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Film Review: Contraband
RELEASE DATE: 16 March 2012
CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Caleb Landry Jones, Giovanni Ribisi
DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormákur
Contraband, an unassumingly thrilling film, sees Scandanavian director Baltasar Kormákur remake his original Reykjavik-Rotterdam for America and the rest of the world. Employing the acting chops of Mark Wahlberg, the film marks a beginning of their symbiotic relationship ahead of a similar collaboration on 2 Guns (which is rumoured to pair Walhberg and Denzel Washington as leading co-stars).<
Chris (played by Walhberg) is a former criminal who is trying to turn his life around. With his new business on the brink to flourish, as well as a prospect of peacefully raising his daughter with his wife Kate (portrayed by Beckinsale), things take an unexpected turn when his brother-in-law Andy (played by Jones) gets involved in a botched drug deal. To help Andy settle his debt, he is forced back into the dark world he once excelled in. For one last time. Enlisting the assistance of his best friend Sebastian (portrayed by Foster) to assemble a crew to set his plan in action, they head off to Panama in a quest to come back with counterfeit bills. Will their plan come tinto fruition? Can the group keep the loyal lines intact? What about his family’s safety?
Although the story of a heist film has been told numerous times and is somewhat derivative, the Contraband plot is colourful, twisty and fast-paced in its delivery. The suspense provides an element of thrill and excitement. And it helps a great deal that Mark Walhberg is perfectly cast to carry its execution. Kormákur himself delicately and expertly utilises the accoutrements of his resources.
Other facts I found interesting are that Beckinsale used her real first name for her character; as well as Walhberg acting alongside one of his brothers, this time around, Robert. Moreover, Baltasar Kormákur also played the leading character in the original film.
Overall, Contraband is packed with highly entertaining action. The lack of originality in the story is shadowed by sterling performances from the cast, as well as the director’s dexterous use of his resources. It opens at cinemas nationwide tomorrow, 16 March 2012. Be sure to check it out.