Strange casting choices, xenophobia, struggle for escape and some thrills form the basis for director/writer John Erick Dowdle’s, “No Escape”.
Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and their two daughters travel to an unnamed Southeast Asian country which undergoes a violent coup resulting in vigilante style extermination squads targeting all Americans that they can get their hands on. The family must quickly come up with a plan to escape to freedom in midst of this extreme crisis.
The film has something missing as we never know what country is the story set in nor do we know why is their such an extreme coup in a Southeast Asian country of all places(hint: middle east would’ve been more believable) except for an anti American message shared by Pierce Brosnan. The anti-imperialist message appears a tad bit unconvincing. Such a response to globalization seems exaggerated.
Owen Wilson gives a genuinely good display. Mr Wilson doesn’t have his buddies like Ben Stiller or Vince Vaughn alongside him but he comes across as believable in more of a Liam Neeson type role. Rarely is the typecast mold broken these days but Wilson does pretty good job at breaking it. Lake Bell does a decent job as “The Mom”. The whole family protection and relationship angle is appropriate enough and makes for fine viewing.
But the problem is that how much ripe for chaos is a decadent third world country really is. The powerful CIA didn’t even foresee something like this, now that’s bizarre. The whole logic behind it all involving water valves and government control by foreigners doesn’t even merrit a hostile takeover. Xenophobic attitudes shown by the people is quite scary but unrealistic.
“No Escape” fails to deliver the same effect as many movies of this particular genre have done previously. The film craft is present but the substance is missing.