HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Mark Wahlberg’s ‘Contraband’ Steals Half Justice From Icelandic Conquest

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – One way to craft an unforgettable, undeniably adept film is to make a new one. Hollywood views that as financially risky, though, and it often doesn’t happen without being based on a book with a built-in audience or a film that’s already an international box-office success.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Just like the Swedish smash hit “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was recently remade for U.S. audiences by David Fincher of “The Social Network” fame, producer and star Mark Wahlberg found financial worth – and he’d sell you on artistic, too – in the international remake route. He’s hoping he’d earn U.S. assurance from what recently worked in Iceland.

While U.S. audiences were well aware of Fincher’s hijacking from Sweden, “Contraband” being a U.S. remake of Iceland’s “Reykjavík-Rotterdam” is lesser known. That film most Americans can’t pronounce is one of the biggest-budget Icelandic films of all time and it features an all-star cast of Icelandic cinema. The original film’s lead actor, Baltasar Kormákur (a successful director in Iceland), interestingly took on the role of director for “Contraband”.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Contraband”.

“Contraband” couldn’t have had a more predictable plot evolution. Guy (Wahlberg) has a skill (smuggling cool stuff), but he’s sworn no longer to use it because of its ramifications. Smoking-hot wife (Kate Beckinsale) doesn’t approve of said guy’s skill because it doesn’t prove a good role model for the kiddies or mark him as a buttoned-up guy to bring home to mommy. Best friend (Ben Foster) pretends he’s a trusted partner in crime, but shockingly, he’s a double crosser.

And, of course, “Contraband” justifies its “A”-list status because our hero’s said skill is forced to be put to use even though he’s promised to said smoking-hot wife that he’s given it up for good. But it’s OK, folks, because he’s only doing it “one last time” and it’s in earnest since it’s for his smoking-hot wife’s naughty, amateur smuggler brother. We’re made sleepy by this “protagonist must do his dirty work once more to save his family from the bad guys” plot.

“Contraband” stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster, J.K. Simmons, Diego Luna, Robert Wahlberg, Lukas Haas, Jaqueline Fleming, Caleb Landry Jones, William Lucking, Monica Acosta, Michael Beasley, James Rawlings and Connor Hill from director Baltasar Kormákur and writers Aaron Guzikowski and Arnaldur Indriðason. “Contraband,” which is rated “R” for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use, has a running time of 110 minutes and opened on Jan. 13, 2012.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Contraband” review.

Mark Wahlberg stars in Contraband
Mark Wahlberg stars in “Contraband”.
Image credit: Patti Perret, Universal Studios

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Contraband” review.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

  • Men, Women & Children with Kaitlyn Dever

    CHICAGO – In “Men, Women & Children,” director Jason Reitman not-so-audaciously reflects onto viewers their world of silent screens and awkward impersonal interactions. As many stories (“Don Jon,” “Disconnect”) have taken on the torch of showing how we are, gasp! — connected to the world yet disconnected from those close to us — Reitman’s tale is just another one for the batch.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker