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American Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) is taking his wife Annie (Lake Bell), and their two young daughters Lucy and Beeze (Sterling Jerens and Claire Geare) to Southeast Asia to begin a new life. His company sent him there because of their plans to improve the water quality within the region. Soon after their arrival, they learn that they’re now in the middle of a political uprising. Now they must face armed rebels ordered to kill foreigners that they see. Despite the impending chaos, he must find a way to save both him and his family from all of the violence around them.
If I could use one word to describe this film, it would be intense. Luckily for us, it all starts very early on. More about that later. From the music, the camera work, the action, and the performances by both leads (Wilson and Bell) who are known primarily for comedic roles, you can really feel that intensity. I will say that this film is violent but I never found it inappropriate as it added to the intensity. I liked how the plot kept moving forward as the characters kept moving forward themselves as they were always in a sense of danger. And because of what I’ve already mentioned, you feel that sense of danger as a viewer. Because of that, I was often on the edge of my seat watching. What the film did well was that it created several moments of suspense and tension which created a great degree of uncertainty. For the most part, they held onto this but they started going away from it closer to the end when Jack decides to turn on his “my family’s in danger so now I know how to fight and use guns” switch. I would have prefered more of the former than the latter but that is a minor complaint. I can’t go too much further without mentioning an appearance by Pierce Brosnan as Hammond who is pretty much James Bond who is wearing a Hawaiian shirt instead of a tuxedo. I wish we could have had more of him because I thought he stole all the few scenes he was in. I liked the story but I thought it was missing something as it never really explained the cause of the political uprising other than showing one scene at the beginning and a brief conversation later on. I would have liked to have seen more about this otherwise it’s just Americans running away from Asians with guns and knives. Some have said this film is racist because of this and also it’s depiction of the Asian people but the argument could be made that the filmmakers were a little ignorant about Asian culture. Despite all of that, I was thoroughly entertained. I like suspense and to be on the edge of the seat. If you want a little better suspense, I recommend The Gift.
If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.