For a long time I thought this film looked like just an average action film. I wasn’t completely wrong but once I finally did see it I found myself surprised by the quality across the board. Mark Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday who is an ex-smuggler, trying to live a good life doing everything straight and installing home security systems. Sadly when his brother in law ends up failing to get drugs into the country. This gets into deep trouble with a local gangster(Giovanni Ribisi) who not only having a funny voice is a hard core evil guy. Farraday must bring in another shipment of contraband to pay back the gangster and stop him from hurting his wife(Kate Beckinsale), his children and best friend(Ben Foster).
The plot is something we’ve seen before but here everything is done just so right. Wahlberg is a solid actor and plays this type of a character very well. The greatest thing about him and his character is how straight up he is. In one of my favorite scenes the villain played by Ribisi sticks a gun in Farraday’s face and threatens his family. Instantly Farraday beats his ass and sticks his own gun in that man’s face. His character is simple, he loves his family and will do anything for them, but here it feels real.
Kate Beckinsale plays another character that should be simple, the wife, but she is really strong and very real here as well. The movie also gets major points from me as the children in this film have screen time, but they don’t have over the top dialogue or any annoying quirks. No they are simply kids put in a really bad spot. All the side characters also have small moments that make them unique but they never dominate any scenes or waste any time(Like every side character in a film like Transformers for example). The film is a remake of an Icelandic film titled “Reykjavik-Rotterdam” and the lead actor Baltasar Kormakur takes the directors chair for the remake. He does a fantastic job, the film is very smooth, the action and tension are very strong as well.
My only problem with the film is that the major action scene happens half way into the film. A major “Heat” type shoot out in Panama. The fire fight is shot very well and was a breath of fresh air as action movies have gone very shaky cam and quick cut recently. None of that happens here. Still the third act has some twists and turns but not a lot of explosive action, which for me was a pretty big let down.
If you miss this film in theaters you should really check it out and rent it. The film may seem very basic, but it avoids major cliches somehow. It’s very smooth and fun. One very large and well shot action scene as well. It’s not a classic crime film by any means but for sure not a movie one should simply over look.