Film review: Contraband (three out of five stars)

Mark Wahlberg in Contraband.
Mark Wahlberg in Contraband.

(15) 109mins

Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale

WHILE some trailers make you think a movie is good when it’s not (eg Battle Los Angeles), others actually do it no justice.

I was convinced I wouldn’t enjoy Contraband after seeing the trailer, but was pleasantly surprised.

I thought I was in for a low-key thriller, while what I got was a fast-paced movie with a decent plot and some pretty good acting from the main cast.

Based on the Icelandic film Reykjavik-Rotterdam, it’s directed by Baltasar Kormákur who played the character Wahlberg recreates in this version.

John Bryce (Wahlberg) works on security systems and is happily married with two young boys.

However, thanks to his less than bright brother-in-law Andy he is dragged back into the seedy world of smuggling, a ‘vocation’ he used to be very good at.

Andy owes lots of money to a particularly unpleasant villain Tim Briggs (played with a great laid-back nastiness by Ribisi).

Will Bryce turns things round and save the day?

The downside is the plot which doesn’t really meander too far from the predictable and there are some ‘how did he know how to do that?’ moments that stretch credibility.

But Wahlberg puts in another solid performance and, in fact, the main characters are developed well so the movie doesn’t end up relying just on the action.

And there is plenty of action, with bullets whizzing round and punches aplenty.

While Contraband won’t win any awards, it’s a decent enough thriller.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley