Title: Contraband (2012)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p / AVC
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, and Spanish
Run time: 110 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
Region Coding: Region Free
Mark Wahlberg as Chris Farraday
Robert Wahlberg as John Bryce
Caleb Landry Jones as Andy
Jason Mitchell as Walter
Ben Foster as Sebastian Abney
Lukas Haas as Danny Raymer
Kate Beckinsale as Kate Farraday
Giovanni Ribisi as Tim Briggs
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
This is my first time watching one of Kormákur’s films so I didn’t really know much about his past work. Contraband is his seventh film since 2000, but from looking at this past reviews he seems to miss more than hit. I suppose if you want to give the guy a chance that this film is probably a place to start since many of you are already familiar with Mark Wahlberg.
Chris Farraday has a beautiful wife, two wonderful boys, and his own home security company, which leads the viewer to think that he has a perfect life and he does, at least temporarily. We soon discover that several years before he began his family Chris was one of the best smugglers of illegal items in and out of New Orleans. After his father was incarcerated several years before Chris decided to give up the trade so that he could start his own family.
All seems to be going well for Chris until his brother-in-law Andy gets involved in the same smuggling trade that Chris was involved in years before. When Andy gets involved with smuggling some cocaine into New Orleans and his boat gets raided by law enforcement he is forced to dump the cocaine prematurely. Tim Briggs is the man that paid Andy to make the run and when he comes looking for his money to replace his lost cocaine things begin to turn violent. Chris is forced to make things right, but to do it he is going to have to make his own smuggling run to Panama after he promised his entire family he would never do it again. Will Chris be able to get the money in time to save Andy’s life and more importantly the lives of his family?
I suppose my expectations were just too high from seeing that Wahlberg and Beckinsale were the stars of this film, but most every aspect of this film is extremely predictable. The script is also highly questionable as there are just too many convenient things that occur. It’s worth the 110 minutes if you’re looking for some time to kill, but I certainly wouldn’t go out of your way to see this one. Due to violence and profanity this one is not for children of any age.
Contraband comes to Blu-ray with an above average transfer, but it does contain a few problems. Color saturation and flesh tones appear to be accurate without any apparent issues. Grain is barely visible in the daytime shots as you would expect, but since most of the film occurs in low to no light settings it has a tendency to become noise. In many of the night sequences grain falls apart into noise and at times can become distracting. Except for these few situations with noise fine detail is always top notch so for the most part this is a well done transfer.
One would expect a rather bombastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track with Contraband and that’s exactly what is given to the audience. Dialogue is clear and concise for virtually the entire film, but there are a couple instances when it gets drowned out. The fronts and surrounds are almost constantly engaged except during the few dialogue driven scenes. Many ambient sounds find their way into the surrounds such as sloshing water, city effects, and the various internal sounds of a cargo ship. The LFE comes to life several times in the film and always packs a punch without any noticeable distortion. This mix is not perfect, but it’s still of top tier quality.
Contraband arrives on Blu-ray with a rather mediocre set of supplements. First up is a feature length commentary with Kormákur and his producer, which is rather normal and has some mildly interesting information. Next up is Universal’s U-Control Picture-in-Picture features that pops up at various parts of the film, which should be skipped unless you’re a diehard fan. Next are 12 deleted scenes that come to about six minutes worth of material, but none would have helped the film in my opinion. Rounding out the extras are two making-of features with the first being a 17 minute fluff piece and the second being a eight look at the film’s stunts and how they were achieved. There’s also a DVD of the film as well as an Ultraviolet Digital Copy code.
Final Word: A Rental At Best