Review: Contraband

28 Apr 12

Muggles Smuggle

A cracking thriller, this US remake of of the Icelandic movie 'Reykjavik-Rotterdam' (2008) resets the action in New Orleans and should please fans of Marky Mark Wahlberg who like to see him get all blue-collar-criminal-trying-to-go-straight. Wahlberg plays the ex-smuggler forced to smuggle again with the type of conviction he displayed in 'Four Brothers' and 'The Fighter' and it's great to see Kate Beckinsale play his wife sans heavy make-up and tight 'Underworld' PVC pants. 'Avatar's Giovanni Ribisi plays the convincingly psychotic bad guy and Ben Foster (of 'Pandorum, '3:10 To Yuma' 'Alpha Dog' but, for me, he'll always be Russell from TV's 'Six Feet Under') plays Wahlberg's best buddy with his usual relish. The superb supporting cast are ably joined by J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas and Diego Luna in a well-shot movie, directed by Baltasar Kormakur, the actor who played the lead in the original Icelandic film. Yes, it's all a bit old hat, and the "twist" can be guessed from three fathoms, but it's all handled without pretention in a suitably gritty style that keeps the tension ratcheted up. Well worth a watch - as is the original 'Reykjavik-Rotterdam.'