|Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Contraband, Universal Pictures, 2012.|
January could never be complete without the action potboiler to cut the taste of Oscar pretension. Icelandic helmer Baltasar Kormakur's Contraband, an endearingly steamy pile, is a remake of another Scandinavian actioner.
Mark Wahlberg's delightfully formidable prescence fulfills our everyman action protagonist, while Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi get to chew scenery mercilessly. Kate Beckinsale comes off well as Wahlberg's wife. All this is the meat to a guileless script that takes a nosedive. Lukas Haas and Diego Luna are nice to see having fun.
Hurt Locker dp Barry Ackroyd lends a pulpy, guttural sheen to the standard proceedings. Overall, Kormakur holds it all together well enough, showing promise as an expatriated action auteur.