I Am The Wahlberg
CONTRABAND (2012) Director: Baltaser Kormakur Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsdale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster Rating: R for violence, cussing, and bad Cajun accents
As I have pointed out in previous reviews, movie criminals have it a pretty sweet life. There’s lots of money, plenty of excitement, and best of all there’s always a chance for advancement when someone dies or gets arrested!
But… the biggest problem with being a top notch criminal in crime movies is that you can’t simply walk away from that life; you are forever locked into that world whether you like it or not. As our hero in Contraband learns, the crime world is like a gym membership: you pretty much have to die to make a clean break.
In Contraband, rapper turned underwear model turned A-list actor Mark Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, a working class New Orleans lug with a steady job, a hot wife (Kate Beckinsdale, who seems resigned to a career of playing the hot wife or hot girlfriend when not killing vampires in the Underworld movies), and two kids who play soccer and love their Mom and Dad.
But before Contraband turns into a Chevy commercial, things get ugly when Chris’ idiot brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) gets in deep trouble with a vicious drug dealer named Briggs who’s a little peeved at Andy for tossing his shipment of dope overboard during a smuggling operation gone wrong.
Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi at his twitchy, oily best) demands immediate repayment for his drowned drugs. Since Andy is an idiot, Chris offers to raise cash for the shipment by returning to his smuggling career and pulling off one more lucrative caper.
Chris plans to sneak a ton of phony cash from a counterfeiter in Panama aboard a cargo ship bound for New Orleans. Unfortunately, the ship is captained by a first class hard-ass (J.K. Simmons) who hates Chris with a white hot passion, even though he will begrudgingly admit to his friends that “Good Vibrations” is a catchy tune.
Oh wait, that’s me.
Anyway, Chris and his cohorts get into all kinds of mischief in Panama when their deal goes south and Chris has to improvise a solution before his boat sets sail. Meanwhile, Chris’ wife is having some troubles of her own back home, as Briggs shows up from time to time to terrorize her with his big gun and ridiculous Cajun accent.
Hold on a second, maybe Chris’ former partner in crime Sebastian can help! But since he’s played by Ben Foster, who’s made a career playing scuzzballs who can’t be trusted, I’m going to advise you not to create the “I love Sebastian” Facebook page until you’ve seen the whole movie.
Things don’t look good for our hero! It’s all up to Chrissy Chris and his funky bunch to outwit the bad guys and get his stolen goods past customs agents and set things right!
And that is my last Mark Wahlberg/rapper joke ever. I promise.
Contraband is one of those movies where everything is gritty. The bad guys are gritty, the sets are gritty, the violence is gritty, and the film itself looks like it was dipped in something gritty. But if like gritty things, and want to learn a thing or two about the exciting world of smuggling, then sneak a copy of Contraband past customs and go to town.
Note: DVD Critics Corner does not condone the theft or smuggling of DVD movies. Just watch them on one of those Bit Torrent websites like everyone else does.