In an unnamed country in Southeast Asia, the prime minister is in a meeting with a diplomat about a crisis. Moments later, gunshots are heard. A security agent runs toward the sound and sees both the prime minister and diplomat dead, murdered by a group of rebels. The man encounters the armed rebels, and, realizing he is outnumbered, he grabs a dagger and slashes his own throat.17 hours earlierJack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) is flying with his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and young daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) to the same Southeast Asian location where he will start working for a new company, Cardiff. On the plane, the family meets an Englishman called Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). Beeze asks him about the scars on his hand and face. He claims they came from a tiger fight (in which he pulled out the tiger's tooth) and from falling down the stairs. At the airport, Hammond offers to share a ride with them provided by his friend Kenny Roger (Sahajak Boonthanakit), which he says is his nickname because he looks like the singer.The Dwyers make it to their hotel. A little later, Jack finds Annie crying in her room, unhappy about uprooting their lives here. He tries to turn on the TV but there is no signal. Jack learns from the clerk downstairs that all the cable and internet across the city is down. Jack then goes to a nearby bar where he finds Hammond and Kenny drunk and singing karaoke. He shares a drink with Hammond, who assures him that he will enjoy it there.The next morning, Jack tries to get a newspaper. The clerk tells him to go to a nearby store to find one. Jack walks to the store and the clerk there sells him an American paper from three days ago. When Jack walks outside, he sees a huge mob of armed civilians walking toward an equally large group of police in riot gear. One civilian throws a rock, and the cops start shooting at them. Jack is caught in the middle of the chaos and runs toward safety. Everywhere he runs, he finds rebels killing innocent people. Jack runs back to the hotel and sees the rebels seize and execute an American man who also works for Cardiff. The rebels spot Jack and chase him, but he climbs up a fire escape and escapes.Jack runs back to the hotel and sees the rebels have started breaking in and are killing the staff and other guests. He runs back to his room to get Annie and the girls, but Annie says that Lucy went to the pool by herself because she was acting out. Jack runs to get her while Annie stays in the room with Beeze. The rebels are knocking down doors and storming into rooms to kill foreigners. Annie holds the door back while telling Beeze to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Jack finds Lucy and grabs her just as the rebels start running into the pool area. Jack runs back toward the room and is almost attacked by a rebel until Hammond comes in at the right moment to kill the rebel. He tells Jack to take his family to the roof.Jack gets Annie and the girls up to the roof where other foreigners are gathered. Outside the hotel, the rebels are chanting "Blood for water" due to Cardiff taking over the water supply, leading to the coup d'etat. A helicopter then flies up over the roof, making everyone think that they're being rescued. Unfortunately, the helicopter is carrying more rebels. Jack and Annie grab their girls and run as one rebel opens fire on the foreigners. As they run for cover, the helicopter gets tangled in some wires and is pulled to the roof, causing it to explode, killing all the rebels onboard.The other rebels start to make their way up to the roof and kill anyone in their path, both foreigners and locals. Jack tells Annie they need to get to the roof on the next building, which means making a huge leap. Annie hesitates but runs over and lands on the roof, scraping her knees and elbows. Jack throws Beeze without warning, but Annie catches her. He is about to throw Lucy next, but she stops him mid-toss and nearly causes both her and Jack to fall over the building until he pulls her up. Lucy gets thrown and Annie catches her, and then Jack makes his leap. They get inside the building, but the rebels start attacking it with a tank. Jack gets his family hidden inside one of the empty rooms as the rebels continue killing people. Jack assures the girls that he loves them.Some minutes later, a rebel walks into the room as it's become quiet. He spots Jack and starts to call to his comrades. Jack tackles him and tries to keep him quiet, but the rebel continues to shout, leaving Jack with no choice but to bludgeon the man to death, to Annie's horror and his own.As nighttime comes, the Dwyers and Kenny disguise themselves at local civilians and make their way toward the American embassy while trying to remain undetected. They ride past a mob of rebels and get knocked down, but still manage to ride on safely (somewhat). One of the rebel protestors notices that they are foreigners, but out of sympathy after seeing the Dwyers two young children, he says nothing and allows them to pass by him. The Dwyers reach the embassy, which has a blockade on both sides. Jack climbs over the wall and sees all the Americans dead. A mob of rebels and protesters had apparently stormed the building earlier and killed everyone. He sees a small group of rebels run out of the embassy as it explodes. Jack runs back to his family.The Dwyers seek shelter in a Buddhist shrine after pleading with the caretaker to let them stay. But, predictably, a squad of rebels show up. They kick the caretaker around and then try to find the Dwyers. Jack sees one rebel left his gun unguarded, so he tries to go for it. When it looks like he's about to get caught, Annie stands up and calls attention to herself. The rebel leader punches her and lays her down to rape her, until Hammond shows up. He and Kenny shoot the all rebels dead, except for the leader, who gets away.Hammond takes the family and Kenny to a local brothel, since it's apparently the one place the rebels do not appear to want to tear through. Hammond explains to Jack that the people he works for are responsible for bringing American companies like Cardiff out there to control the water supply, so Hammond feels he must redeem himself by helping the Dwyers. He tells them that they need to take a boat toward the Vietnamese border where the rebels cannot touch them.As the group makes their way to their destination, more rebels appear and attack from a gun tower nearby. The Dwyers get away, but Kenny is killed while Hammond shoots and kills most of the rebels, but he gets wounded. Knowing he is dying, Hammond tells Jack to keep going, just as a rebel comes riding in a truck. Hammond musters enough strength to shoot the rebel dead, just as the truck plows into him and crashes.The Dwyers make it to the riverbank where Jack trades his watch and shoes to a fisherman for his boat to take him across the borther. Annie and the girls hide as a group of more rebel troops appear and begin shooting. Jack fights back, but he gets overpowered and is shot in his arm. Lucy runs toward him, and the rebel leader grabs her. He gives her a gun and forces her to shoot Jack, and then holds a gun to her head as an incentive. Annie runs in and whacks the leader over the head and beats him to death while Jack grabs the gun and kills the rest of the rebels.The family gets on the boat where Jack and Annie paddle toward the Vietnamese border. The Vietnamese border troops spot them and order them to stop, but Jack says he will not and pleads with them to let him and his family in as another group of rebels show up in a truck and drive near the family. Before they can do anything, the boat passes through the border, officially entering Vietnamese territory. The Vietnamese troops order the rebels to stand down, finally ending the family's trouble.The Dwyers are recovering in a hospital bed together. Lucy asks her parents to tell the story of how she was born. Jack says how he told Annie to push until Lucy came out, but she didn't start breathing when the doctors spanked her. Annie had told Jack to speak to Lucy since she would know his voice. Jack spoke to her until she started breathing. Jack then holds his family closely.