For a long time I had wondered what The Italian Job would have been like had it been rated R, had extra violence, and a lot of language (ok, maybe not). I'm sure glad that I was able to see Contraband today to help alleviate all of my worries.

After spending years making runs across the border to help smuggle drugs, and money the now married, father of two young boys, Chris Farraday has turned his life around. He is running a successful home security company when he finds out that his brother-in-law, Andy has failed on a run smuggling drugs back from Panama. Believe it or not, this upset his boss, Tim Briggs. With no other option but to try and help his wife's brother Chris is forced back into the high stakes game of running contraband across the border.

As he did in The Italian Job, Mark Wahlberg plays the lead character in this thrilling drama. He is joined by the beautiful Kate Beckinsale who plays his wife (side note: it really bothers me when actors/actresses play characters that have the same name in real life, I mean really, you can't come up with another name for such a well known actress?). Ben Foster plays the role of Sebastian, the best friend of Farraday, who helps organize the trip to Panama for Chris and his crew.

Two of my favorite parts in this movie are coincidentally played by two people who had arc's on Mark Wahlberg produced HBO show, Entourage. Giovanni Ribisi plays the part of drug kingpin Tim Briggs, while Lukas Haas plays the main character's right hand man, Danny Raymer.

The acting in this movie will not win any awards anytime soon. The story lines throughout the movie are enough to keep you guessing and entertained assuming you are not turned off by some language and overly dramatic (see: not well acted) violence. My wife decided to skip the movie this morning, and in hindsight that was probably for the best. This is a movie to see with your buddies, not on a date night.

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Written by: Aaron Guzikowski, Arnaldur Indriðason, and Óskar Jónasson
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kate Beckinsale
My Rating: 2.75 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: Yes

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