Rocky Horror Picture Show star Tim Curry, 67, is recovering in his LA home after suffering from a huge stroke.
Contraband – movie review
Release date: 16 March 2012
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale
What's the story?
Genius smuggler turned law-abiding family man Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is forced out of retirement for One Last Job to protect his idiot brother in law from a drug lord.
What did we think?
One Last Job? Some people just never learn. Mark Wahlberg can sleep-walk through movies like this, but his tough assurance and a colourful, charismatic supporting cast make this occasionally exciting, mostly ridiculous suspense thriller surprisingly watchable. Enjoyable while it lasts, forgotten as soon as it finishes.
Intriguingly, this remake of a brisk, crisp Icelandic crime thriller is directed by the star/producer/co-writer of the original. Baltasar Kormakur's camerawork is alert and grungy, pulling a small but refreshing change to Hollywood's usual slicked-up style. Cross-cutting, industrial atmospherics, twitchy pacing keep Contraband feeling alive even though its story is a remarkably undernourished.
Avoiding to suspicious attentions of the contain ship's captain (JK Simmons), Walhberg sails to Panama where he heists an armoured truck, counterfeiter money and a Jackson Pollock painting. Back in New Orleans, Mobster turn up the heat and Wahlberg's best friend (Ben Foster) takes care of his wife (Kate Beckinsale) rather too literally. Obviously, everything that can go wrong, does.
Impossible coincidences and clichés stack up fast, but the urgent vibe and Wahlberg's decent-tough-guy persona focus the action effectively. Orbiting around Wahlberg's solid core are smartly cast gallery of actors. Giovanni Ribisi chews hungrily through scenery as a hair-slicked, tattooed villain. Ben Foster, almost a young Ribisi, pumps out effortless scuzzy charisma. Kate Beckinsale is almost unrecognisable with a working-class blonde dye. And Mexico star Diego Luna amps up the cool as a suitably greasy villain.
Chewing gum for the brain.
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