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Film review: ‘Contraband’

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Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster put their heads together to try to figure who’s cooler in ‘Contraband’.

The Details

Contraband
Two stars
Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: Contraband
Rotten Tomatoes: Contraband

When will movie criminals learn that you can’t pull one last job? Clearly Contraband’s former smuggler Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) has not taken that particular lesson to heart, since he agrees to get back into the game for one final haul in order to pull his moronic brother-in-law out of a jam. Shockingly, things do not go according to plan, and Chris finds himself with an unhinged criminal (Giovanni Ribisi, hamming it up) threatening to harm his pretty wife (Kate Beckinsale) unless Chris coughs up the illegal shipment he’s supposed to transport. It’s all standard stuff, including Chris’ motley crew of associates and his suspiciously helpful old partner (Ben Foster). Wahlberg sleepwalks through yet another blue-collar tough-guy role, and Beckinsale, who’s kicked plenty of ass on her own, is wasted as the helpless damsel in distress. The suspense is minimal, and the one seemingly unexpected plot development is quickly negated in favor of more crime-thriller clichés.

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