Went to see this preview screening last night at the Leeds Showcase thanks to SeeFilmFirst and I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised in that I really enjoyed the film and I really needed the new comfy/reclining premium seating seats that were there, as I was on the edge of it throughout.
In this John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) directed and written (along with Drew Dowdle, As Above, So Below and Quarantine) film, Owen Wilson (Zoolander, Wedding Crashers) stars as Jack Dwyer, a failed businessman from Austin,Texas who takes a job in Asia at a water company. He relocates his family, wife Annie (Lake Bell, No Strings Attached, What Happens in Vegas) and daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins, World War Z, The Conjuring) and Beeze (Claire Geare - uncredited - Inception, Dream House), unsure of what awaits him at the new company.
With no-one to pick him up at the airport, he is forced to take a lift with Hammond (Pierce Brosnan, Golden Eye, Mamma Mia) a man he meets on the plane and his taxi-driver friend 'Kenny Rogers' (Sahajak Boonthanakit, Only God Forgives, Elephant White).
Once you get your head around Wilson playing it not only straight, but deadly serious, you are thrown head first into a dangerous situation for anyone, let alone a family, a coup where anyone and everyone, except the militia, seems to be a target. A tense thriller with violent scenes throughout.
The acting is superb and if the plot does seem to be a mix of walking dead, James Bond and The Impossible, it does keep you swept along with the characters' journey. This is edge of your seat, hold your breath, stuff of nightmares. Superb adrenaline ride from start to finish.
Not for the faint - hearted. 7.5/10
Trivia: Cardiff, the company Dwyer is going to work for is also the company with a major role in the first season of Halt and Catch fire. Michelle Monaghan was set to play the role of Annie, but after the movie was delayed, she dropped out due to pregnancy and Bell replaced her. During production a fire damaged the set in Lampang, northern Thailand. After filming an explosion scene inside a dilapidated building, the crew was in the process of packing and moving things downstairs when somebody saw the fire on the third floor of the building. No one was injured.
Tagline: A nation in revolt. Innocent civilians caught in the middle. How far would you go to survive?