Contraband (3 stars)


Bland, low-key but solid and watchable action film

(15) 109min

‘This is world-class smuggling!’ enthuses a member of Mark Wahlberg’s crew in Contraband, a terse US remake of 2008 Icelandic thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam.

Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, an ex-smuggler whose attempts to go straight with his own security company are threatened when brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) dumps a shipment of cocaine belonging to drug lord Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi). With further pressure put on his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and children, Farraday is reluctantly pulled back in to do one last smuggling job, bringing millions of dollars of counterfeit bills from Panama to New Orleans on board a freighter commanded by the increasingly suspicious Captain Camp (J.K. Simmons).

Directed by actor Baltasar Kormákur, who played Wahlberg’s role in the original film, Contraband is a bland, low-key but solid action film, offering detail about how smugglers defy the authorities carefully positioned within a crowd-pleasingly moral framework. Despite his limited range, Wahlberg excels playing such salty, blue-collar characters and, although Farraday never lifts a gun, his professional way of playing a cat and mouse game makes Contraband watchable if hardly world-class entertainment.

General release from Fri 16 Mar.

Contraband - Trailer


  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi
  • UK release: 16 March 2012

Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) is a reformed ex-smuggler who's forced to pull one last big job, bringing counterfeit bills from Panama to New Orleans under the nose of an increasingly suspicious freighter captain (Simmons). This terse US remake of 2008 Icelandic thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam is bland and low-key, but solid and…

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