What would you hide to protect your family?
A fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect.
Smuggling. The crime of harbouring “goods” from one place to another for a select price, with most of the time the item in question being drugs. With that making up the premise of said film, I was quite interested how it was going to transition to the big screen as it has been awhile since I viewed anything that had the same inclination. I did unfortunately see the trailer and luckily it doesn’t give too much away. I would recommend not seeing it if possible. I have to report that the film is very entertaining, however don’t go in expecting the world as it’s not without some downfalls too.
Our story begins with a really brief intro to the cast we shall be viewing for the duration of the film. We get to know each character a little, enough basically to understand why each person acts the way they do and to follow the plot. The cast is there for a reason and they get on with it — not that it’s a bad thing, although one reason behind this story is that you must do anything to protect your family, whatever the cost and I didn’t really feel the bond between the family. It is however a small hiccup that I don’t think many viewers will be too bothered about.
Speaking of the story, it isn’t anything HUGELY original. I actually thought for a brief moment this was another version of “Gone in Sixty Seconds” (just without the cars), but that changed quickly as the movie progressed. The picture has its own bells and whistles which make it more interesting, even so, it still ends up feeling clichéd.
One of the features I did enjoy about this film is the cinematography…We get taken to few different locations and a few docks, with some wide aerial shots so you get a broader perspective for certain situations. There is one particular scene (you will know when you see it) that was done extremely well using different camera angles to play on your eyes, instead of going with the traditional CGI route. The director definitely added a few interesting perspectives which lends to the variety of camera views to keep things fresh.
This movie isn’t about the effects, but what they did try to incorporate was some decent suspense. What I could notice from other viewers in the cinema (Tapping feet, biting nails, etc.) is it seemed to work, though it will be dependent on your level of suspensefulness (yep, I just made another word). It did work to a certain degree, for me anyway, while other times I could see what was coming. One last note: When the action does start, it kicks like a mule and doesn’t let up all that quickly.
I have one main qualm about this film and that would have to be the timing. When certain events take place and they are time based, it’s as if time stands still. Even when the cast get into worse dispositions than they already are…time just seems to stroll on by. This brings a certain amount of unrealism and ended up pushing it into far-fetched territory, which drew me out of the movie slightly. Not to say that you will feel the same, but it was the major draw card against this film. There are plot holes abound, but you can take those as they come.
At the end of the day; “Contraband” is a fun ride…smuggling drugs, getting shot at and stopping time (no, I jest), it is entertaining and one of those films where you have to leave your brain at the door, view it and enjoy (hopefully). I did like it more than I originally thought I would. The current profit at the moment is $87Million on a $40million budget.
Worth the watch if: You are a fan of the cast, looking for a slightly above average action/thriller or enjoy these kinds of films.
|Leading Cast:||Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale , Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, J.K. Simmons|
|Studio:||Relativity Media. Working Title Films, Blueeyes Productions|
|Running Time:||109 Minutes|
|Release Date:||16 March 2012 (South Africa)|