By Linley McCord
Going to the movies wouldn’t be the same if there wasn’t an option for an action-thriller somewhere in the lineup, “No Escape” fills that role for movie-goers at the moment. With fast-paced and tense action sequences, the plot itself leaves something to be desired, but you’ll be too preoccupied with not falling off the edge of your seat to really notice. Word to the wise: take deep, calming breaths before entering the theater.
Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) stars as the All-American dad who moves with his wife and daughters to a country in Southeast Asia to work for a water company. But things quickly go awry—we’re talking within the first 10 minutes—as leaders in the country believe that the company is trying to take over their land. An intense coup ensues as the family tries to escape with their lives.
The plot is semi-developed, in that watchers are drawn in and want to know what happens, but the reasons of the coup are not fully explained until deep into the movie. Frankly, a lot of the plot takes some serious inductive reasoning to figure out what exactly is happening. While the action is not necessarily mindless, it is constant, and that makes the film feel completely exhausting.
But where the action moves, the characters do not. Wilson pulls off the desperate-father part well, and viewers will definitely start to care for the family due to his portrayal. His only change, though, is when you see him have to go to extremes to protect his family.
The only other big name in the film is Pierce Brosnan, who plays Hammond, the mysterious British “tourist.” He pops in and out, rescuing the family and guiding them to safety. He stays fairly unchanged as a well-trained combatant. He’s essentially a less-charming version of his dated Bond character.
You could equate “No Escape” to “Taken” without too much trouble—just magnify the action in “Taken” times 20. Similar elements of going the distance to protect your family are present in both films, as is the peak in your stress levels.
Rated R for violence, language, and implied sexual assault.