Contraband

Release Date: January 13, 2012

Could I be any more bland? I think not.

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118/169 Max Braden This is a weak shadow to Gone in 60 Seconds, which isn't that great but at least has great cars.

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The Artist Formerly Known as Marky Mark returns to the action genre for the first time in several years with Contraband. The movie is a remake of a 2008 movie entitled Reykjavík-Rotterdam. As you may infer from the title, that was an Icelandic production that developed a reputation as one of the crown jewels of Icelandic cinema. Don’t laugh. Actor/Director Baltasar Kormákur has a towering reputation and once directed later Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker in A Little Trip to Heaven. He portrayed the starring role in the Icelandic version that will now be portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.

Kormákur will also be directing the Hollywood adaptation, something he did not do with the original. Presumably due to his presence, the premise of the film largely remains intact. Wahlberg portrays Chris Farraday, an ex-smuggler who is currently employed at a security company. He has become a family man, happily married with children.

Chris’ domestic bliss is interrupted when his brother, Andy, fails to secure his cargo. The cargo happens to be smuggled drugs, you know, contraband. The criminal kingpin (Giovanni Ribisi) with the missing merchandise is obviously unhappy about the lost revenue. He threatens first Andy then Chris and eventually Chris’ family if they do not provide him with $700,000 in a matter of weeks. This forces Andy to go back into business as a smuggler. He has to pull off the proverbial final job.

While the story may sound derivative, the talent is top notch. In addition to Wahlberg and Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale is cast as Wahlberg’s wife with Diego Luna and David O’Hara portraying thugs. Such a quality cast is rare for a January release, which makes this a potentially better-than-normal post-holidays action flick. For his part, Wahlberg’s last few similarly themed films (Shooter, We Own the Night, Max Payne) have opened in the $10-$17 million range with Four Brothers representing the best of the bunch at $21.2 million. With a modest $25 million budget, Contraband doesn’t have to do anything more than meet expectations in order to qualify as a hit for Universal. (David Mumpower/BOP)




Vital statistics for Contraband
Main Cast Mark Wahlberg
Supporting Cast Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, Lukas Haas, Diego Luna, J.K. Simmons
Director Baltasar Kormakur
Screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski
Distributor Universal
Trailer http://www.contrabandmovie.net/
Official Site http://www.contrabandmovie.net/
Rating R
Running Time 110 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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