Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Written by: Aaron Guzikowski
To protect his brother in law from a drug lord, a former smuggler heads to Panama to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills.
Mark Wahlberg is the man. He is always awesome in everything he is in, but I don’t always think his movies are great, including this one. Contraband was just an average film with average directing.
Contraband was about an ex-smuggler brought back into the business when his wife’s brother owes a drug lord some money. The first portion of the film was him planning out the details of a heist. What really bothered me about this sequence was that he was discussing the heist in public open spaces around a ton of people. It did not feel like they were taking any precautions going into this and they make Mark Wahlberg’s character seem a lot smarter than an amateur move like this. Of course all of his friends in the film were idiots and the fact that he ever associated with these people seems extremely unlikely. I know its just nitpicking but it really stood out in my mind.
The drug lord, played by Giovanni Ribisi, was way over the top. I really liked Ribisi in Avatar. I thought he played the perfect smug docuhebag. But his past two roles, The Rum Diary and now Contraband, have felt over the top and almost feels forced on his part. I’d like to see him play another role where he dials down the crazy a little.
Ben Foster has come into his own as an actor. I knew he would be a star ever since his role in Alpha Dog, which is an underrated film. Well now Foster has gotten some supporting roles on his resume and I would not be surprised if he takes the number one spot real soon, as he hits this role right on the head, playing a friend of Mark Wahlberg’s character.
The reason I am not using any of the characters names is because this film was very forgettable. Wahlberg was great in this film but nothing else stood out. To go along with mediocrity of this film, was the directing. It almost felt like a B film at times. Almost no tripod was used and when it was, the pans were jerky. A lot of shots went in and out of focus and the camera was moving around constantly. I guess I am just not a fan of this style. Luckily the script saved some of the directing with good dialogue and a nice twist thrown into the mix as well. This is still one that you can wait for HBO or Netflix to pick up.