Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, somehow manages to mess up one of the most basic movie genres: action. It seems to lack all story and interest. Let's start by examining the hero.

Chris Farraday, played by Wahlberg, used to be a great smuggler until he quit the business. Now he installs security systems and has a family. His stupid brother-in-law is still a smuggler and people want to kill him. That's about all we know about him. There's nothing about how he got into the business in the first place, met his wife, or when he decided to stop smuggling. Basically, he's really good at hide-and-seek and he's boring.

For an action movie, there isn't really a lot of action. There was one car crash that was pretty good and Kate Beckinsale got her ass kicked for about three scenes. Pee-wee's Big Adventure had more action sequences than this poor excuse for an adrenaline rush.

The dialogue in this movie was hardly believable. The characters don't explain how the operation normally works. The hero is never faced with any tough decisions except "get back into smuggling or we'll kill your family" which isn't really a decision at all. In a good heist movie, I like to know a little bit about everyone on "the team." I had no idea who these people were.

The movie poster for Contraband asks the question "What would you hide to protect your family?" I would hide the fact that I starred in Contraband, Wahlberg. This is the kind of thing that people will bring up at celebrity roasts, high school reunions, etc. for the rest of your life.

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