Movie Review: NO ESCAPE (2015) – Owen Wilson Action Thriller – THAT WAS INTENSE
‘No Escape’ is an Action Thriller starring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, and Pierce Brosnan. The film follows a family who move to Asia to pursue a job opportunity for Jack (Owen Wilson), but soon after their arrival they realise they have just dropped into the middle of a war-zone, and the fight to survive the chaos begins. The first act of the film wasn’t really all that great, it was mainly setting up the characters and the situation they are in but there wasn’t really anything of interest in the first 20 minutes or so. The only thing worthwhile from the opening act was that it makes you care for this family and that really helped to elevate the rest of the film. From that 20 minute mark, when the second act begins, the film instantly gets incredibly intense and dramatic, and it doesn’t slow down for the rest of the film. The thriller elements in the film i thought were very very effective, i was on the edge of my seat for most of this movie, holding my breath and had sweaty palms because of how intense it would get. And what i loved was that it didn’t just go intense for 5 minutes and then slow right back down, the tensions were high and when the film got intense it stayed intense for a really long time. Within the second act which goes for like an hour it is pretty much constant intense action and drama apart from like 2 short breaks, even though it did get a little exhausting at times i still loved it.
All of those intense action set pieces, and the tough edge-of-seat moments would not have been anywhere near as effective if you didn’t care about this family. The film did a great job at making you feel connected to these people and so whenever there is a scary situation you are really rooting for this family and whenever someone gets out of a tight situation you breathe a sigh of release. That does show for some good work establishing the characters, unfortunately they don’t really evolve at all throughout the film, their personas are set from the first act and don’t really change at all which was a little unfortunate. But i have to say i thought both Owen Wilson and Lake Bell were great in their roles. They weren’t given characters with an incredible amount of depth but they managed to convey the emotions and feelings of these characters really well. When they are in an intense situation you can see the pain they are in from the expressions on their faces and it really helps to maintain some realism in the film.
The plot of the film isn’t great, the only plot is fed to you in the first 20 minutes and very very briefly later on in the film. The characters were literally just given the task of surviving and that is really what just propels the film forward. They try to give a bit of backstory to the situation later on in the film, it only takes up a few minutes but wasn’t really necessary. The biggest issue i had with the film was Pierce Brosnan’s character, they set him up early in the film but then he disappears for pretty much the entire film and is simply a Deus Ex Machina that shows up for no other purpose other than to further the plot. He was for me a wasted character that had a couple of good moments, the film could have benefitted from a little more Brosnan.
So in the end this is a really fun, intense, gripping Action Thriller. The plot isn’t important to the film at all, and if you strip it back you realise it is essentially just an intense popcorn flick that you can really enjoy watching. It is almost non stop drama once it begins and the fast pace really makes sure you never lose interest in what’s happening.