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Contraband smuggles laughs and intrigue into action flick

January 13th, 2012

If you’re looking for a fun night at the movies, Contraband is your ticket. Mark Wahlberg is one of the few actors who can yo-yo between prestigious projects like The Fighter and producing HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and then turn around and release a movie that celebrates the strictly entertainment side of films.

Playing Chris Farraday, a retired smuggler, Wahlberg’s character is sucked back into the illegal business for one last job when his brother in law gets in trouble with a gangster, played by the always convincing Giovanni Ribisi. Rounding out the cast is Kate Beckinsale as Walhberg’s wife and Ben Foster in an understated role as Walhberg’s best friend. This is Foster’s second time producing an action flick with more meat than muscle after starring in 2011’s The Mechanic with Jason Statham.

As the plot sets up what seems like an easy task for Wahlberg’s Farraday, who is been touted as the ‘Houdini’ of running illegal goods, an increasing number of obstacles are put in the ex-smugglers way and the story produces impressive resolutions.

Believable both as a bad guy and reformed family man, Wahlberg’s charisma, especially in scenes with Panema drug lord Diego Luna, make the unrelatable film believable. While the action flick industry is often dismissed as forgettable, hidden gems like Contraband keep fans coming back from more. Think of this as more Bourne than Bad Boys.

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