Time Out Melbourne

Marky Mark stars in a not-so-funky Michael Mann rip-off

Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) used to be the go-to smuggler: Drugs, money, drugs and money - there wasn’t anything he couldn’t get from one border to another with a minimum of fuss. Those days are over: Now Chris is a New Orleans family man with a wife (Kate Beckinsale, in supportive-spouse purgatory between Underworld installments), two kids and a legitimate job as a security-system installer. But then his deadbeat brother, a much less-adept smuggler, tosses a cocaine load belonging to Chris’s psycho former colleague (Giovanni Ribisi). Just when he thought he was out…

What follows is a convoluted bit of hogwash involving a Panama-bound cargo ship, several crates’ worth of counterfeit moolah, gun-toting gangsters led by a posturing Diego Luna and an ill-treated Jackson Pollock canvas. Contraband looks and feels like something Entourage’s Vincent Chase and his posse might have come up with after bingeing on Michael Mann flicks (an impromptu armored-truck heist even cribs shamelessly from Heat). It’s mostly watchable: Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur (Jar City, Inhale) keeps things moving at a brisk clip, Wahlberg is his usual charmingly befuddled self, and the unsurprisingly terrible Ribisi - doing a gangland variation on his mentally challenged romantic in The Other Sister - has much less screen time than threatened in prerelease promotions. But none of that changes the fact that the movie amounts to little more than Marky Mark’s South American Vacation.

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By Keith Uhlich   |  

Contraband details

Length: 109 minutes

Country of origin: USA

Year of production: 2012

Classification: MA15+ - Under 15s must be accompanied by parent

Showing 23 Feb 2012-05 Apr 2012

Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale

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