Sunday, January 6, 2013


This wasn't a film that was high on my list of must see films, but it has some actors that I really enjoy watching.  Most notably in the film is Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and Ben Foster.  Having some extra time over the holiday break I found time to watch the film as it was on HBO.  The film is an adaptation of a 2008 Icelandic film titled "Reykjavik-Rotterdam" written by Arnaldur Indrioason and Oskar Jonasson.  "Contraband" is directed by Baltasar Kormákur after also being involved with the original. 

The story follows many of the cliches for a heist film and lacks originality until the elements of a thriller come into the mix.  Chris Faraday (Mark Wahlberg) once smuggled illegal items into the country on freighters but has left that life behind for a beautiful family (Kate Beckinsale) and a legit profession of selling home alarms.  But when his brother-in-law got involved with Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), a drug dealer on a heist that goes bad, 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.   Chris asks his friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) to take care of his family while he is gone and of course there are several things that happen along the way. 

Almost every twist to the story was predictable and with the exception of Giovanni Ribisi there isn't very many bright moments in the film.  Much like his performance in "Rum Diary", Giovanni Ribisi plays the crazy guy extremely well.  He is so very unpredictable and continues to make me want to see just about anything he is involved with. 

As a mindless action thriller the film still receives 3 Quacks, but only if you enjoy popcorn. There really isn't much more I can say about this one, but if you find it on HBO like I did then perhaps it is worth a watch if nothing else is on.

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