John Erick Dowdle
“No Escape” stars Owen Wilson who plays a father relocating his family to an undisclosed county in Asia for a new career opportunity. Upon arrival, Wilson’s character Jack, his wife Annie (Bell) and their two daughters make their way to a hotel and, despite some reservations, settle in to their new home.
The peace of the first few moments with the family is quickly shattered, though, as a revolution begins and rebels with anti-western motives start attacking the hotel. The film then follows Jack and his family’s attempt to get away from the hostile city and find safety.
“No Escape” starts off with a rather intense scene and it sets the stage for what to expect over the 100 minute runtime. It doesn’t take long for the action to start and once it does, the film hardly ever lets up. At almost every point where it seems like the characters may be out of harm’s way, danger seems to come around the corner. It all amounts to the film being one of the more suspenseful pictures of the summer.
It’s not to say that the movie is without its flaws. For example, “No Escape” features antagonists who are severely underdeveloped. The audience learns very little about who is behind the revolution and many of the rebels are monstrous in how merciless they are. It shows a lack of depth and results in the movie being less of a political thriller and more of a standard popcorn suspense flick.
With that said, for a movie meant to be summer-time entertainment, “No Escape” works fine, partly thanks to Wilson’s performance which was surprisingly spot on. Wilson’s character Jack isn’t some ex-CIA operative or even has the skills to MacGyver his way out of situations, but he does have the drive to save his family. Wilson portrays this well, showing the desperation and the effort his character is going through to protect his loved ones.
Pierce Brosnan, who does play a mysterious mercenary-like character named Hammond, was a great addition to the film. While Brosnan only had limited screen time, he makes the most of it, portraying a likable, mysterious person willing to lend a hand.
Bell was also strong in “No Escape,” working well on screen with Wilson and like him, showing the anxiety one in that situation would have.
Director John Erick Dowdle and the rest of the crew were able to put together some solid action sequences, too. One scene taking place on the roof of the hotel was particularly gripping in its intensity and can keep an audience on the edge of their seats.
“No Escape” isn’t the most intelligent thriller out there as it lacks in depth, however, the action is on point and the performances work. If you’re looking for an entertaining matinee, this one shouldn’t disappoint. 3 out of 5.