Film Review “No Escape”

no escapeStarring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan
Directed by: John Eric Dowdle
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 43 mins
The Weinstein Company

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

What do you do when your business goes under and you have to start over? For Jack Dwyer (Wilson), the answer is to move your wife (Bell) and two young daughters (Claire Geare and Sterling Jerins) to the other side of the world. Asia, we’re told – we never find out what country. When they get to their hotel, after being given a lift by a friendly fellow traveler, they are impressed to see a large banner with Jack’s photo on it, welcoming him and his fellow co-workers. Unfortunately that welcome will only last a few hours.

Brutally violent, “No Escape” keeps you on the edge of your seat as Jack leads his family in an attempt to escape what appears to be an uprising of the local population. A political assassination has triggered a mob mentality and, be it guns, clubs or a handy two-by-four, pretty much no one is safe from some kind of retribution. Wilson is probably the last person you’d expect to see as an action star, but here he lets the situation dictate his actions. He’s as timid of violence as you or I but, when his family is threatened, he slowly becomes like the people he is running from. “I killed somebody,” he almost casually tells his wife, Annie. She can only nod, having also been taken to the brink in the fight to keep her family safe. Bell is also well cast, displaying an inner toughness we haven’t seen in other films. As the mysterious “friendly” fellow traveler, Brosnan is cool as a cucumber, no matter what the situation.

Written by co-director Dowdle with his younger brother, Drew, the film captures both the anger of those causing the disturbance as well as the fear and frustration of the Dwyers. The story moves quickly, and you’re almost as breathless as those on the run when it ends.

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