Now playing: Contraband | Bleader

Friday, January 13, 2012

Now playing: Contraband

Posted By on 01.13.12 at 01:30 PM

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This no-frills heist thriller isn’t completely devoid of merit: director Baltasar Kormákur (best known for the Icelandic comedy 101 Reykjavik) brings a keen eye to the New Orleans and Panama locations, and the cast (which includes J.K. Simmons, Diego Luna, and the typically solid Mark Wahlberg) is similarly inventive in fleshing out the familiar characters. But several graphically violent scenes of women and children in jeopardy make this, ultimately, beneath contempt. There’s no sense of consequence to the film’s images of torture—unless you count an absurd happy ending that has the victims’ family members making out with millions in stolen loot. This is the most appalling kind of Hollywood fantasy, suggesting that even psychological trauma can be exchanged for cash value. R, 110 min.

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