The action genre is a difficult one to crack and if you’re one that happens to prefer this genre, you’ll certainly have your favourites. There was a golden decade for it all and now in 2016 we witness films that continue to strive forward, that break new ground and redefine what we want to see on the screen. And then, we witness others fall flat on their face. So where does No Escape fit on that scale?
The story centres around the Dwyer clan, (headed by Owen Wilson) a family of expatriates starting a new life in a foreign land, little do they know, an assassination on the president plunges the streets into chaos and rebellion less than 24 hours after their arrival. This family’s agenda is now a simple one: get the hell outta dodge, a.k.a pure survival, to escape across the boarder and into Vietnam.
The coups justification is thinly spread at best, the usual wrangling back of power from a nations corporate stranglehold. Hammond (Brosnan) is our guide, protector and all around nice chap that battles his own demons and in the process attempts to right his so many wrongdoings (Once again we have to surmise this) We don’t delve into the past here, we are merely shunted into the present situation. In one hand, this is a positive, there’s no faffing around, we get straight to it. And on the other: it could be what’s stopping the film from excelling beyond a mere action/drama flick that will no doubt find it’s way into any number of Cash Generator bargain bins.
The action and drama are well balanced, one compliments the other so you experience a maintaining intensity as the story escalates the life or death situations, the primal instinct to protect his family outweighs any other faucet of logic or reason (And believe me there are some questionable moments.) It’s refreshing to see Brosnan act outside his usual spectrum and Wilson does a good job transitioning from his typecast, romanticised comedic background (with few stellar exceptions, see: The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or Midnight in Paris), if the time taken to create spectacle was focused on adding to the substance, we’d have a different review here. If you want a film you can watch once, be entertained and in some moments, enthralled, then look no further.
Just know the footprint No Escape embeds in your memory will be a lightly trodden one.
3 / 5
Dir: John Erick Dowdle
Scr: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Sterling Jerins
Prd: Drew Dowdle, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak
DOP: Leo Hinstin
Music: Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Run time: 103 mins
No Escape is out now on Digital HD and on Blu-ray and DVD from 11th January 2016, courtesy of entertainmentOne.