Contraband (15)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi

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The Independent Culture

In this dull thriller Mark Wahlberg is said to play a "legendary smuggler", which seems a contradiction in terms: smuggling would surely depend on an off-the-grid anonymity.

Chris (Wahlberg) has allegedly given up the game, but – of course – he's dragged back in when his idiot brother-in-law runs foul of a sleazeball drug lord (Giovanni Ribisi). You keep going in the hope of one good scene, or one quirky character, that will temporarily lift it from formulaic trash. Unfortunately there are no surprises from Ben Foster as Chris's best pal or Kate Beckinsale as his wife, nor does the script strain overmuch against cliche: "you do what you gotta do"; "family is family". A stop-over in Panama City promises more when Chris locks antlers with crime boss Diego Luna – looking oddly like "Let It Be"-era Paul McCartney – but the ensuing mayhem is just a knockoff of Heat. Don't let this one through customs.