then treated to the Mark Wahlberg show where it's hard to imagine anything adverse happening to him and we just go along with the ride.
The movie is at its best after it sheds its GI6S intro and moves to the nitty gritty details of smuggling. The movie feels at home at sea where everything is calculated and ordered, but while on land, the movie is always bizarre, violent and out of control. This lends for some really angular storytelling that keeps the movie exciting and interesting.
It's great to see Kate Beckinsdale in the movies again though she plays the wife whose main role is to look great and be in distress, a far cry from her iconic Underworld Selene or from her last movie Whiteout.
On the whole it's a good action movie and if you liked Mark Wahlberg's previous movies like the Italian Job and Shooter, you will also like this.
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