by Matt Lockwood
Let's see a show of hands: Who loves Marky Mark and his funky bunch of acting skills? Is it just my hand raised? I can't see..the lights are awfully dim in here.
Well, even if I am the only one, I have no shame and raise my hand high. In submission to my disorder, this afternoon I wandered out to my local cinema to enjoy a matinee showing of Contraband. The movie picks up with Mr. Wahlberg playing the part of Chris Farraday, the one-time smuggling all-star of New Orleans who has now "gone legit." Only, once more, he finds himself coming to odds with some very bad dudes. The problems stem from his wife's brother, who botches a smuggling run by dumping the cargo when the ship gets boarded. This makes Tim Briggs, our movie's filthy sleazebag (played by Giovanni Ribisi), pretty upset. Like "kill you and then your family til I gets my money" upset. Interesing note: This is the same reason Jabba wanted Han dead all those years ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Farraday now needs to come out of retirement and make one last smuggling to save his bonehead brother-in-law and his lovely wife, played by the drool-worthy Kate Beckinsdale. As you can probably imagine, things do not go according to plan. The smugglers encounters bad blood left over from Farraday's days in the underworld, in the form of Captain Camp, played by the eternally pissed-off J.K. Simmons. Things go from bad to worse once they hit Panama. It seems Farraday's smuggling contacts have gotten a bit rusty and more than a little crazy. Don’t worry though, things all work out in the end...as you pretty much expected that they would.
The trailer for this movie promised at least some serious action. None was delivered. It almost had the feeling of a slow heist movie, only the drama was achieved through yelling, punching and waving guns around without actually shooting them. The one action-ish part of the movie doesn’t even involve the hero! He was hunkered down in a van while villains shot it out with the cops...all while wearing duct-tape masks. Apparently, they spent all their money on the bullet proof vests, so ski masks were too pricy.
All in all, it was less than thrilling. As a heist movie, perhaps it was decent enough, but as action movie...not so much.
Grade = C-