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No Escape (2015) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 14 August 2015


Jay´s Review

Well, THAT was exhausting! We see an American family relocating to an Asian city that is on the Vietnam border. They no sooner arrive when we see a well-executed assassination and a shocking suicide followed immediately by a bloody coup d'etat which throws the city into turmoil. The crisis is magnified as our hero has no idea what is being said; he only reads and speaks English.

Written and directed by John Erick Dowdle with writing assistance by Drew Dowdle, both of whom are making a career out of scaring the piddle out of us ("As Above, So Below"), we could only wish for captions because so much of the dialogue is in frantic whispers as our terrified family tries to communicate in various hiding places. Hand-held camera work adds to the confusion and claustrophobia.

We watch:

  • * Owen Wilson ("Midnight in Paris") Jack is moving his reluctant family after a business venture failed. He is trying to cheer them up with the promise of an exciting time and a bulldog puppy! He's an engineer who invented a valve that was "almost a big deal."
  • * Lake Bell ("In a World...") Annie is hesitant to enter into this new adventure with her husband and daughters. She is horrified to see how thin is the veneer of civilization when the chips are down.
  • * Pierce Brosnan ("The November Man") Hammond is the cheerful, gabby guy who steps in to provide local color. In my opinion, his explanation of how western countries exploit eastern ones is worth the price of admission.
  • * Sterling Jerins ("And So It Goes") Lucy knows her life depends on her father but lacks backbone.
  • * Claire Geare ("Inception") Breeze is so frightened she wets herself ... to her everlasting shame.

This R-rated movie contains nail-biting suspense, children in peril, extreme brutality and corpses by the score. On the other hand, it has no profanity (the family had a "Swear Jar" back in Texas), no sweaty bodies and only one explosion (although cannon fire deafens them temporarily). I became so exasperated with those whimpering females I wanted to shake them, but their flakiness helped the movie run a full 103 minutes. I recoiled from the clichés near the end, which is too bad because this well-directed movie has a very strong beginning and terrific performances.

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