In Laos, a group of armed rebels stage a coup and assassinate the prime minister after a meeting with a foreign diplomat. 17 hours earlier, Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), an American engineer, is flying to Southeast Asia with his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and two daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) to start a new career with an American engineering firm. Upon landing, they run into a British expat named Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who offers them a ride with him and his friend Kenny (Sahajak Boonthanakit) to their hotel. When they arrive at the hotel, Jack notices that the phone lines and television are not working. When he goes to the front desk, he is informed that the phones, television and internet are down all over the city. He then stops by the bar and has a drink with Hammond, who tells Jack that he will enjoy it there.