The Twenty-First Century

Contraband [2012]

“Contraband” is the kind of movie that gives Hollywood a bad name. I haven’t seen the 2008 Icelandic film on which it’s based, but I guess it was intriguing enough to convince the filmmakers to remake it, this time in English. Bad move. I like both Mark Wahlberg and Giovanni Ribisi and I hate to see them waste their time on such mediocrity. Not to mention such talented co-stars as Ben Foster and J.K Simmons. Wahlberg plays an ex smuggler gone straight. Or has he? One day, his wife’s stupid kid brother fumbles a drug-smuggling run and winds up owing a lot of money to a ruthless thug (Ribisi) who not only threatens him but his entire family, including Wahlberg’s wife and kids. What do you think happens next? Will Wahlberg interfere and pull one last job to save his family’s ass? Obviously. But this movie’s hopeless. Hopeless I tell you. The plot makes zero sense, and every character is just as stupid and absurd as the next one. Another odd thing about it is that it doesn’t offer a whole lot of action, and for a heist film, it’s not really that inventive. In fact, there are no thrills in “Contraband” because you can see every surprise coming. I’ve seen worse pictures this year (“Ghost Rider 2” and “Gone” to be more specific), but “Contraband” is still a complete misfire. If you want a really good heist movie, I suggest you watch “The Score” instead. Enough said.

Rating: 1.5/4

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