User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 124
  2. Negative: 13 out of 124

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  1. Nov 14, 2013
    6
    Contraband is long, stretchy and half baked. Mark Walhberg plays well with his guns provided by the direction, but more is needed. It's predictable, dark and funny. The scenes done by the beautiful Kate Beckinsale are amazing and the special effects are top notch. The sound blows in your face and but the acting by supporting roles is average. In the end, Contraband was a one time watchContraband is long, stretchy and half baked. Mark Walhberg plays well with his guns provided by the direction, but more is needed. It's predictable, dark and funny. The scenes done by the beautiful Kate Beckinsale are amazing and the special effects are top notch. The sound blows in your face and but the acting by supporting roles is average. In the end, Contraband was a one time watch with some bad flaws. Expand
  2. Sep 26, 2013
    8
    Good attempt at a thrilling movie. Lots of action, suspense, and heart-pounding moments. Mark Wahlberg puts on a good performance, and so this movie will be a good addition to his filmography.
  3. Sep 8, 2013
    7
    I wasn't expecting Contraband to deliver too much and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. You can always count on Mark Wahlberg too deliver a steely, non-nonsense, man-caught-in-a-drama type performance. I'm a big fan of Ben Foster, although I think he has had better roles than this one, and with Ribisi, the two provide strong counter foils to Wahlberg, who does what he does best. KateI wasn't expecting Contraband to deliver too much and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. You can always count on Mark Wahlberg too deliver a steely, non-nonsense, man-caught-in-a-drama type performance. I'm a big fan of Ben Foster, although I think he has had better roles than this one, and with Ribisi, the two provide strong counter foils to Wahlberg, who does what he does best. Kate Beckinsdale is really just window dressing caught up in the drama.

    Character development isn't top priority and the film suffers because of it but in the end for a short and punchy heist film, that gives an interesting insight into the world of international smuggling, you could do worse.
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  4. Apr 17, 2013
    4
    No spoilers here because there really isn't anything original about this film. It isn't a bad movie, it just isn't anything else either. Hollywood ran out of good guys for movies and started attempting to make us care about bad guys who 'just want to be good.' Very formulaic bad guy turns good guy force to be bad guy again or else. You end up not caring for anyone in this film and in theNo spoilers here because there really isn't anything original about this film. It isn't a bad movie, it just isn't anything else either. Hollywood ran out of good guys for movies and started attempting to make us care about bad guys who 'just want to be good.' Very formulaic bad guy turns good guy force to be bad guy again or else. You end up not caring for anyone in this film and in the end you probably won't care for the film itself. Expand
  5. Apr 12, 2013
    5
    this movie is awful which is a shame cause i'm a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg but i think he did a respectable performance however the direction is the worst of these type of movies i mean how hard it is to put some effort and some mystery in the story Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi did a great performance so for me it would be a solid 5 out of 10 because the story was repetitive andthis movie is awful which is a shame cause i'm a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg but i think he did a respectable performance however the direction is the worst of these type of movies i mean how hard it is to put some effort and some mystery in the story Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi did a great performance so for me it would be a solid 5 out of 10 because the story was repetitive and boring and i don't know who to blame for that. Expand
  6. Mar 11, 2013
    1
    Talk about disappointing. If you want to watch a film about prepping for a heist this is your film! I kept wondering when something was going to actually happen. Nothing special about it at all. I'll take The Italian Job please. Now that's a great heist film. I think Wahlberg wanted to recapture that magic. Sadly it didn't happen.
  7. Feb 24, 2013
    7
    I have to admit I quite enjoyed this trip into the shady world of smuggling. Most of the characters were quite believable and there weren’t too many plot holes that made the whole thing ridiculous. I also liked that the filmmakers kept the action sequences quite realistic (loved the shoot-out in Panama). As far as performances go, I thought it was pretty much run of the mill stuff for mostI have to admit I quite enjoyed this trip into the shady world of smuggling. Most of the characters were quite believable and there weren’t too many plot holes that made the whole thing ridiculous. I also liked that the filmmakers kept the action sequences quite realistic (loved the shoot-out in Panama). As far as performances go, I thought it was pretty much run of the mill stuff for most of them. Kate Beckinsale was a bit underused and Giovanni Ribisi played the loathsome Briggs very well. I guess this ‘by the book’ thriller was never going to win any prizes, but I did find it entertaining and that’s all you can ask of a film of this ilk.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED My score: 7.4/10.
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  8. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    Mark Wahlberg is certainly no genius, but when it comes to action movies, he's on top of his game. I wish I could say Contraband was an amazing film, but it was your typical, shoot 'em up action thriller, although the plot was better than most. A lot of critics bashed this film because of its predictability, but what do you expect from these types of films? The story, about an ex-smuggler,Mark Wahlberg is certainly no genius, but when it comes to action movies, he's on top of his game. I wish I could say Contraband was an amazing film, but it was your typical, shoot 'em up action thriller, although the plot was better than most. A lot of critics bashed this film because of its predictability, but what do you expect from these types of films? The story, about an ex-smuggler, returning to his old ways to pay off an unexpected debt, was easy to follow and full of cool action sequences. That's really all you can ask for from these films and I rather enjoyed it. If you don't like action movies, don't watch them! If you do like them, Contraband is a pretty good one and few action stars bring to the table the experience that Whalberg has. If you're looking for something that you don't really have to think about, that will hold your attention, and kill a couple of hours, go with Contraband. Expand
  9. Feb 13, 2013
    5
    Although in some ways Contraband is entertaining, in other respects this film requires a well-structured plot and better actors. Another failed crime of January.
  10. Dec 22, 2012
    7
    It was a good movie but nothing special. Im not going to say what happened but the ending was kind of disappointing. If your looking for something that will be a classic this is not it but good enough to watch.
  11. Nov 5, 2012
    6
    The plot points weren't as predictable as they could've been, and despite the cliche dialogue, Baltasar Kormakur's Contraband makes to be a decent popcorn movie.
  12. Oct 15, 2012
    5
    Looking back, this past January has been very interesting as we had a mix of films. We've had great films like Haywire and The Grey. We've had your typical pieces of **** like The Devil Inside and One For The Money. Your typical January junk like Underworld. Mediocre films like Red tails and Joyful noise. So where does Contraband fit in all of this? Well it belongs in the better than yourLooking back, this past January has been very interesting as we had a mix of films. We've had great films like Haywire and The Grey. We've had your typical pieces of **** like The Devil Inside and One For The Money. Your typical January junk like Underworld. Mediocre films like Red tails and Joyful noise. So where does Contraband fit in all of this? Well it belongs in the better than your typical January junk but not as good as it should be category. This is better then the Crap that we're subjected to every January but that doesn't excuse it's problems.

    For starters, nothing in this movie is original. Usually filmmakers will take something that's been done before and put their own fresh twists to it, that's not the case here. You've seen this all before and done better. Next is the plot, it's not that there's too little of it, there's too much of it and for what? If your going to make a movie that's been done a bunch of times before at least stick to the formula. Don't try to make it complex, it's not going to change the fact that this is unoriginal. Lastly, this film has an unappealing gritty look which was a bit of a turn off for me. It's not that I don't like it, it works well with other movies but it was unnecessary.

    Despite some glaring problems, there's some fun to be had. The action scenes are fun, and there are moments of humor sprinkled throughout. Usually most of the humorous moments are a result of a character doing the most moronic thing possible. The pacing is a little off but it shouldn't bother people that much. The acting ranges from okay to pretty good. While Mark Wahlberg's performance isn't bad but, he just kind of goes through the motions. He has shown he can act but here he is kind of Idle. Kate Beckinsale is sadly underused, she's good but she doesn't have that important of a part. Giovanni Ribisi on the other hand is pretty good. He has fun chewing at his lines and just being a complete badass. He's probably the best thing about this movie. Contraband is slightly better than your typical January junk that we're subjected to every year. However, it still can't come over the the fact that it's not original, the plot is unnecessarily complex, the pacing is a tad off, and that the overall look is unappealing. despite the action being fun and intense, it being funny, and pretty decent performances.
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  13. Oct 8, 2012
    7
    This movie was actually pretty good. Although right from the beginning i was able to see exactly what was going to happen as far as the plot is concerned. Still a pretty good movie with good amounts of action and suspense.
  14. Sep 22, 2012
    6
    Yet another remake, this time of the Icelandic Reykjavik-Rotterdam, which although superior to this one, was not one that I would expect to warrant to be made again.
  15. Aug 16, 2012
    7
    A better film than I was expecting. The solid performances pretty much are what carries the movie forward rather than the plot, which isn't really special. I also thought it was weird how 80-80% of the film consisted of the camera quickly zooming in on a character's face when he or she was talking. Other than that, a solid heist flick.
  16. Aug 4, 2012
    5
    Contraband ends up being all of the things expected of an action/thriller January release. It is a performance vehicle for any A-lister (in this case, Mark Wahlberg, whose role seems to be custom made for him), it is confusing and far-fetched, it has it's share of thrilling moments, and it is easily forgotten, but not entirely painlessly. Contraband is basically a genre film, a heist picContraband ends up being all of the things expected of an action/thriller January release. It is a performance vehicle for any A-lister (in this case, Mark Wahlberg, whose role seems to be custom made for him), it is confusing and far-fetched, it has it's share of thrilling moments, and it is easily forgotten, but not entirely painlessly. Contraband is basically a genre film, a heist pic that has the overall tone of a reversed Ocean's movie. But that trilogy had a far more easygoing nature about it, while still being hard to follow and absurd. This movie is all too serious and in the finale, it takes a tonal U-turn and becomes light-hearted, betraying itself, as if the past hour-and-a-half didn't happen. It becomes oddly watchable before that, but otherwise Contraband is just toss-away entertainment. Expand
  17. Jun 1, 2012
    5
    Flawed but watchable. Script is way too predictable. This is your basic "straight to video" type of action film. If you like Wahlberg, you should enjoy sitting through this one (just set your expectations to lowâ
  18. May 29, 2012
    1
    20-mins into the movie and it's all been cliche drug talk not a damn bit of action unless you call Wahlberg's character knocking a gun out of his face because the guy threatens his wife and kids and a minute later placates the guy's kid who sees them tussling, seriously, he says me and daddy are just playing, fking pssy talk, hit the gotdam Stop button right after that "awesome action".20-mins into the movie and it's all been cliche drug talk not a damn bit of action unless you call Wahlberg's character knocking a gun out of his face because the guy threatens his wife and kids and a minute later placates the guy's kid who sees them tussling, seriously, he says me and daddy are just playing, fking pssy talk, hit the gotdam Stop button right after that "awesome action". Not recommended at all. Expand
  19. May 16, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Hidden amongst the many more highly anticipated action movies of the year, â Expand
  20. May 5, 2012
    7
    What Wahlberg had going in the 2007 movie Shooter, he has going for him here. You may have a vague and general idea of where the movie might be going but you don't have time to really predict what comes next after most every scene. The story is not complicated, just fast paced and loaded with material, like Shooter, and the twists that punctuate the whole story are unpredictable just as inWhat Wahlberg had going in the 2007 movie Shooter, he has going for him here. You may have a vague and general idea of where the movie might be going but you don't have time to really predict what comes next after most every scene. The story is not complicated, just fast paced and loaded with material, like Shooter, and the twists that punctuate the whole story are unpredictable just as in Shooter. The official movie outline gives you a fair idea of the type of movie it is.

    Very good cast. Giovanni Ribisi plays the bad guy very well; I say this because if you despise the character, as you most certainly will, then he's done his job well. He has. Then you have J.K. Simmons, who has never failed to deliver a good performance in any of the numerous movies I've seen him in, still keeping that record intact. He plays Captain Camp, a crusty and tough cargo ship captain who has every reason to suspect the notorious smuggler Chris Faraday, played by Mark Wahlberg; what you don't expect is what he does about it and how Faraday turns the table on him. That was good writing on the part of either Aaron Guzikowski or the writers of the original 2008 Icelandic/German/Dutch production "Reykjavik-Rotterdam"; I can't tell who came up with it.

    Ben Foster has in my opinion the most difficult part to play as Sebastian. I don't want to spoil things by saying more other than he delivers a good performance, not unlike a character he has often played. Kate Bekinsale plays the wife of Wahlberg, a recalcitrant victim if ever there was one (perhaps Jennifer Lopez in 2002 "Enough" was a tougher one) and she complements Walberg's role quite well. The actors I mentioned and a few more were all quite busy as this movie has lots of action meat. I don't think you'll be disappointed with the movie, and I recommend it to my friends.
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  21. Apr 17, 2012
    3
    A friend of mine told me to see this because 'it was totally sick'! It wasn't, it was Hollywood formula at it's most banal. Trite and predictable with an atrocious script which is the usual case with mainstream films coming out of the good 'ol USA. Giovanni Ribisi is a brilliant talent but was underutilised. If he had a bigger role the film might not have sucked so much.
  22. Apr 9, 2012
    4
    It started off interesting but quickly became another generic action film that I stopped watching about half way through. It has a generic plot with poor twists and turns. The acting is average at best. Its just a generic film imo.
  23. Mar 7, 2012
    3
    Great, other action film, Contraband is the classic film of the next elements: the characters think what do, and after boom, kaboom, he die, they kill other guy, and is not funny, is same like The Mechanic and all this films of Statham.
  24. Feb 25, 2012
    6
    Contraband delivers exactly what you'd expect-- there are no surprise or anything particularly subversive about it. It's fast-paced and isn't without its share of excitingly shot sequences (particularly those scenes in Panama City) but it's most mostly forgettable, if serviceable, fare. Wahlberg is fairly robotoid in the lead role and Ribisi is far too demonstrative as the chiefContraband delivers exactly what you'd expect-- there are no surprise or anything particularly subversive about it. It's fast-paced and isn't without its share of excitingly shot sequences (particularly those scenes in Panama City) but it's most mostly forgettable, if serviceable, fare. Wahlberg is fairly robotoid in the lead role and Ribisi is far too demonstrative as the chief antagonist, however character actor J.K. Simmons makes for an entertaining, embittered 'Captain Camp'. Diverting and slickly made, but unmemorable. 6.4/10 Expand
  25. Feb 24, 2012
    4
    This movie is crap. Ridiculous premise. Essentially it glorifies crime and its one wear the worst of the bad guys win. There is great acting, but it gets lost. No sense of consequence for any action taken in this movie at all. Essentially if you are a cop, or an innocent, tough luck. Wasted my time! Don't even bother watching this when it is on free to air, unless you have absolutelyThis movie is crap. Ridiculous premise. Essentially it glorifies crime and its one wear the worst of the bad guys win. There is great acting, but it gets lost. No sense of consequence for any action taken in this movie at all. Essentially if you are a cop, or an innocent, tough luck. Wasted my time! Don't even bother watching this when it is on free to air, unless you have absolutely nothing to do. Expand
  26. Feb 17, 2012
    6
    Contraband is a cool crime movie. It is fun, dark, and suspenseful. Mark Whalberg has a great future ahead of him.
  27. Feb 8, 2012
    0
    This film is utterly unsatisfying.
    Not even slightly entertaining, some of the performances were utterly laughable, and the script was horrifyingly bad.
  28. Feb 7, 2012
    8
    Great thriller one of the greatest movies so far this year. Mark's character was well played in this movie. Great plot, action and great everything..
  29. Feb 5, 2012
    6
    Contraband was your typical action film, if you feel like getting away for a while and watching an action film this movie will not disappoint. However, if you are looking for it to blow you away or if you expect it to be part of favorites it will not do that. It was a good movie to watch, and surprisingly my wife requested that we go and see it(probably because of Mark Wahlberg) soContraband was your typical action film, if you feel like getting away for a while and watching an action film this movie will not disappoint. However, if you are looking for it to blow you away or if you expect it to be part of favorites it will not do that. It was a good movie to watch, and surprisingly my wife requested that we go and see it(probably because of Mark Wahlberg) so apparently you may be able to not claim this as your movie choice and avoid another chick flick next time. There were a few twists and turns in the movie, but nothing you couldn't really figure out if your paying attention. I thought the pace was good and it did not have any slow parts that left you wanting to leave the theater. Characters and choice of actors was pretty good as well, besides Wahlberg and beckinsale most were relatively unknown or not mainstream but probably strong up anc comers. I probably won't see it again, but it was a good movie. Expand
  30. Feb 2, 2012
    4
    Quite frankly, to be it nice and easy, i was disaapointed. I wasn't going to see this movie because its nominated for best picture or any academy awards. I saw this movie because i thought it would be a good fun action film with alot of Mark Wahlberg kicking a$$, but there wasn't any of that. The Story was lackluster, the acting mediocre and the action wasn't there. I literally saw noQuite frankly, to be it nice and easy, i was disaapointed. I wasn't going to see this movie because its nominated for best picture or any academy awards. I saw this movie because i thought it would be a good fun action film with alot of Mark Wahlberg kicking a$$, but there wasn't any of that. The Story was lackluster, the acting mediocre and the action wasn't there. I literally saw no action besides one 3 min scene, and by the review for this movie they make it look like Wahlberg is gonna do his usual thing and kick a$$ but he threw maybe 4 punches the whole movie. To sum it all up in two words, weak and disappointing describe this film perfectly, don't bother, even though its already been out awhile. 3.5/10 Expand
  31. Jan 27, 2012
    2
    Lower than average heist picture is more about getting a quick paycheck than making an actual film. Most of the actors phone in their work(besides Giovanni Ribisi, going too over the top). It's only mildly suspenseful or compelling, where a mediocre narrative is the main driver to the film over any notable acting or action sequences. We've seen this sort of thing on TV.
  32. Jan 24, 2012
    7
    Nowhere near perfection but really enjoyable. Way better than Max Payne and some of his others but Wahlberg does a good job and Beckinsale is still smokin hot. Yes it is cliched throughout with the heist elements. Foster also did a good job as always and Ribisi was a little disappointing.
  33. Jan 22, 2012
    6
    Good film, but nothing really new. Wahlberg does a fine job, as well as Foster and Ribisi. The film does have intrigue and it does well in keeping your interest spiked. Throughout the duration, we see these characters getting buried deeper and deeper and deeper in one enormous debacle, and often times you wonder how in the world they will ever get out it. It is slightly exhaustive but itGood film, but nothing really new. Wahlberg does a fine job, as well as Foster and Ribisi. The film does have intrigue and it does well in keeping your interest spiked. Throughout the duration, we see these characters getting buried deeper and deeper and deeper in one enormous debacle, and often times you wonder how in the world they will ever get out it. It is slightly exhaustive but it all makes for a pretty fun ride. Expand
  34. Jan 18, 2012
    10
    A former smuggler (Mark Wahlberg), a move away from life, now runs his own security firm, and a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale), and three great kids, life can not be any better s. Until his wife's brother, is a smuggler, and a work of messes. This put him and his family, dangerous drug dealer (Giovanni Ribisi) in danger. So, now back to its old ways of the old smuggler order to save hisA former smuggler (Mark Wahlberg), a move away from life, now runs his own security firm, and a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale), and three great kids, life can not be any better s. Until his wife's brother, is a smuggler, and a work of messes. This put him and his family, dangerous drug dealer (Giovanni Ribisi) in danger. So, now back to its old ways of the old smuggler order to save his family, but he is, or will be over his head?

    A pretty entertaining crime thriller. Mark Wahlberg is the title role, a tough guy like the old style. Kate Beckinsale as his wife alright, but it was not strong enough. Giovanni Ribisi is evil, it was awesome, enjoy it just does not like him. Lucas Haas and Ben Foster are also too good. In addition, a crime drama, really hard to satisfy you. Predicable moments, but it can still be entertaining.
    You can watch it here momomesh.com
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  35. Jan 18, 2012
    6
    Not my favorite Mark Wahlberg performance as he seems to fit the stereotypical mold of the last couple action movies he has starred in. However, what really stood out here to me are the action sequences and supporting cast. Do not get me wrong, Wahlberg is still solid as usual but without Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster, Lukas Haas and J.K. Simmons, this movie would probablyNot my favorite Mark Wahlberg performance as he seems to fit the stereotypical mold of the last couple action movies he has starred in. However, what really stood out here to me are the action sequences and supporting cast. Do not get me wrong, Wahlberg is still solid as usual but without Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster, Lukas Haas and J.K. Simmons, this movie would probably of gotten a lower rating from me. The story is predictable and very easy to follow. Expand
  36. Jan 16, 2012
    5
    Not a horrible film, but not one I'd recommend either. It tried to be clever and suspenseful but failed. You pretty well know what your going to get from the trailer and the surprise plot twists were no surprise at all or they came completely out of left field and didn't advance the story. Another complaint I have with the film is the pacing. The action tried to feel non-stop and franticNot a horrible film, but not one I'd recommend either. It tried to be clever and suspenseful but failed. You pretty well know what your going to get from the trailer and the surprise plot twists were no surprise at all or they came completely out of left field and didn't advance the story. Another complaint I have with the film is the pacing. The action tried to feel non-stop and frantic but the story takes place over a couple weeks not days. It just didn't flow. All in all I paid matinee price on a lazy afternoon and I'm not asking for my money back. If your a big Mark Walburg fan you'll find less fault with it. Collapse
  37. Jan 16, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The next movie I'm reviewing is the movie "Contraband," starring Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kate Beckinsale. I had two thoughts about this movie when I first seen it. I thought that, it could be a good movie or be one of those movies were your like: "I've seen this before and I know what's going to happen."

    This movie is about a man that has his family threatened and he's doing what ever it takes to make things right even if he has to go back to his old ways!

    Honestly, this is a good movie. I would definitely say this is worth seeing in the movie theaters. I enjoyed this movie. The movie to me felt real. I say real in the since that I could see this happening. Nothing in this movie feels far fetched and I like that. I think that is what gives this movie its breathe fresh air. I feel as though Mark Wahlberg and Giovanni Ribisi do a great job on the acting tip.

    Giovanni Ribisi is a actor that I would like to see in more movies. In any movie that I've seen him in, he really makes me feel his character. In this movie he plays a ruthless character. There's certain parts in the movie were he's kind of just sitting there staring at whatever and he just sells you on the ruthlessness his character is suppose to provide for the audience. He does a great job.

    I give this movie the rating of 8 out of 10. If you have a couple extra dollars on you and you want to see a movie. You have my permission to spend your money on this movie.
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  38. Jan 15, 2012
    7
    It's no work of art, and it cheats a bit in its storytelling, but it's a fun film - exactly what you're looking for on a Friday night in January. Ben Foster is always perfect in this type of role, incidentally.
  39. Jan 15, 2012
    5
    Ehhhh I'm not sure what to say about this movie. It was decent, but VERY predictable. I found myself guessing correctly what was going to happen next. Wahlberg was pretty cool, but his character was the same as always. My advice is to wait to rent this movie.
  40. Jan 13, 2012
    7
    Though, I think the beginning is a little slow, once the ball gets rolling you can't wait to see how it pans out. Mark and Kate did great with the script they were given. And it was an enjoyable movie to watch.
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    Mar 18, 2012
    60
    Don't expect glamorous outlaws, sunny locales and exotic masterplans – this low-key thriller lifts the rusted lid off an all-too-real world of despairing criminality.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 18, 2012
    40
    It's a thriller in which the twists become so absurd that it becomes a kind of caper, but without the humour.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 24, 2012
    55
    Nothing about it lingers, not even the sulfuric stench of a bum scene or a particularly hammy performance.