Following his Oscar success with The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg 's return to the big-screen appears to have elicited a mixed response from critics. His no-nonsense action flick Contraband hits cinemas in the U.S. today (January 13, 2012) though the movie is dividing opinion.
The film follows the story of former criminal Chris Farraday, played by Wahlberg, who is forced back into the drug smuggling game after the brother of his wife becomes involved with the wrong kind of people. As awards season moves into its crucial few weeks, Contraband may slip under the radar, though Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times suggests Wahlberg's latest action flick is worth a watch, saying. "This very gritty bit of greased action does a decent job of shaking the sluggish out of January". Celebrated critic Andrew O'Hehir of, explained, "It's exactly the sort of movie that Hollywood specializes in, the kind which seems on paper as if it ought to be entertaining, but winds up a massive and chaotic drag". Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post was even less complimentary, bluntly offering, "Contraband" is like an "Ocean's Eleven" movie, minus the glamour". Made on a modest budget of $40 million, the film also stars Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster and Lukas Haas.
Wahlberg recently completed filming Seth Macfarlane's comedy 'Ted', about a man and his teddy bear, who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish.