We feel for Chris Farraday (Mark
Wahlberg). In his younger years, he
led a life of crime, but somehow, he has been able to get out of “the
life,” and go straight, without anybody coming after him, either the Law
or his former cohorts. His
successors in the international smuggling business have apparently felt no
need to eliminate him as a potential informant.
He’s home free. He gets
married, to the beautiful and loving Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and they have
two children, and he’s started his own home security business (with
particular personal expertise as a former thief), and all is peaceful and
Until it isn’t. Kate’s
dim-witted brother, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), has decided that he wants a
part of “the life,” and he barely escapes a last-second discovery by
drug enforcement officials suddenly boarding his boat by throwing his
“stash” overboard. Except now
the supplier expecting those “goods” is not at all happy, and wants to
be paid, anyway. With interest.
Andy, of course, doesn’t have that kind of money, and begs Chris
for help. Chris knows only one way
to earn enough money to bail out his brother-in-law:
to make one more run with contraband.
His beloved suburban wife, naturally, is very conflicted:
she wants her husband to save her brother, but she doesn’t want
to lose either of them to a botched amateur operation, either.
Chris thinks he can activate some old overseas contacts and make
this an easy, in-and-out swindle. Alas,
and we knew this was coming, very little goes as planned.
The ship’s captain immediately
suspects Chris, whom he knows by reputation, and assigns him to the mop
bucket detail on the freighter, partly to humiliate him and partly to keep
an eye on him. Chris has promised
his little clandestine crew-within-the-crew that they will not be dealing
in drugs, only counterfeit currency. But
when they arrive in
, with only a small time window, his old supplier tries to sell him the
cheap stuff, and when confronted, claims that a new operator has taken
over all the quality printing paper. Chris
has to find the secret hideout of the new supplier, who’s really just a
thug, and then somehow arrange a deal, but even that goes awry, as Andy,
ill-advisedly left holding the cash, caves in to pressure from his
hoodlum-supplier back home to make a drug deal instead.
This desertion in his ranks forces Chris to pay for his contraband
by helping out the new thug with an armored car robbery, which goes badly,
and turns into a shootout with the federales.
It gets worse.
Chris discovers that he has been betrayed by his best friend back
home, who is in cahoots with Andy’s supplier, and now his wife and
children are at risk, because they’re left unprotected, and a convenient
Will our hero be able to return
unscathed from his misadventures, identify the turncoats, keep Andy safe,
rescue his loving but helpless wife, and return to happily ever after,
with interest? Well, it’s a
thrill ride trying to get there, anyway. Accompanied
by a noble, languorous
backdrop and an authentic jazz/blues soundtrack, you could do a lot worse
at the movies.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim
Pastor, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,