MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
There are great heist films, like the “Oceans” series, and there are lesser heist films. “Contraband” definitely falls into the lesser kind. It works for an early January release, which is what is was when it hits theaters, but it’s not much to write home about and entirely forgettable on DVD and Blu-ray.
The story follows Chris Faraday (Mark Wahlberg), a former smuggler who is dragged back into a life of crime when his brother-in-law becomes indebted to a drug dealer. Faraday must pull off one last score to settle the debt before his family becomes collateral damage.
There are some nice action sequences, and the movie definitely has grit. However, it’s neutered by the team of criminals we’re supposed to root for being stuck on a ship through most of the film. Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi chew through the scenery in their performances, giving the film a grimy feeling that clashes with the relatively hip and fun nature of a cool little heist film.
The Blu-ray comes with a DVD of the film and a Digital Copy disc for portable use. There’s a nice assortment of special features, including deleted scenes, a commentary track and two featurettes: “Under the Radar: The Making of Contraband” and “Reality Factor: The Stunts and Action of Contraband.”
Blu-ray exclusive content includes access with the pocketBLU app and BD-Live for additional features. There’s also the picture-in-picture U-Control mode that always offers a neat addition to the title.