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No Escape

  • Film
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars

Owen Wilson and Lake Bell are miserably miscast as a husband and wife fighting for their lives

Owen Wilson is Hollywood’s most soulful clown. Lake Bell, the writer, director and star of ‘In a World…’ (2013), is a fearsomely funny up-and-comer. In ‘No Escape’ they star together as a humourless husband and wife violently fighting for their lives in an unnamed Southeast Asian country roiled by a political coup. Is this the most miscast action movie since Cindy Crawford grappled with Billy Baldwin in ‘Fair Game’?

Jack and Annie Dwyer (Wilson and Bell) plan to make a new life in the Far East, where hopefully this time his unspecified small business will flourish. The sweltering country looks a lot like Cambodia or Laos, but it’s never identified (the film was actually shot in Thailand) and for good reason. Almost as soon as the couple lands with their two kids, all hell breaks loose with explosions, point-blank executions and helicopter crashes straight out of ‘Apocalypse Now’. Sticking out like a sore thumb, the white family must flee, only steps ahead of the militia. Night falls.

Assembling a thoroughly ugly film, horror specialist John Erick Dowdle doesn’t think to use Wilson’s winning insecurities, instead having him heroically fling his daughters from rooftop to rooftop (a nerve-racking bit of parenting), defend Bell from shirt-tearing rapists and bash in multiple skulls. When Pierce Brosnan, as a too-obvious foreign agent who comes to the family’s aid, is your film’s most realistic element, something’s gone wrong. ‘No Escape’ takes pains to pause for some unconvincing speechifying about Western meddling abroad, but its showbiz racism gets an infuriating pass. 

Written by Joshua Rothkopf

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 4 September 2015
  • Duration:103 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:John Erick Dowdle
  • Screenwriter:John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
  • Cast:
    • Owen Wilson
    • Pierce Brosnan
    • Lake Bell
    • Sterling Jerins
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