Sunday, 17 March 2013

Contraband (2008)

I remained open mouthed in disbelief at the morality of Contraband, watched because it featured Mark Walhberg who I have got to know as an actor through the TV series about New York’s finest the NYPD Blue Bloods.  In this film Mark, having married (Kate Beckinsale) had settled into a law abiding and respectable life with their two young sons, having previously been a drug courier.


When customs approach the ship in which his brother is bringing in huge consignment of drugs, these are dumped in the Mississippi River to the disbelief of those who had paid for the supply to be brought in. Mark operates a construction business with a best family friend who is also a former drug running associate and in order save his brother’s neck and threats against his family, Mark with his brother and another friend join the crew of the smuggling ship to visit Panama to buy $10 million in fake bills for entry into the USA to sell on return to raise the $, 7 million debt. On arrival they find that the counterfeit money is badly made and they go to a drugs war lord who can provide better quality. He insists they participate in a robbery which involves the contents of an escorted armoured vehicle. The robbery is partially successfully in that he contents are removed, a multimillion pound Jackson Pollock creation. The ambush is itself ambushed by the police/military and drug baron and his men are killed/captured leaving Mark and co with the painting and the money which they take back to the ship in their van. Some of the funds are used to purchase drugs unknown to mark until later. When Mark finds out he says they will be dumped before they get back to port. The complications multiply for the Captain in league with the drug runners warns the Border agency in advance of docking and they check out Mark’s van and find nothing.  Mark has got the drugs back on land and secreted at the home of the ship’s captain so when he is forced by those owed money to show them where the drugs are kept he takes them to the house of the Captain and gets away just as the police arrive to captured the  “real” villains.


Meanwhile while away and fearful of the threats made to his wife and son Mark has an arranged for his business partner to protect them, not knowing as we do that in fact it is the business partner behind the original drugs deal and the present deal in order to pay off his substantial gambling debts with interest to the mob. When Mark’s wife realises who the traitor is she accidentally bangs her head and appears dead, so the businesses partner take her body which he covers in plastic sheets and places in yet to be concreted foundations for the building site the company is working on.


Fortunately Mark also works out the treachery of his partner and goes in search of the man and the whereabouts of his missing wife. He is told she is dead, rings her cell phone and hears it ringing in the concrete trench just in time. If this was not miraculous enough. The two brothers retrieve the $10 million of fake notes dumped in the river before the arrival of border control agents. They also buy the van back at a police auction for the Pollock art work which is still in the van as paint splattered canvass said to have a value of $20 million. The film closes will his family enjoying life in a luxury waterfront property.








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