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Synopsis: An ex-smuggler is forced to come out of retirement for one final job to get his brother in law out of debt.

Description: Hollywood remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Contraband stars Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckingsale.

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Review: Directed by the star of the European original titled Reykjavik Rotterdam, Contraband is a fairly straightforward (and I use that particular term loosely) action thriller about an ex-smuggler who, having retired after successfully avoiding punishment for years, is drawn back into the underground counterfeiting world when his wife’s loser brother fails to pull off a drug deal.

Wahlberg gives what some would describe as a “relaxed” performance, this does not quite highlight how little effort he is in fact putting into the character; it’s a bit hard to criticize him for such a poor portrayal however when even the most accomplished of actors would struggle to do much with such a one dimensional character in such a shallow and generic movie.

The story does exactly what you expect it to, with the addition of innumerable incoherent and unnecessary twists and turns until a bit of gunfire and some fancy footwork until our “hero” (and I use that particular term with vast amounts of sarcasm) finds his life in serious danger.

Despite the appearance of at least one surprisingly accomplished actor (Giovanni Ribsi as the villain with a ridiculous accent) Contraband remains almost entirely from start to finish, a narrative mess with insubstantial characters and a strange moment when a guy is locked behind a panel on board of a ship and then never spoken of again… all in all a complete and utter waste of time and film reel, thank goodness for digital photography.

Reviewed by AlyseG on 23 April 2012

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