So, let’s talk “No Escape”
The movie here starts off with Jack Dwyer, a businessman hoping for another chance at a better life played by the well-loved Owen Wilson. Now he’s accompanied by his family of two daughters and wife, Annie Dwyer played by Lake Bell. They move to Southeast Asia due to an opportunity that Wilson’s character cannot pass up. They arrive, they try to get settled in and just as everything was getting a little less crappy… Bam! A revolution breaks out with a surge of common folk and workers going on a rampage. From here on the family has to escape Southeast Asia and then…well that’s it!
Okay, right off the bat we get that this isn’t a movie with the meaty plot. It’s main source of intrigue is simply unadulterated suspense! Let me say, I feel like it delivers on many levels and mainly due to the fact that this family is likable“. We spend just enough time with them to see them joyful, distressed and even annoying. We see short spurts of a three-dimensional family and we do want them to survive.
It’s hard to review a movie like this because well it all depends on if the set pieces worked for you. For example, there is a scene where in the midst of dead bodies, the family must hide among them and hope not to be spotted. The children are scared but don’t quite have a full grasp of what will happen if they are discovered. One of the daughters suddenly has to use the bathroom and it’s not played for laughs rather it’s very tense. To some that may come off cheesy or humorous and thus all tension is gone. However for me, I know in some situations young kids will not have control over their bladder when scared or under pressure and when I think that something as small as that could cost any of their lives – it had me on edge.
There were solid side characters like Hammond, played by Pierce Brosnan. He was there for the movie to say, “Hey, we know this family would be dead in any scenario so let’s have someone help to make it more believable”. To an extent, it works but it actually makes you feel too safe when he’s around which is why I love the movie’s constant shifts and changes of their situation from bad > really bad > “we’re dead” > really bad, and so on.
The only problem with the movie is, if the tension doesn’t hit you then this movie is useless. Aside from the parents discovering how far they’re willing to go for their children you have no real character development. The plot again is literally “Get from Point A to Point B,” and if the family doesn’t win you over or if you cannot relate to them you will stop caring halfway through the movie, The movie relies so heavily on you loving the family, it relies on you getting sucked into the rush and if you don’t well. Without that how can you be invested in these people running around somehow surviving a trip through a town that wants them dead?
Quick shout out to Wilson, this guy does not do drama normally and it’s hard to see him in this type of role. Yet as the movie went on and we saw his desperation, I say bravo to Wilson. I’m sure there are much more capable actors who could have carried this role but looking back on it, he was the perfect cast. Bell did a serivcble We need an everyday dad who may think he’s more funny than he actually then just throw into chaos – he has the look! You couldn’t have put the Rock in this situation and it carry the same weight, I enjoyed this choice and like so many other comedian actors I believe he has great drama potential.
Overall I recommend it, for those who are susceptible to tension this will be a ride for you. Now for those who prefer more of a character based film, this is not your movie and I would argue it has not been marketed as such.
Thanks for reading my first review I will be catching up on new releases. Stick around with me to hear the many voices of reviews, thoughts and articles from yours truly.