Schizophrenia can be a helluva thing and the latest cinematic version of a film that cannot control its mood swings, temperament, or demeanor is Contraband. Essentially, Contraband looks like a gritty action suspense/thriller. And a heist film. And a family drama. And a wife-and-kids-in-peril horror film. And a rooting for the anti-hero film. In short, Contraband wants to be everything to everyone and mostly fails in being anything to anyone.
Mark Wahlberg is a fine actor and as a friend pointed out to me, and this comment is completely true in analyzing his career, he is most often great when he is in an ensemble. When asked to be the sole name-above-the-title, situations typically found in his lackluster attempts to be a big-time action movie star, Wahlberg and, in turn, the films suffer. For every The Fighter, The Other Guys, The Basketball Diaries, Boogie Nights and The Departed, there is The Happening, Shooter, Max Payne, and Rock Star. And now there’s Contraband.