FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Tonight I saw “No Escape,” which stars Owen Wilson (Bottle Rocket, Midnight in Paris), Lake Bell (In a World…, What Happens in Vegas), Sterling Jerins (World War Z, The Conjuring), Claire Geare (Inception, Dream House), Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Survivor ), and Sahajak Boonthanakit (Only God Forgives, Elephant White). It is directed by John Erick Dowdle (Devil, Quarantine) who also co-wrote it with Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, The Poughkeepsie Tapes). When Jack Dwyer (Wilson) takes his family to Southeast Asia for his job, they try to make their new life work. Unfortunately for them, this won’t be possible because once they arrive, a full on war begins with civilians of this country wanting to kill any American in the area for reasons unknown. Now, Jack and his family are on the run in hopes of finding a way to escape this destruction.
So, “No Escape.” Yeah, I don’t even know what to say, because really there isn’t much to talk about. But, I’ll try my best. I’ve seen trailers for this film before, but other than the fact that it has Owen Wilson in it, nothing really enticed me to see it. After watching this, I’d say that my assumptions were right. When talking about the story, it is rather generic, yet scrambled. It’s generic because we’ve seen stuff like this before in other action, more thrilling movies. There is some originality in this, and I have to admit that there are some memorable scenes, but overall there was nothing that stood out for me. It’s scrambled because of how punchy it is. Almost from the get-go we are plunged into this crazy journey of just surviving. This can work for some films (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), but in this case, not so much. It gave me little time to connect with the characters as well as the whole reason why Southeast Asia (they never gave the name of the country they were in) was going insane. It took until towards the end of the movie to get specifics on why they were acting the way they were, but by that point I didn’t really care. What would’ve helped this release is stronger characters. Although the acting was relatively good, the characters couldn’t help but feel like caricatures, especially Pierce Brosnan’s character, Hammond. I don’t know how many special ops characters he has played, but the man seems to be typecast way too much. At least he was better in this than in that stinker of a movie “Survivor.” By the time the ending came, most of the film was a blur, and all of the running around felt more like time filler than actual story. There were times where a dramatic moment was happening, but yet I couldn’t feel much of anything for the characters, because I couldn’t connect with them. I will say that I did care for their situation though. Something this movie hits on the marker is realism, at least most of the time. There are some scenes in this that are hard to watch, and it’s good that they didn’t try to water it down so they can garner a larger audience. It provided some grip to this weak storyline, which by the way can be predictable at times. One random thing I found to be off-putting with this would be the directing/editing. This picture, especially in the beginning, tended to cut out pieces of scenes to make moments go by faster. Although it does speed it up, it’s an odd way of watching a movie. There were also some camera angles that were not pleasing, some showing people’s backs when they are talking. Another thing I noticed is their love for slow-motion. In quite a bit of scenes, they edited it to go slower in order to have a more dramatic effect. This may have worked the first time, but whenever it happens a couple of times after that, it gets old (the roof scene). Any other issues would be minor, like how this country spoke a different language, but then people in Vietnam speak English. I haven’t stated many pros, and the only reason for me not giving this such an awful score is because it’s not an awful movie. It can be entertaining, and I wasn’t bored. There were some things in this that I liked, but overall it just wasn’t that good. FINAL SCORE: 68%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: