No Escape

"Excellent"

No Escape Review


One of the strongest action thrillers in recent years, this gripping movie cleverly casts actors known for comedy in the central roles. And it works so well that you can't help but see a new trend on the horizon. But the real reason this film is so effective lies, of course, in its script, which never dumbs down for the audience. Instead, it cleverly leaves out irrelevant details, keeping viewers guessing about essentially unimportant elements while getting on with the frantic mayhem.

It opens as Jack and Annie (Owen Wilson and Lake Bell) fly to Southeast Asia with their daughters (Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare) to start a new life after Jack's business back home went under. He has a new job here helping provide drinking water. What they don't know is that their plane lands at just about the same moment as the population uprises and overthrows the greedy prime minister, then sets its sites on interloping Westerners. So before they've recovered from jet lag, this family is running for its life. The only person who helps them is the disheveled Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who's actually a shady British operative with a helpful local sidekick (Sahajak Boonthanakit) who loves Kenny Rogers. But the mob is on the warpath.

The film kicks off and never lets up, ratcheting up the tension quickly and propelling these characters into a series of outrageous cliffhanger moments. It's startlingly violent for a film with a fragile young family at the centre, so the peril feels real. And filmmaking brothers John Erick and Drew Dowdle do a terrific job at merging action movie cliches with gritty authenticity.

The script may occasionally feel contrived (and the title clearly not true), but the suspense is often overwhelming thanks to astute direction and solid performances. Wilson and Bell are startlingly good at this kind of thing, holding their own in the most fiercely life-threating scenarios without ever turning into silly action heroes. Their family bond is believable, as is the hint of past tension between them, which adds a strong emotional undercurrent.

By contrast, Brosnan seems to be enjoying the chaos, a salty veteran of much more dangerous missions. Most impressive is that the filmmakers never simplify murder, like the similar Taken films do.



No Escape

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Production compaines: The Weinstein Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Producer: Drew Dowdle, , Michel Litvak

Starring: as Jack Dwyer, as Annie Dwyer, as Hammond, Sterling Jerins as Lucy Dwyer, as Recruiter, Byron Gibson as Hotel Guest #1, Sahajak Boonthanakit as Kenny Roger, as Beeze Dwyer, Russell Geoffrey Banks as Hotel Guest, Damian Mavis as Voice Actor, Kimia Sun as Voice Actor, Dollar Tan as Voice actor (voice), Jimmy Chhiu as Sandra, Bonnie Zellerbach as Voice actor, Sam B. Lorn as Travel Agent, Suphornaphat Annie Jenselius as Japanese Businessman

Also starring:

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