Putting Up Bricks: Contraband
I expended a lot of friend-capital convincing my companions to go see this movie. This involved doing impressions of Mark Wahlberg saying “No es bueno” in his tough-guy doofus voice, as shown in the preview. Unfortunately, this was all for naught, since the movie is totally mediocre. Not good enough to be enjoyable on its own merits, not quite bad enough to laugh at.
Turns out the movie is a remake of an Icelandic film, Reykjavík-Rotterdam. I’m guessing the original is better. Or at least I hope it is. Anyways, the plot of the Marky Mark version centers around Chris Farraday, a home-security installer who used to be really good at hiding contraband while working on massive freight ships. He’s worked his way out, but due to his stone-cold stupid brother-in-law, he comes to owe money to Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), a local gangster. Ribisi is truly, startlingly bad. Worst of all, you can tell he thinks he’s doing a good job.
Other things that keep Contraband from being good, believable, or bearable: the actress who plays Chris’ wife, who couldn’t look less middle class if she started a Gucci handbag bonfire; the nonsensical movie-within-a-movie Panamanian heist, the ridiculous ”we’re all millionaires!” happy ending, which doesn’t jive with the rest of the movies grimy, semi-realistic tone. Anyways, skip this one. If you’re hankering for some Wahlberg, just watch The Fighter or stare at those old Calvin Klein billboards.