Movie Review: The Weinstein Company's No Escape

No Escape

Release Day: August 26th 2015
Director:  John Erick Dowdle
Writers: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Main Cast: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, and for language
Genres: Action | Thriller
Running Time: 103 min

Official Site: Facebook
An intense international thriller, NO ESCAPE centers on an American businessman (Wilson) as he and his family settle into their new home in Southeast Asia. Suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a violent political uprising, they must frantically look for a safe escape as rebels mercilessly attack the city. Directed by John Erick Dowdle and written together with his brother Drew, NO ESCAPE stars Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell.

Survival movies are, I think, the new horror genre. They are more real. Ghosts and goblins are tame compared live, armed psychos out for blood. Throw the entire family into a survival situation, set it in a "fourth world" country and you get the makings of this week'a heart-pounder, No Escape.

No Escape stars Owen Wilson (Jack) and Lake Bell (Annie) as Americans transferred to Asia for work. Jack and Annie don't pretend to be thrilled about the move to Asia with their two girls, and then a war breaks out where foreigners are being hunted. If Jack and Annie are to survive, they have to stay ten steps ahead of the hunters.

That's it. The entire plot. Stay alive. No Escape does little to explain any of the geo-politics of the turmoil. It doesn't ask you to take sides. There is not much thinking to be done. It's just about survival. I liked that I didn't have to weigh any of the politics. There was no time to think about why the country was descending into violence because perils were coming at our heroes every few seconds.

There was action and suspense from the first minute. Really intense stuff. I had to look away from the screen a few times. It's not for the faint of heart.

The cast worked well. In addition to Wilson and Lake, Pierce Brosnan plays Hammond, sort of an enigma with some useful skills. The kids were just the right amount of annoying in a crisis. I know that reads like I didn't like the kids, but No Escape did a good job of drawing me in so that I wanted the family to survive and the kids kept making survival hard to achieve. Wait for it. You will catch yourself shushing the kids on the screen, too.

I also liked the creepy soundtrack. The volume and tempo followed the story well. Sometimes the loud drumming meant something bad was about to happen, and sometimes it didn't mean that. Kept me guessing.

All in all, No Escape is a fun film with some cool stunts and exciting action. It's not out to make any statements or win any awards, it's entertainment for the sake of entertaining. I was very entertained. Don't take my word on how suspenseful this film is, see No Escape for yourself playing in theaters now.

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