Friday, January 13, 2012

Contraband Review

Greetings Internet!

This will be a quick last few have been quite long-winded.  I enjoyed Contraband quite a bit.  And it has no business being as entertaining as it actually turned out to be.

I'm a fan of Mark Wahlberg and most of his work.  I found him quite enjoyable in Contraband.  There are myriad examples of the now-classic Wahlberg Stare (just coined by me, thank you!) that just screams "I'm gonna beat the shit out of someone."  He has some great moments of pure brutality that I absolutely loved.  While the film doesn't get too graphic or violent, Mark's anger comes through quite strong.  I feel that Giovanni Ribisi is an under-appreciated actor in Hollywood.  He seems to make himself indistinguishable in each of roles.  Its hard to imagine this same man playing a drunk-out-of-his-mind Nazi journalist in The Rum Diary, or a young medic on the shores of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan.  He's great as a slimy, skeezy villain here in Contraband.  I loved to hate him.  The same goes for Ben Foster.  I love him in pretty much everything he's been in.  He's fantastic in 3:10 to Yuma and quite good in The Mechanic.  He always brings a quiet calm with intensity bubbling beneath.

The narrative is fairly compelling yet has its fair share of plot holes and missteps in logic.  I don't want to get into spoilers but there is one specific scene involving Foster and Kate Beckinsale that should've played out much differently.  I enjoyed the drug-running aspects of the film; its a touch of the Ocean's trilogy mixed with the world of drugs.

At the end of the day there isn't anything truly spectacular about Contraband, yet nothing that screamed at me as being terrible.  Its a decent action/thriller.  And January seems to be home to films of this type.  And I'm okay with that.  Not every film will be on the level of Drive or even Taken.  In this post-awards season Contraband is a cheap, yet enjoyable thrill.

Contraband is a perfectly adequate action-thriller.

Bearded Bullet is out.

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