Sunday, 12 February 2012

Contraband directed by / réaliser par Baltasar Kormákur

Contraband has you sitting on the edge of your seat

                                           Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

You cannot begin to imagine the plot twists, inevitably evil situations and the fickle cruelty of friends and druggies in this marvellous suspense film that turns Hollywood on its haunches. ‘Contraband’ is an extraordinary piece of film work that hurdles us completely into risky action and raw edge drama.  And it is so elegantly done. No cheap gizmos here.  The plot begins: Chris Farraday masterfully played by Mark Wahlberg, got out of the drug trade long ago, but his kid brother-in law decided to take up where he left off. Unfortunately, the ship where the young brother-in-law is carrying cocaine is ambushed by American inspectors. He tosses the drugs overboard. Still that doesn’t stop Tim Briggs, masterly played by Giovanni Ribisi, from trying to collect what was owed to him. Chris concocts a plan to hire a crew and go to Panama to retrieve counterfeit money, but everything goes wrong. At every step of the journey, a new life-and-death snafu presents itself. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. What really threw a kink into the character side of things was the fact Chris’ best friend, Sebastian, perfectly played by Ben Foster, turned out to be no friend at all. Everyone wants a share of the money be it coke or counterfeit, and in the end, it is a cement dump truck the seals the deal and exposes the ugly truth about truth. Unparalleled plot, super unpredictable twists and unified ensemble acting cleverly collide in a move whose riveting topic alone raises the hair on the back of your neck. The gritty quality of the film along with the film’s texture puts director Baltasar Kormákur on my A list of directors. By the way, the pace was a perfect match for the action.