Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Written by John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan, and Lake Bell
After moving to a foreign country for business, an American family finds themselves in the middle of a military coup d’etat.
No Escape is a solid action thriller; that contains many scenes that are suspense filled. In many ways the movie is reminiscent of Die Hard, only John McClane is not stopping terrorists but has to get himself and his family away from the terrorists. Wilson, Bell, and Brosnan were great in the film. Going in I was not sure I would buy Wilson as an action hero, but it works for him. Wilson is not the type of action hero that takes on the army but is motivated by the protection of his family to avoid the army. Brosnan is channeling some of his Bond experience here, and there is even a reference made by Wilson to Brosnan’s character being “British CIA or something” to which Brosnan replies “something like that.” I think that was put there to allude to Brosnan’s past as James Bond.
No Escape, however, has a few shortcomings. One of the shortcomings is that the plot is too thin. While it takes an interesting angle, as far as action thrillers are concerned. Wilson is neither taking on the army or saving his family from a being hostages. The plot fails to develop the tension that comes from the situation between the Asians and the foreign water company. Brosnan mentions it in expositional dialog, but there was more there that could have made an interesting subplot to the movie. The other shortcoming is that there a too much unnecessary slow motion. The slow motion shots are seemingly placed randomly throughout the film, add no dramatic tension to the scenes where it is implemented, and some of the slow motion comes across as unintentionally comedic.
No Escape has had some controversy surrounding it, because of xenophobia. Much of this controversy seems to imply that it is representative of American xenophobia. However, by definition xenophobia is the fear of something foreign by a native population. In the movie, the native population is the Asians, and the external fear is the American/Brittish water company coming in and taking over the countries infrastructure. If anything the xenophobic one would be the Asians, not the Americans. Maybe it is because it is an American film, or maybe it is because when someone says something is offensive my first reaction is to tell them to nut up.
Overall, No Escape works as an action thriller but has a paper thin plot. No Escape receives a 3/5.