A bank executive receives a bomb threat while driving his children to school that his car will explode if they stop and get out.
Meet the Turner family lead by the distracted and uninvolved husband and father Matt. His work is more important to him that his wife as we watch their morning interaction which left me laughing as any wife out there has had this conversation. Now enter the two kids, Zach (Jack Champion) and Emily (Lilly Aspell), who bicker and antagonize one another exactly the way my two kids did each and every day resulting in a need for monthly grey hair coverage appointments at the hair dresser. But this morning, Matt has to step up to the plate and take the kids to school which he ever so begrudgingly does. Of course, this day is a pivotal one because there’s a bomb in his car which will detonate if he gets out or if he doesn’t follow the directions from the voice-masked man on the phone.
The story takes place in Germany–there’s a sole reason for this and it’s key to the film–but most of the movie takes place inside Matt’s car with the two kids in the back seat. Matt, a protective father even though he’s not exactly Father of the Year material, attempts to shield his children from the unknown attacker by using an earpiece, but when they witness a friend and others blow up in a car, he must tell his children what’s happening.
Yes, this becomes a typical thrilling chase movie, but it also has so much more thanks to the conversation among Matt, Emily, and Zach. We learn about the family dynamics and Matt’s banking involvement. Matt, eventually, looks in the mirror and actually sees himself for who he is and the mistakes that he has made. If he can get out of this situation, find the culprit behind it, save his kids and even himself, perhaps he can have a second chance.
This is a high-tension, sit on the edge of your seat movie with not a dull moment thanks to good writing, directing and the acting skills of our three main characters. The cinematography brings us inside the car, creating a situation of being there with them, seated in the passenger seat. And with this tension and all the situations, we also find that we ask ourselves what we would do in the situation. Not one time does the logic of the script fail and with a surprise reveal, the movie is fun and action-packed. Yes, it’s violent, but not to the extent that one would expect from a Neeson action film, and Neeson decides not to dial it in as he has in action-flicks past.
If you’re looking for an action- and tension-filled movie for 90 minutes of escapism, this is it.