|Cast overview, first billed only:|
Plot In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.
Review Don’t think about this film after you leave the cinema.
Not for a single second.
Because the instant that you apply the slightest type of logic to this film it falls apart.
When I left the cinema last night, I thought that I had just seen a taught, efficient, thriller about a family trapped in a situation from which there is no escape, the odds so stacked against them that every second is a blessing.
In the cold light of day, its a borderline racist, poorly explained thriller with main characters that I could barely tell apart, with a far more interesting character floating around in the background. Oh, and it has no sense of geography.
But, when I was in the cinema, it was tense and unpredictable with hope after hope dashed, the stakes getting ever higher, as this ordinary family try desperately to survive against impossible odds.
The plot is rather simple. Owen Wilson in his first (intentionally) non-comic role since the rather average Behind Enemy Lines, has taken a job somewhere in Asia and dragged his family along for the ride. However, hours after they arrive the government is overthrown and they must now flee a country where Americans are being executed on the spot. They are aided by walking plot device/ Pierce Brosnan and his driver Kenny Loggins.
And here’s one of the main issues, the family (I never did learn their names) are… well… boring. There’s not really any characterization for any of them and they are completely reactive. Plot Device on the other hand is having a blast and seems to be having a much better movie just over the horizon.
Also, the family is handed lucky break after lucky break and towards the end, the film was starting to feel a bit stretched.
However, for a film that claims to be the spiritual successor to Taken they definitely seem to have the racism down pat. This is the thing that left the worst taste in my mouth. In Taken the villains were simple, they were human traffickers and as such we felt no guilt when Liam Neeson started going through them like a shark through a surfer convention. Here though, we are told that dislike the fact that their government has old off their fresh water and that they are just looking out for their children. It really badly shoehorned in and I have no idea why they did this.
The camera work is shot in the Paul Greengrass style (however for once I didn’t get a migrane) and the soundtrack is a masterpiece of drums and the type of music one would expect to hear in Asia. The family are believable in their actions but bland.
in the end, this is a good tense thriller during the screening that just gets worse and worse the more you think about it.
My Score- If Nothing Else