Summary: Chris needs to protect his brother in law, but in order to do so he has to return a life he thought he left behind to legitimately provide for his family. The drug dealer his brother in law is involved with though, Briggs. Chris gives Briggs an offer to pay him, but if he doesn't pull through his life and family are endangered. Now Chris is setting out to return with counterfeit money that arrives in the country as contraband. When Briggs gets impatient though and begins landing threats on his family, he asks his friend, Sebastian to look after them and protect them.
Acting: Mark Walberg is the lead as Chris, and while he is a good actor I didn't sense anything different about this movie. He is sort of the everyday, family guy, who has a rough past in this role and does it well. It also makes sense he would choose this new reformed guy as he does. Kate Beckinsale is his wife, Kate. I think she is good, and she is one of the few characters you get to caring about in the movie as she fights for her family. I think she was put in some of the more interesting intense moments as well. Ben Foster is the friend, Sebastian and he has some good twist involved with his character, but you might see those coming anyways. To round it out you have Giovanni Ribsi as the bad guy, Briggs. Though this guy has played good guys there is something that always feels odd, creepy, or a little scary about him, and he does what he does best with this character in this one, and plays a mean, creepy, drug dealer.
Filming: The biggest detractor from the movie is the way it is shot. The camera is very shaky, and it looks like a television action show. I think had the shots been more focused and not so jittery the movie would be a lot better. If your scenes can't have emotion and realness without that much shake then you might have a problem. I do like the colors of the movie though, and I like how they enhance the atmosphere in certain settings, like the night scenes where Kate is getting off work and faces a threat.
Plot: I think because the movie jumps a lot at first and it does have this shaky technique that it was difficult to merge into the plot at first for me. When the story gets pumping it does keep your interest though, but that is mostly because you care about Chris' family more than you care about the guy he is trying to help out by doing all this. The acting also really brings out a lot of the interest one might have in the story, because the acting is quite solid. Everyone seems intertwined with the situation of their character, so it makes it more real.
Contraband is a good action drama flick because you have solid acting. Since they invest so much in their parts you're able to get into the movie. The way the movie is shot doesn't do much to help it though. Contraband builds the intensity nicely though, and sets the viewer up in a way they can get involved and follow the movie.
Rating 6 of 10.