Bold Films, Brothers Dowdle Productions, Living Films,
Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare
Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) has lost his company, but found a lucky opportunity to work for a large American Water Company in an Asian developing nation to upgrade their water system. He takes his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and their two young daughters to an upscale hotel to begin his new job. But they’ve landed right in the middle of a local uprising and Jack has to use all his skills and wits to stay a few steps ahead of the coup that is killing loyalists and foreigners on sight. With the help of an unusual character Hammond (Pierce Brosnan) who knows his way around pretty well, they are trying to find a way to get to a safe place to ride out all the violence.
This is a rapid fire suspense thriller. Owen Wilson was really a good casting decision as he really got to sink his chops into this one. The script is good, and the level of confusion they feel come across to us on screen as the terror builds. This is a situation that feels really accurate as the situation can get out of hand in a few minutes. There we are trapped with them in a foreign country with no idea what anyone is saying and no way to read any of the signs. Finding someone who can speak English is a real help in a horrible situation like this. The script is full of suspense and they literally are never out of grave danger. The audiences are seemingly enjoying this as the theaters are crowded, and I felt it was a really good roller coaster ride through the jungle.
I have to share an epiphany that I had while watching this film. It hit very close to home. In the year 1972 I was serving on a mission in Manila in the Philippines. One morning we had planned an exhibit right in the heart of Quiapo, the main area of the government buildings. Surprisingly no one came to see us, and as Americans we were often mobbed by people, mostly kids, who wanted to see us because we were different with the hairy arms and blue eyes and such. But no one came around and everyone walked with their eyes down without looking left or right. As we gave up and packed it in, we noticed that there were no newspapers anywhere on the street. The driver of the taxi turned on the radio and moved the tuner up and down the dial but there were no stations on.
At 7PM, the TV and Radios came back on, but only on the channels Ferdinand Marcos owned personally. It started with a military style march about Filipino pride, and Marcos came on to explain why he had declared martial law. The situation was very grim, and he had been planning this for many months. In order to pull it off, he had planned a vote on a new form of government using the Parliamentary System and was going to release all the Senators and Congressmen. But unfortunately a man, Ninoy Aquino had released a leaked plan of President Marcos’ plan to stay in power after the end of his term. Like the US, the President is only allowed to run for two terms and his time was ending. Aquino had spilled the beans and forced his hand, so he declared martial law, locked up Aquino and hundreds of other politicians who were against him, and took control for 10 years. Fortunately the population (kind of to my surprise) turned a blind eye, rolled over, and walked quietly around without a whimper. I could have been caught up in the middle of a coup, just like this little family in the movie. It could have been very frightening, but being 20 years old and feeling like nobody would ever mess with an American, we we on day after day as usual. But we learned a lot about how something like this can happen, and how it can change in temperament in a few minutes. It was a weird experience to think of this while watching this film. There is, of course, much much more to my story, probably enough to fill a book, but as to the film, I think I am not the only one who really enjoyed this movie. It’s kicking it in the box office, and rightly so. It’s rated R because of the graphic violence, but if you are not squeamish of that, this is a film you ought to see. I highly recommend this one as one powerful thriller.
EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog
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