Friday, July 28, 2017

Film Review: No Escape (2015)

No Escape (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It is engaging, suspenseful, thrilling, and even frightening at times."

An expat and his family become trapped in a South-East Asia country after a violent revolution sparks...

No Escape follows expat engineer Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), his wife Annie (Lake Bell), and their daughters, Lucy and Briegel, as they relocate to an unnamed country in South-East Asia for Jack's new job. On the day of their arrival, they become friends with a Briton named Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). The day after, however, the Prime Minister is assassinated and a violent uprising begins. The rebels are especially focused on murdering foreigners. This leads Jack and his family to run and fight for survival. That's basically the entire plot. There are other small plot points, but it never builds on any of it. It leads to a decent climax and conclusion.

No Escape is a great thriller. It is engaging, suspenseful, thrilling, and even frightening at times. The story might not be perfect, it's not deep or character-driven, but it is effective. The concept alone, although unlikely for most people, is frightening alone. The film doesn't really pretend to be anything other than a thriller, too. So, it's not trying to be 'deep,' it's not a political statement. There are a few slow moments, but it stays on its feet during most of its runtime as well. Of course, it can be contrived at times. A certain child in this film will do some stupid/annoying stuff. It's not the biggest flaw, but it can be irritating at times. Some characters, like Hammond, also feel lazy and tacked on.

The acting was good. Owen Wilson performed well as the leading man. It's not a groundbreaking performance, but it is more than serviceable. Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, and even the child cast performed well, too. The film was shot well. The music was decent. The film was written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle. The writing could have used some fine-tuning, but it was otherwise fine. John performs well as director. With movies like As Above, So Below and Devil—which I enjoyed—under his belt, I think this film shows he certainly knows how to craft exciting and suspenseful movies.

Overall, No Escape is a very good movie. It's a blockbuster thriller with the fraction of a 'real' blockbuster's budget. It's a roller coaster ride with a few weak moments. If you're looking for a time killer, this is for you.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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