johnlink ranks CONTRABAND (2012)

I’m always up for a Mark Wahlberg movie. If we ignore the fact that THE HAPPENING was ever made, he makes movies which are (at the least) entertaining. So when this action/heist/thriller came out, I knew it was one I would see eventually.

I watched CONTRABAND (2012) on 10.29.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

The characters, particularly the villains,  are fleshed out a little more fully than in a typical film like this. While they are all born from very familiar archetypes (the mob boss, the guy-who-quit, the best friend, the ruthless henchman, etc…), they end up being well realized. The acting is to thank most fully for that, though the script has something to do with it as well.

But this idea that it still comes from cliché, even if it reaches further, is the sort of problem permeates this whole film. It never launches on all cylinders, and it never can reach greatness. It has aspirations towards greatness, but it never get there.

Which is not to say this is bad. Frankly, it is an entertaining action-flick which thinks it is a little better than it turns out to be. Wahlberg is effective enough, though he is overshadowed by a nice performance by Ben Foster. There is plenty of deception, plenty of close-calls. However, those close-calls, especially once Wahlberg gets to his destination, prove to blur the lines of respectable believability levels.

Wahlberg is a guy who has gotten out of the crime game to get married to Kate Beckinsale and have two kids. His life is great, and it is on the straight-and-narrow. We know this means he will be sucked back in, and the movie takes almost no time at all in doing so. He’s forced to bring in a lot of money in a short time, and decides take a boat to Brazil to do so. Deceptions and coincidences happen, and it all comes to a head (of course).

It’s taken me two full days to get through writing this article. That never happens. Again, this isn’t a bad movie; it’s just not interesting. I can’t get myself up to hate it, and I can’t blame any of the actors for being in it. It’s not embarrassing. It just never really lands. There’s nothing much interesting to be said other than that Foster outshines Wahlberg and J. Jonah Jameson sounds funny with a southern accent.

So see this, I guess. It’s not bad. It’s mindless and it won’t offend you. Just don’t look to be enthralled.






~ by johnlink00 on October 31, 2012.

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