Fast pace masks forgettable plot in ‘Contraband’


Despite “Contraband’s” lackluster plot, the fast-paced thriller manages to keep you on the edge of your seat for 110 minutes.

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, “Contraband” is a remake of the Icelandic film “Reykjavik-Rotterdam,” which starred Kormakur. The film focuses on ex-smuggler Chris Farraday, who is played by Oscar-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg. After his brother-in-law doesn’t follow through with a drug deal, Farraday has to find a way to repay the drug lord who has turned to threatening his family.

Although he has abandoned his life of crime, Farraday must make a trip to Panama to collect counterfeit bills to pay the debt.

While it is not as impressive as his portrayal of Micky Ward in “The Fighter,” Wahlberg’s performance emanates wit, intelligence and authority. Wahlberg and his co-star Ben Foster, who plays Farraday’s best friend, outshine the rest of the cast. Their friendship is one of the plot’s most compelling elements with its drastic changes throughout the film.

Although the heist film almost feels rushed at times, the hasty pace allows the audience to accept the plot’s absurd twists and turns. It doesn’t give you enough time to analyze what exactly is going on, so you end up thinking the movie is better than it actually is.

Overall, the film delivers several unexpected twists that will leave you feeling like you got your money’s worth. Although “Contraband” is entertaining and worth your time, 2012 will definitely see better action movies.