No Escape movie full length review - Tense and emotional
The Dwyer family; Jack, Annie, and their daughters Lucy and Beeze move to a Southeast Asian country as Jack's company Cardiff offers him a position on a new plant there.
They meet Hammond on the plane. On the airport Hammond, who's been there several times, has his local friend Kenny Roger drive them to the hotel. At the hotel they find barely anything works. The next morning Jack strolls out for a newspaper when he suddenly gets caught in the middle of a riot between. Jack runs for his life and sees rebels started killing locals and foreigners. At the hotel gate Jack sees a Cardiff executive gets executed. The mob spots him as he escapes up a fire escape. Jack finds Annie and Beeze. But Lucy has gone to the pool so Jack goes to find her. Jack finds Lucy and manages to get back to their room after escaping from rebels. They meet Hammond at the stairs, who tells them to hide on the roof. A helicopter flies above the roof. While the foreigners think it's a help, it instead belongs to the rebels and a rebel inside it starts firing at them.
But it has its tail rotor tangled on some cables crashing it. The rebels storm through the roof access barricade ans starts killing everyone. Jack has Annie to jump to the next building's roof and then he throws Beeze at her. When he throws Lucy, the girls freaks out making them both almost fall. After Lucy gets thrown and Jack jumps himself the rebel leader signs that they know Jack's face. The family crawled one floor down and briefly rest as they hide. But the Jack spots a tank readying its muzzle at the building. After the tank's blast rebels pour in and kill everybody in the room but the family had hid in a room nearby. After all clears out a lone rebel spots the family and shouts to alerts his friends. But Jack hits him repeatedly shocking both him and Annie. As nightfall comes they sneak out and try to reach the US embassy. But the embassy proves a futile effort as Jack sees all the Americans dead and an explosion rocks the building. They then hides in a Buddhist shrine after pleading to the shrine keeper.
Rebels storm in and push the keeper around. Jack goes for a rebel's gun but when Annie sees he's almost noticed, she springs out of hiding, drawing attention to her. She's about to get raped but Hammond and Kenny come and shoots the rebels dead. Hammond brings them to a safe place and tells Jack about the Vietnamese border down the river. Rebels storm in at them but Hammond manages to kill most of them, although Kenny gets killed and he gets wounded. He stays behind and covers the family's escape with his own life. The Dwyers reach the river and Jack trades his watch and shoes for a boat. But rebels catch up to them, pinning Jack down. Lucy goes for his dad but the rebel leader snatches her and forces her to shoot Jack, with a gun also pointed at her own head. Annie runs and beats the leader to death while Jack catches the gun and shoots the rest of the rebel group. The family then get in the boat and paddles to the border. The border guards spot them and orders them to stop. Jack pleads with them as more rebels come in. But the river current has the boat moved to Vietnamese waters and the guards threaten the rebels not to shoot, ending the family's ordeal.
The background shows a different and slightly new perspective for a thriller start point. Bringing Southeast Asia as opposed to the common Middle East, Latin American or even African backgrounds really gave something fresh to the take. The story also did well in divulging the root cause of the problem as little as possible, enabling to focus more on the action of thriller, preventing it from turning into a political thriller.
Focusing on family in premise of running from being killed is also good. It moves away from those solitary or even couples characters found in many thrillers. By incorporating this the movie has ample space to push in emotional load. This emotional load nicely covers what's missing on those action scenes which look less believable. The scene where Jack throws Beeze and Lucy will feel very weird if it didn't have any emotional load from the family viewpoint.
The action scenes with pure action only comes as short bits. This is good as not to take away the focus from the thriller and stands as compliments to them. Yet they still feel a little awkward and soon get predictable because they only appear when Pierce Brosnan comes on- screen. It kind of puts the movie in a cliché as to the audience thinking whenever the family gets really stuck, Hammond will come bursting out of nowhere and save them.
The acting overall is quite good. It's a very good take for both Owen Wilson and Lake Bell. They both have sunk to their own respective comedy roles for quite some time that some people in the audience gets surprised that they can do non-comedy roles. I remembered Wilson's role as quite engaging in "Behind Enemy Lines" and Lake Bell had one of her first roles in "Pride and Glory". And their dramatic take here is actually quite good. Together with the kids they can invoke the emotional family relationship in the suspense scenes. Pierce Brosnan's role was a nice nuance to the movie as a whole.
A score of 7 out of 10 is from me for No Escape (2015), and a solid recommendation to go see it in the movies. It's very entertaining, especially for those of you who look for a new take on thrillers but still demand the high intensity mood in it.