ContrabandI like Mark Wahlberg – he is always enjoyable to watch. However, when a new film comes out that bills him as the main star I find myself slightly skeptical as to whether I’ll enjoy it or not. With ensemble movies, such as The Departed, The Fighter and Boogie Nights, he really does shine and stand out. Yet in spite of them, us movie goers are treated to the the likes of The Happening, Burton’s Planet of the Apes and Shooter.

Fortunately, Contraband is mildly more enjoyable than those films and while it’s not a masterpiece from the likes of Scorsese or Paul Thomas Anderson, as an action heist movie it does it’s job quite amicable.

A remake of the Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam, Marky Mark plays Chris Farraday, a retired smuggler who is lured back into the Contraband business after his wife’s dopey younger brother botches a job organised by the ruthless and volatile mobster Tim Briggs (played excellently by Giovanni Ribisi).

Along the way, plot plays out like a fisherman’s version of Ocean’s 11, with Chris Farraday hiring familiar and reliable old faces to pull off the heist.

The pacing is fairly solid, with the proceedings on the ship keeping things going fairly swiftly and the tension of Tim Brigg’s terrorising Chris’ wife, Kate (played by Kate Beckinsale) and family.

Directed by the star of Reykjavík-Rotterdam, Baltasar Kormákur does a good in handle the action sequences and the more intimate moments of the story.

The supporting cast is also quite reliable, with some memorable turns from the likes of Caleb Landry Jones, J. K. Simmons and Lukas Haas.

If there is one thing that let’s Contraband down, it is the way the movie relies on a lot of old Hollywood cliches and this ultimately turns the film into a bit of a predictable affair.

On numerous occasions I found myself guessing what was going to happen and by the time the credits rolled I’d be lying if I was to say I was completely surprised by the outcome.

None the less despite it’s short comings, Contraband is worth your time purely for the action sequences and the pacing of it’s somewhat predictable yet enjoyable plot.

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.