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|Index||141 reviews in total|
Contraband is a paint by numbers action/thriller. It would be easy to
pick on everything that this movie wasn't, but can you blame chicken
nuggets for being chicken nuggets? With a rookie screenwriter at the
helm, the script suffers from a mash-up of cliché's. They start with
"One last heist" and end with "If you want to save your family you'll
do as you're told". There were many déjà-vu moments of been there and
The star power was strong, but given so very little to work with in the way of character back story. All the characters were two dimensional representations of stereotypes. The locations (New Orleans & Panama) were interesting choices but never really quite fit. While the movie wasn't action packed, it moved at a good pace and kept my interest the whole time. The film work was solid as a whole. There was one particular action sequence that takes place around the halfway mark that was done very well.
If you have a craving that only chicken nuggets will satisfy, then I think you will come away fairly happy. Not a necessity to see on the big screen, but that helps it a little. Leave your thinking cap outside, that's the contraband that will keep you from enjoying this as it was intended.
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.
From the very beginning to the dramatic end, the movie is thrilling.
There is not a scene in the movie which drags the story and every bit
is to a point. His acting is simple, on point and brilliant as usual
and this is one of the best smuggling films i would add to, after
Italian job and various others make to a good list. The fact that it
brings family, friendship, love, hate, betrayal and the usual bad guy
in the film may make it sound all ordinary as most of the films have
almost the same characters these days, but the reason i would ask you
guys to watch this film is because the touch it has unlike most of them
out these days.
I don't think timing is any bit of a problem in this movie and the way in which the scenes unfold is what i think keep you at the edge of your seat through the movie. Anywhoo, A must watch! I loved it personally.
Contraband is a well-made action film with strong acting, good
directing, and great cinematography that draws you into New Orleans,
Panama, and their freight ship. Mark Walberg plays a man pulled back
into his smuggling past to right the wrongs of his naive brother-in-law
and protect his family.
Mark Walberg is excellent as the lead character. He is strong in the action scenes on his smuggling trip to Panama , and he is just as good in dramatic scenes calling his wife to help her back home. He is a strong protagonist who is likable and draws a lot of empathy as he tries to fight the bad guys and save his family.
Walberg is supported by a strong cast. Giovannis Ribisi does well as a dirty, corrupt smuggler who terrorizes his family, Ben Foster is excellent as Walberg's recovering addict and alcoholic ex-smuggling parter who struggles to do the right thing. And, Kate Beckinsale is great as Walberg's wife, who also must fight to protect her family.
The director does a great job of building intensity throughout the film. He brings the audience into the smuggling trade in a realistic and believable manner. And, the director effectively engages the audience in the drama and action at three locations simultaneously as the film builds to its resolution back in New Orleans.
Overall, the film is a strong action film. If you dismiss the standard plot and some lapses of reality, you'll enjoy the intense action, strong acting, and great scenery. Catch Contraband in the theaters to enjoy it on the big screen.
Just be careful about smuggling your own candy into the theater.
Directing 6/10- Some unique and intriguing shots, but nothing too rememberable Acting 8.5/10- The acting is the category that without a doubt, stole the show. Solid efforts from the entire cast but the film really benefited from tremendous performances from Ribisi and Landry Jones. Screenplay 4/10- The screenplay is fun no doubt and benefits from decent pacing and a few intense action sequences but the film lacks originality, stealing concepts and at times, lines. Visual effects 5/10- The visual effects were average. I can't completely fault a film for not using unnecessary visuals. Sound effects/Music 5/10- The sound effects were fine, nothing misplaced there. The music was again just OK, sometimes the music was great and mixed well with the action going on but in some the haunting/emotional scenes the music didn't make the scene 'better', which is what it should do. Overall, the film is just another forgettable action film. The film has decent enough story (though cliché), with great acting and some fun action sequences that make the film at least worth a viewing.
I love crime thrillers, and I was hoping for this to be an enjoyable
ride. It's got a great cast and I'm always game for a solid new entry
into this genre. Unfortunately, there was so much of it that didn't
work. A remake of an Icelandic feature, Contraband uses the set up of a
former smuggler, played my Mark Wahlberg, having to get back into the
game in order to protect his brother-in-law and his own family. The
heist of it all ends up being structured like your typical heist movie,
with a group of slightly diverse males teaming up and going against
generic plot twists, betrayals and obstacles along the way to their
It follows your standard procedure to a tee, along with some focus on the at home struggle of Wahlberg's wife, played by Kate Beckinsale, as she is protected by Ben Foster's character from the crime lord hounding Wahlberg (Giovanni Ribisi). Most of the problems with the film come from the script up, as the plot becomes more and more ludicrous as it goes on. Even within the exaggerated crime world that the film portrays, the twists and diversions often seem silly and hard to believe. There are some decent action sequences throughout, but for a film that appears to take itself as seriously as this one does the logic of it all is way off.
Director Baltasar Kormakur seems to have a good grasp when it comes to the action, but in the domestic drama things get dull fast, which is hard to achieve when you have such a superb cast. Kate Beckinsale is completely wasted in the stock wife role, Giovanni Ribisi is doing some strange Brando impression that was very awkward to watch (and I usually adore him) and Ben Foster seems to be the only one in this cast who really knows what he's doing; which begs the question as to why he was in this in the first place. The action narrative doesn't blend well at all with the domestic struggles, and when they come together in the final act it all feels incredibly disjointed. I was hoping for an entertaining ride here, but I didn't get much of that at all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Contraband is an exciting thriller full of suspense with a slight bit of comedy. Mark Wahlberg is always a fan favorite with his sarcasm and flattering physique. The movie takes place in New Orleans near the shipping yards where all the material is received to sell on the black market. Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) is a retired smuggler turned family man who now owns his own business selling alarm systems. Farraday is forced back into the contraband game when his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), owes his boss, Tom Briggs, a large sum of money due to the drug deal he failed to deliver. Everything does not go according to plan when Farraday goes to Panama with his team of smugglers to repay Andy's debt. The film is listed as an action movie but the action doesn't really start till half way through. The background of the story is delivered in a timely manner letting us know what will happen in the movie. Once the movie finally reaches the action in Panama the audience is at the edge of their seats. The ending reveals an unexpected twist that I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall it is another great movie with Wahlberg that I would recommend to friends.
If you've seen the trailer, you can already tell that Contraband really
doesn't have anything new to offer as a film. It has a typical
heist/revenge thriller plot with some thrills and good action
sequences. However, Contraband manages to be a slightly better than
your typical thriller.
Mark Wahlberg gives a really good performance and Giovanni Ribisi did a really great job as the films over-the-top villain. The film does a great job of getting down the gritty tone and gives the film a realistic feel to it. I also enjoyed how instead of being a straight out action flick, the film actually took time to develop what they had with the plot and show the whole set up of the heist.
For most of it's nearly 2 hour runtime, Contraband kept me entertained for the most part. It still suffers from it's expected flaws. The plot isn't exactly strong and is pretty convoluted and very predictable. I also didn't care for the way the film wrapped up.
Overall, there really isn't a whole lot about to say about Contraband, but I would highly recommend it to someone who is looking for a good rental. If you like Marky Mark, than it's worth a shot.
Don't believe the reviewers, this action packed adventure thrilled and
entertained the entire audience. Even got spotty applause which is a
rarity except for the most exceptional films.
Great camera work gave exciting glimpses of the Panama Canal, the Canal Zone and the port of New Orleans.
Contraband is a perfect portrayal of the gritty life of crime, and the amoral people who live it. Several exciting twists and turns make the ending a surprise not even my genius plot detective wife could figure out beforehand.
Mark Wahlberg continues to give us one realistic performance after another. Leave the kids at home and go see this action packed thriller.
Contraband would be much more enjoyable were it the least plausible and
make a little sense.
As it is it really is a joke and the writers must either think we are IQ-free or they snorted way too much coke while writing the scenario.
I won't go into details to avoid spoilers but I'm sure those who want to check will find everything in other critics and forum entries.
It is still a perfectly watchable action movie thanks to a great cast (but please never use Kate Beckinsale's hairdresser ever again) if you really have 2 hours to loose but otherwise you absolutely can avoid watching it.
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