October 10, 2015
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Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(For action fans only)

If you are not an action movie fan, you can stop reading now.

While Contraband has the usual ingredients for the genre, it does have a couple of interesting twists, plus a close-up look at the container shipping industry.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris Farraday, a former drug smuggler who goes straight, starting his own business installing security systems (stash that away for further thought). He marries and has two young boys.

His dumb brother-in-law gets himself in trouble with a vicious gangster (Giovanni Ribisi), owing him a bundle of money. Farraday to the rescue for that one final smuggling job. He's got two weeks to come up with the money or his wife and boys will be killed.

The plot is pretty by-the-numbers, but the setting makes it somewhat interesting. Farraday works his way onto a container ship going through the Panama Canal where, with the help of old allies on board, he sets up a counterfeit money smuggling scheme in the seedy part of Panama City.

There's lots of running around and car chases, and the race against time to get the money back to the ship. The ship's captain (J.K. Simmons) has a deep dislike for our hero and almost blows his scheme. One of the very clever twists involves Farraday getting even with him.

If you want a mindless two hours at the movies, "Contraband" may please you. Rated R, with lots of profanity and violence.

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