Contraband (2012)

Americanized remakes of foreign films are sometimes just an excercise in pointlessness.  There are very few instances that I can recall off the top of my head where the American version actually accomplished something that the original foreign devils version didn’t.  I’m only speaking from experience here, those being the movies that I’ve seen both versions of, like Quarantine/[REC] or Let the Right One In/Let Me In and even the two The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies.  I’m sure there are many more that aren’t coming to my mind right now, but the point is that most of the time, the foreign versions are the better ones.  For some subtle reasons, I enjoyed Let Me In better than the original, same with [REC].    Anyways, Contraband is a remake of Reykjavík-Rotterdam which I’ve never seen, so I’m just judging it on its own merit.

Now I’m not a Mark Wahlberg fan at the best of times, so I wasn’t expecting anything great out of this film.  He plays a former smuggler who has gone straight, opening up his own security business and having a hot wife (Kate Beckinsale) and kids and shit, you know where it’s going from here.  Hot wife’s little brother (Caleb Landry Jones) gets in trouble smuggling and dumps the product so he owes the dealer (Giovanni Ribisi) for the dumped product and etc. etc. ONE LAST JOB.  It’s not a terribly inventive premise at all, but whatever, most movies aren’t terribly inventive at all.

I will give this to Contraband: it wasn’t completely boring and bland, and it wasn’t hate-worthy.  You’ve got a solid supporting cast with Ribisi, J.K. Simmons and Ben Foster providing the acting chops, and everything else is predictable window dressing.  But it’s not terrible.  You know what will happen, you can probably write this stuff yourself.  For the most part, the film overachieves because I really expected full-on suckitude, but it was merely alright.

3 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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