Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is known as a legend among the underground smuggling world but he gave it up to live a straight life, running his own business Farraday Security Systems, supporting his wife Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and two kids and making his father Bud (William Lucking) proud, even though his dad is serving prison time. Chris thought he was out of the business that is until his brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) pulls him back into it. Andy was making a drug run aboard an incoming barge to the port of New Orleans until custom agents and their dogs showed up causing Andy to throw the stash of cocaine overboard.
Of course the men Andy was running for were not happy with the results so Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) and his men decided to take their frustrations out on Andy and his partner, landing them both in the hospital with only Andy eventually walking out. When Briggs threatens to kill Kate’s brother her husband Chris has no choice then to get involved and make a run that will pay off Andy’s debt to Briggs and the men above him. One thing though Chris did not want to run drugs but rather counterfeit money and soon sets sail with Andy for Panama. While away his best friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) is helping to keep an eye on Kate and the kids, especially with Chris away Briggs has been threatening the family. But things are not quite what they appear to me in this puzzled game of backstabbing occurrences.
Once in Panama Chris meets up with Gonzalo (Diego Luna) a man surrounded by wolves and snakes to obtain his counterfeit money but Andy again throws a major wrench into the system causing Chris to get involved with his buddy Danny (Lukas Haas) in an armored car heist but this time money nor drugs is the desired object. When things go bad many of the players die as Chris and Danny escape in a van with more than they bargained for in the end. What may just seem like a tarp to hide the stash to some may actually be worth millions to another! Art is always in the eyes of the beholder.
With very little time for Chris and Danny to make it back to the ship before heading back to New Orleans they race the clock before the ship sets sail, get back to New Orleans, pay the debt and save the lives of his family all this while hiding the stolen items from customs and the ship Captain (J.K. Simmons). Albeit in the final moments all the pieces to the puzzle come together revealing the players and exposing their dirty deeds.
The film seemed a bit grainy at times but all that aside I really enjoyed the story that contained a few good twists and turns along the way. Nice direction, keeping the story riveting from beginning to end accompanied by an appropriate score and some wonderful cinematography especially of the Panama Canal region.
Wahlberg seems to do no wrong especially when it comes to this type of film genre. He again brings life to his character adding depth to his every move. Beckinsale as well does a great supporting role being able to take the punches and the blows along the way. Ribisi is hands done one of my favorite with his rough edge and somewhat eerie demeanor this actor really knows how to put himself out there as an actor. Foster with his chiseled looks may appear harmless but he really knows how to fool you in order to get what he wants. Haas proves he has a rough side although seems to be in touch with his naïve yet risk taking persona. Jones seems to be that average guy you’d see on the side of the street hanging out with nothing to do but get in trouble which he does throughout this entire story. Simmons and Luna are both cast well along with several other supporting characters but when it comes down to it Wahlberg and Ribisi make this movie worth seeing in the theatre. Written with two and half paws out of four, bang bang, bang, I’m Jon Patch.