Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giobani Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best--running contraband--to settle Andy's debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills. Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and sons become their target.
A remake of the Icelandic 2009 film, Reykjavik-Rotterdam, it’s interesting to note that Baltasar Kormakur, the star of the Icelandic film is the director for Contraband. But that's pretty much the most fascinating bit about the movie. Perhaps, except the twist towards the end of the movie. Contraband is a good movie but not fantastic and might be forgettable for some.
The camera work here is certainly not amateur; using a handheld camera, it’s somewhat reminiscent of a documentary. Contraband is a fast paced movie from start till end; it doesn’t beat around the bush but delves into the main plot right away.
With all that action, there are still parts of the film that is emotionally-fuelled or humour infused. And the performance of the main casts are very much convincing too. Without the twist at the end, I would have said that Contraband comes off as a little bland. But with the twist however, it makes the plot a lot stronger, making it a good film. But somehow, I feel that the movie is lacking a little something that will earn it a place on the list of must-watch movies of 2012. Still, it’s a good movie, just not superbly fantastic.
Contraband is out in cinemas on 12 January 2012.