REVIEW: Jingoistic thrills abound in ‘No Escape’

No Escape

Starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell

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Directed by John Erick Dowdle

John Erick Dowdle’s latest flick won’t mend any fences on the international stage when it comes to cultural depictions on film but No Escape is still a solidly crafted thriller.

Owen Wilson, who hasn’t been cast in a gritty drama since 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines, heads to an unnamed country in Southeast Asia for a new job with his wife (Bell) and their two daughters. Upon arrival, the family is befriended by a kindly scoundrel (Pierce Brosnan) who escorts them to the hotel and helps navigate them through their disorienting new home; this is also where one gets the feeling Pierce’s secret skill set will come in handy very soon.

Sure enough, a massive, violent political uprising occurs when Wilson is simply going out for the morning paper no less! Now he must help them escape through an increasingly precarious and dangerous series of situations. One of the most harrowing and downright nerve-jangling scenes involves the panic-stricken family roof-jumping (or being thrown) from one high-rise to another in order to escape a group of terrifying, bloodthirsty rebels; it’s a sequence that strains credulity to the max but begs the question – what would you do in that situation?

No Escape, for all intents and purposes, is a jingoistic B-movie, most of the foreign characters are nameless, gun-toting maniacs, but it wears the label proudly and thanks to some grim determination on the part of its cast and seriously taught filmmaking, it succeeds in taking the audience on a hellish thrill ride.

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