(This review may contain spoilers).
Having seen Owen Wilson in mostly comedy films, I was quite interested to see him in a much more serious movie. Even though I was a bit put off by the subject matter, I decided to give this movie a try.
I found myself drawn into this movie really easily. The beginning did a good job of setting up the characters and their relationships. The family were likable, even though Lucy was at that ‘difficult’ age.
The atmosphere in this movie was really intense. While I did find it a bit difficult to believe that Jack could think so fast on his feet and make plans ‘ten steps ahead’ (I didn’t think there was enough setup for that to be a believable part of his character), I liked him… and I liked the way Owen Wilson played him. The way Jack cared for and wanted to keep his family safe came across really well.
There were some really good camera shots that added to the tension of the movie, such as a few slow-motion elements and one scene that allowed viewers to feel the ‘ringing’ in their ears after an explosion.
There was a lot of violence in this movie, but I thought it was interesting that some of the violence wasn’t shown… or, at least, not shown in full detail. There were sounds of the violence and glimpses of the aftermath… and that somehow made it even more frightening. I thought that was used to good effect.
While I can understand not necessarily naming the country, I didn’t really agree with the references to it as ‘Asia’. Asia’s a massive place, made up of lots of countries. The setting seemed kind of stereotypical… but I did think that the tense atmosphere came across very well at the beginning of the film.
I cared about the characters, but it was good to have the citizens of the country shown to be people trying to protect their families and livelihood… even if I did lose a lot of my sympathy for them by the end of the movie.
I don’t think I’d watch this movie again, but I did find myself really drawn into it. It’s definitely worth watching… and the actors I recognised played their roles really well.