Have you ever seen a movie with a simple plot that becomes unnecessarily complicated just to add drama? That’s what you’re getting with ‘Contraband’. There’s one task that our central characters could do in the beginning of the movie to make the whole problem go away, but then there wouldn’t a feature-length movie to made, so it’s an ignored idea.
Mark Wahlberg plays a reformed smuggler who left the risky business behind for the sake of his smoking-hot wife (Kate Beckinsale) and two kids. Now legit, he has a home security business of his own. Life is good – that is, until his dumbass brother-in-law gets into some serious trouble. Trying to become a renowned smuggler of his own, that annoying screaming kid from ‘X-Men: First Class‘ chuck ten pounds of Panamanian cocaine over the side of the boat when it’s boarded by customs. If he doesn’t come up with $700,000 pronto, he, Marky Mark, Mrs. Beckinsale and their two kids will be killed by a bad guy. And whom might this fearless villain be? Giovanni Ribisi and three trashy Louisiana thugs. Not too intimidating, right?
To make everything right, Marky Mark assembles an old team for “one last job.” Their plan is to hop on a boat, cruise down to the Panama Canal, get a bunch of counterfeit uncut sheets of American cash, stash it in the freighter, get it past customs and hand it over to Ribisi. But, of course, this is one of those movies where everything is complicated. Not a single thing goes as planned. There’s a problem with the money, so they have to do something else in Panama. The new scheme doesn’t go as planned, so they have to do something else. Then the ride home isn’t as planned, so they have to try something else. And so on. It never stops.
The whole crisis could have been averted had this supposed badass and renowned smuggler (Marky Mark), after his wife and kids were beat-up and threatened, just killed the four white trash thugs and been done with it. Bam! Problem solved.
If you can shut your mind off for 110 minutes, this is a perfect caper film for you. It’s mindless and full of action and fighting. If you prefer substance with your violence, you should pass on ‘Contraband’.