Op-Eds Opinion

Mark Wahlberg and Contraband End up Just Average

Tyler Stinson

Staff Writer 

Mark Wahlberg’s newest movie, Contraband, hit theaters in January. Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, a legendary smuggler in the ports of New Orleans. Farraday is known for making loot disappear from customs’ eyes like Houdini. Retiring to his small business and family, Farraday never thought he would have to return to his life of crime, until his brother-in-law finds himself in trouble with the wrong people. Having no other choice, Farraday must pull off an impossible heist to clear his family’s name.

Since the movie’s hype revolved completely around Wahlberg’s character, it’s important to understand that he is a one-dimensional actor who thrives in roles made around his strengths. Luckily, the script is written to cater to Wahlberg’s acting fortes and doesn’t take any chances to ruin the movie. The story itself is a mix of a sub par action flick with hints of a great heist movie. While the action isn’t thrilling, the twists and turns in the story were enough to keep me intrigued.

Unfortunately, Wahlberg doesn’t deliver a stunning performance, and the supporting cast fails to be anything but unforgettable.

The look into the world of contraband and smuggling was exactly what made Contraband worth watching. I always give movies with settings rarely explored by filmmakers an extra chance, and it was well worth it for Contraband. The plot wasn’t too far-fetched; and it was amazing to think of the possibility that something like smuggling at a high-stakes level takes place over the high seas, even today.

Contraband ends with an interesting moment of realization and gives you a great feeling as you figure out twists of the story. While at times the story was dark and brutal, the overall pace of the movie was perfect and never fell into a boring slump. If a little more work was put into the villains of the movie, mixed with a heist before the big climax, this movie could have been great. However, I can only say that Contraband was an average movie with a great setting and nothing more.

Tyler Stinson may be reached at tstinson@springfieldcollege.edu

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