Review – Contraband

Most properly planned cinemas have an emergency exit well placed to the bottom left or right of the room for patrons to easily vacate the premises in the event of a fire.

During horrible films, the exit sign taunts you with promises of freedom, fresh air and one way ticket out of suck-town. For the sake of this review suck-town will also be known as ‘Contraband’.

John Bryce (Mark Wahlberg) is a reformed professional smuggler who runs a small security business. When his brother in law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) gets into trouble with a local gangster, Byrce must take on a smuggling job to repay a debt and protect his family.

‘Contraband’ is promoted as an action/thriller but both elements are missing from the film. An example of how dull the action set pieces are is best showcased in a scene involving a bulk carrier threatening to crash into a dock. It’s about as boring as, well, watching a bulk carrier come into port.

The acting is shoddy with Giovanni Ribisi punching in the worst performance of his career. Kate Beckinsale plays the forever suffering wife and it’s sickening to see a filmmaker treat a female character like a human piñata. The violence against a woman in this film is awful and plays into the hands of the meatheads that will lap it up. Shame on director Baltasar Kormakur for letting it happen in a film that has zero substance and it’s a mystery as to why Beckinsale accepted the role.

The film puts the word ‘con’ in ‘Contraband’ because its primary goal is to rob you of your money. If you plan on seeing it, please locate your nearest emergency exits before the lights go down.


‘Contraband’ is now showing.

The Popcorn Junkie