**May contain spoilers**
No Escape is a 2015 action thriller starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan is also there. The movie starts with two Prime Ministers meeting (one of an Asian country, one presumably from the UK?). We can see that this Asian Prime Minister may not be well liked because he has a body guard checking to see if the cocktails are poisoned. [spoiler] After the UK Prime Minister leaves we hear gunshots and the Asian Prime Minister has been killed [/spoiler]. The movie then flashes back 17 hours to find Jack Dwyer and his family on a plane to some Asian country (I actually don’t remember if it said where but it borders Vietnam), Jack’s company closed down and he has had to uproot his family and move them all to Asia for a new job.
While on the plane they run in to Pierce Brosnan’s character (Hammond) who begins talking with Jack’s two young girls, he seems nice enough but both Jack and Annie (Lake Bell) think something isn’t quite right with Hammond. After landing the Dwyers run in to Hammond again who gives them advice regarding scam artists who pretend to be cabbies so he escorts them to their hotel. Initially everything is normal, the family unpacks in their hotel room while joking about the shoddy infrastructure but everyone gets to sleep without incident.
The next morning Jack goes searching for a newspaper astray from his hotel and then the chaos ensues! An all-out war begins between the town’s rebels and what little police force exists in whatever country this is. [spoiler] the police get overrun very quickly [/spoiler]
Now that the intro has been written I can go into my thoughts on the film.
The first 15-20 minutes are purely setup for the rest of the movie but it’s necessary to set up plot points later in the movie [spoiler] Pierce Brosnan comes to help, and Jack Dwyer’s new company is the biggest reason for the rebel uprising [/spoiler]. After the lead in the movie really doesn’t slow down.
Jack starts out alone trying to get back to his family among the initial uprising, once he makes it back to the hotel he finds that it is already overrun. Quick thinking and physical ability allow him to just barely escape the initial wave. These rebels are animals, as Jack is trying to make it back to his family [spoiler] and go get his kid who of course left the room without permission/[/spoiler], we see and hear the brutally murdering other hotel guests. They don’t care who they have to kill, they just want the Americans…
My heart never stopped pounding since the initial fight scene between the rebels and the police. I honestly haven’t been on the edge of my seat in a movie for a very long time and this movie definitely had me on the edge of my seat for almost the whole thing. Having two young kids as part of the people trying to escape just make it that much more nerve racking. These are kids that can’t really keep quite OR stay still for very long so imagine having to hide not only yourself and your wife but your two young kids as well, in a very scary setting.
In the trailer for this movie, Jack says “We’ve got to stay 10 steps ahead of these guys” and that is definitely the theme of the movie, not only is it repeated several times but the movie is spent with the Dwyers just barely running away from the rebels at all times [spoiler] Brosnan saves them at least 3 times in the movie, with the last time at the expense of his own life (hit by a truck to shoot the rebel driver) [/spoiler]
It’s amazing what people would do to save their family, in this movie both Jack and Annie had to kill bad people (not with guns either), they did it to save their kids and I feel like we all would do the same thing. I certainly wouldn’t feel any remorse if killing some people (term used lightly because these rebels were like rabid animals) was needed to save my family. The whole movie was an exercise in family bonding, when the movie began this family forced to uproot their lives was not very tight, Annie was subconsciously pissed about the move and (like any kids) the two girls weren’t pleased either. [spoiler] Having all survived through the end of the movie, with Annie and Jack both having killed people the Dwyers are much closer [/spoiler]
The movie ends with the Dwyers just barely outrunning another group of rebels and crossing in to Vietnam who grants them Asylum… This is the first point in well over an hour that your heart will get any sort of rest, once they make it to Vietnam the mood changes and you can tell their journey is over – they’ve made it to safety.
There were only a couple things I really didn’t like about this movie: The first is that Jack had several opportunities to obtain a gun and he did not. At one point he tried to sneak around some rebels and take theirs but [spoiler] Pierce had to save them for a second time [/spoiler]and after the commotion Jack still didn’t go pick up one of the guns of the 5 rebels he was facing just minutes before. The second thing I didn’t like is that midway through the movie the family utilizes disguises to get past a pack of rebels on a moped. [spoiler] The disguises work so why not use them all the time? [/spoiler]
If you’re looking for an action thriller, look no further. This movie was great at keeping the suspense high, and all the actors did a great job at developing their characters (Pierce plays a bit of a washed up dirty old man on the face of it, like in Tailor of Panama or The Matador and we know he’s good at that. Luke Wilson plays a dedicated father down on his luck in this terrible economy, this isn’t a funny role and it’s nice to see him branching out. I don’t know much about Lake Bell but she was definitely convincing in this. It seems back-to-back movies I liked will end up with sub-par performances at the box office (this and Man From UNCLE) but I urge you to give this a shot if you like action thrillers, it will be worth your money.
In addition: I’d like to react to a snippet of a review by Stephanie Merry, she complained that “every Asian character is either a ruthless murderer or anonymous collateral damage.” it’s clear to me that Stephanie wasn’t paying attention in the movie, probably miffed about her delusional short-comings of the film so she ignored the truth. There are several Asian residents in the film who help the Dwyers and without them they would have been doomed. In a place where weapons are not available to the every-man it would be realistic to assume most people are hopeless victims anyways. How are you supposed to defend yourself against terrorists with automatic weapons if you don’t have access to guns? Imagine if the black lives matter protests were actually about racial injustice and not about looting, do you think those protesters would think twice about beating up or killing an innocent person? The answer is no… Look at the LA Riots in the past, there was plenty of collateral damage because mob mentality is a terrible thing.
8/10 – Very enjoyable, heart pounding ride.
No Escape was a thrill ride that I haven’t had at the movies in a long time. Owen Wilson takes on the role of Jack Dwyer, an executive for a company that’s funding a project to “improve” the water supply in a southeast Asian country. The problem was that the company was taking people’s jobs and paying very little to the workers on the company’s water supply project. People were outraged and started going on a killing spree throughout the entire city and were destroying everything in their sight. American’s were targets especially Jack and his family since he was one of the executives of the project.
I don’t understand what’s with all this destruction to make a statement. You’ve got people risking their lives to kill others and for what? It’s like the riots in Ferguson. Why are so many people throwing bricks through buildings and looting and setting fires to cars over something that happened a year ago? Well, I guess you just picked the wrong town to have a business in now that your store is burned down and everything in it is stolen. I hate it when other people have to take the consequences of someone else’s actions. And it’s not even about what someone’s opinion is on the Michael Brown shooting. Was the officer right or wrong in what he did? It’s whatever. If I’m a business in that neighborhood, I guess I picked the wrong place for someone to get shot by an officer.
It’s like in No Escape in this southeast Asian city. They’re burning a hotel down and creating mass carnage because they’re outraged by something. When will it end? Are you gonna devastate the whole city and then say hmm yes we’ve done a good job expressing our anger over this decision and feel better about it now. There’s a part in the movie where Dwyer and his family are hiding upstairs in an office building and this guy comes in and sees them and starts shouting for others to come up and kill them with him. Dwyer quickly decides to smash the guy over the head with a frying pan (I think that’s what it was) and kill him. Now, why did that guy want to kill Dwyer and his family so bad? Does he even know who they are or why he’s supposed to kill them? Is this mass carnage supposed to show the big American company that ‘you cannot take our jobs and pay us less’? Well, by devastating your city, you’ve taken a lot more jobs away than this big American company would have done. The biggest problem with your city/country is your own self-destruction.
This was also an interesting movie choice for Owen Wilson who’s looking for his first hit in quite some time. I don’t recall him ever really doing anything other a comedy. Maybe he’s setting himself up as a more versatile actor with the sure-fire blockbuster Zoolander 2 coming out next year (can’t fucking wait!). Pierce Brosnan plays the typical laid back, I’m as cool as ice guy until shit goes down and I turn into Bryan Mills from Taken.
7/10 – Heart racing non-stop action