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13th January
written by Adam

World class smuggler gone straight Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is faced with the task of pulling off one more job to clear his family’s name of debt to a group of Irish mafia thugs. While working the job, Chris’s wife Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and their two boys wind up as collateral for the job’s completion. Now it’s up to Chris to deliver the goods to mobster thug Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) and save his family. A challenge that required the help of his close friend Sebastian (Ben Foster), but who’s really pulling the strings? Ah, January, how I love to loathe thee, you bring us such cinematic gems as this. Yet, in all fairness I can’t totally pick this film to pieces. Of course the plot is ridiculous, of course the death defying escapes are too close, and of course every punch is telegraphed up to a semi-predictable end. Yet still, there’s just enough barely enough charisma and character to carry us through the finish line. Wahlberg as the action hero works, plain and simple; Ribisi is great at detestable characters, between the two there’s just enough to be interesting. It’s the kind of pulpy action that made shows like the A-team palatable, and not that you could live on a diet of this for very long, but to take on a few empty calories, you could do a lot worse. Mindless action for a matinee but really more of a rental. Contraband is rated R.

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