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Saturday, January 21, 2012

[5.75/10] Contraband (2012)


Contraband (2012)

Brief review: The little known fact about the first major action release of 2012 is that the movie is a remake of the 2009 Icelandic film "Reykjavik-Rotterdam", which the director, Kormákur, starred in. "Contraband" is a bit of a mixed bag, because while it suffers from a hackneyed premise, needlessly intricate, yet predictable plot and complete lack of originality, it's still constantly entertaining to watch, and filled with tense scenes, exciting action, dramatic twists and interesting characters. Baltasar Kormákur's direction reminds the one of Paul Greengrass, featuring tons of unsteady camera movements and fast, intentionally clumsy zooms. The hand-held shooting style and the harsh, grainy cinematography give a more realistic and gritty feel to the film, even if the visuals themselves are hardly eye-pleasing and probably a bit too moody for mass tastes. The cast is well-chosen, and the acting is pretty good for the most part. Mark Wahlberg is the center of attention here, and thankfully, he doesn't disappoint. The role of a former contrabandist suits him perfectly, and he does a solid job in portraying his character in a believable manner. The gorgeous Kate Beckinsale is convincing enough as his wife, but she barely has enough screen time to make an impression. Ben Foster also delivers as the two-faced best friend of Chris, but it's Giovanni Ribisi as Briggs that gives the most memorable performance of them all.

Overall summary: Despite its occasional predictability, dated premise and depressingly moody visual atmosphere, "Contraband" is still a decent and finely-crafted
action thriller, that provides enough drama, twists and thrilling moments to satisfy the average moviegoer.

18 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I had a feeling that in seeing Underworld: Awakening I was catching the better of the two Kate Beckinsale movies this month.

Nebular said...

Alex, I would have chosen to see Awakening too, only that this one was released a week earlier. :) Kate is a blond here, and it fits her pretty well. Will watch Underworld 4 this Tuesday. Can't wait!

farawayeyes said...

This is actually playing in the islands. I was going to pass, but it sounds better than I previously thought. I really like Ribisi. Thanks.

Finally saw Sherlock, I thought the first one was better, but this was fun.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, give it a shot then. :)
It's hardly anything special, but it's still worth a look.

You did? Great, glad you liked it. Well, I didn't think the first one was better, but that's my opinion. :)

M. Hufstader said...

Great review! The grainy "moody" camera bits are sometimes hit and miss for me, but I'll do it for this movie. "Sort of entertaining" is really good enough for me.

J-SON said...

I think I might have overrated this film on second thoughts. That said, yes looking forward to Underworld Awakening although unsure if it will be good.

Melissa Bradley said...

I definitely want to see this as I love both Wahlberg and Ribisi. Kate is just a plus. ;) Sounds like a great popcorn flick that will be entertaining.

Nebular said...

M. Hufstader, same case here. The visual style suited the tone of the film, but it made me a bit sick in the stomach. LOL. It's not a bad film by any means, so I suggest you to check it out. :)

Thanks! :)

Nebular said...

J-Son, what rating did you give it? The film was hit'n'miss for me, that's why it landed in the middle of my rating range.

I can't wait for Awakening, as I'm a huge fan of the first film.

Nebular said...

Mel, I loved the cast. They all did a fantastic job, and Kate was the eye-candy of the movie. See it if you have the chance.

Maynard Morrissey said...

not really a fan of Mark Wahlberg, so I will definitely skip that one.

Nebular said...

Maynard, I had no idea you don't like Wahlberg. I do, and I think he's an okay actor. The movie itself is okay as well, if noting special.

Nicole✗✗ said...

This sounds like a good watch, especially since Wahlberg and Foster are in it. However, it doesn't sound like it's worth seeing in theaters. I might wait for it on DVD. : )

Nebular said...

Nicole, I like Wahlberg a lot and he was one of the reasons I almost liked this movie. :) You're right though, you'd better wait for the DVD.

Russell_Oz said...

Good review, Nebular.

This looks like a DVD rental for me, I just don't think I could pay cinema prices for something which looks like a stock average flick. Maybe it will be ok for a Saturday night in...

Nebular said...

Thank you, Russel. Glad you liked it.

Yep, you'd better wait for the DVD to come out, it's not worth-seeing on the e big screen.

Danmark said...

This movie was not the highest rated movie, however, it was exciting, filled with action and very good.
It was fast paced with adult language which was appropriate to the scenes. Would highly recommend it
for an evening of entertainment.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Danmark, it was okay, if you ask me. It could have been much more exciting, but I still liked it. Kinda.