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by Tony Medley
Run time 104
Last year the
best film I saw was early in the year, a French film called Point
Blank. I thought I might see some better, but the only thing that
approached it was Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
10) I saw Contraband and I can't anticipate seeing anything much
more entertaining. Mark Wahlberg is a former drug smuggler who is cast
back into that roll with the help of his best friend (Tim Foster) to
save his brother-in-law (Caleb Landry Jones), wife (Kate Beckinsale),
and two children, from a ruthless crime boss (Giovanni Ribisi), in what
turns into a violent caper film with twists and turns.
Set in New
Orleans and on a container ship, whose captain (JK Simmons) is less than
friendly towards Mark, and Panama, the cinematography (Barry Ackroyd)
and music (Clinton Shorter) are both first rate. Baltasar Kormákur
directs Aaron Guzikowski's script taken from the film
Reykjavik-Rotterdam with pace and tension that never lets up from
the opening scene of Landry Jones dumping some drugs off a ship before
the drug authorities catch him with them.
Wahlberg gives a
scintillating performance, and it's matched by Foster, Ribisi, and
Beckinsale. Thrillers, like comedies, get short shrift from the Academy
when it comes to awards, but everyone involved in this film deserves
recognition. If films are mainly meant as entertainment, this is first