Movie Review – No Escape (2015)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Stars: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Claire Geare, Sterling Jerlins, Pierce Brosnan

After getting a transfer to a company overseas, Jack Dwyer (Wilson) and his family aren’t impressed with the facilities of the hotel. Things are about to get worse when a rebellion starts. The people have an uprising, kill the prime minister, and then seek out to hunt all the foreigners in their country and murder them. Jack and his family have to find a way through the streets, desperately searching for a way out…but there is no escape.

When No Escape was advertised it said that it was from the same makers as Whiplash and Nightcrawler, two films that I happened to think were amazing. I don’t think No Escape is quite on a par with those two films, but it’s a damn fine movie and is incredibly tense. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the film and found myself utterly absorbed in the plight of the Dwyer family, who came across as real people. In fact, this situation felt realistic, although a few cliched Hollywood moments did undercut this somewhat. But all through the film I continually asked myself what I would do in the same situation.

The film started off with a stylish opening, and the rest of the film followed suit. It was atmospheric and the scenery of the city gave it a unique feel compared with most other films that take place in American cities. However, it will also make you think twice about taking a a holiday.

The acting was good and Owen Wilson shows that he does have the chops for drama. I think the last purely dramatic film he was in was Behind Enemy Lines, and perhaps this will lead to a more diverse career. Pierce Brosnan has a small but notable role, but the majority of the film is spent with the Dwyer family and there were good performances all around. One other thing I appreciated was that the trailer only had scenes from the first act, so the rest of the film was a complete mystery, and I hope more films follow suit.

The main criticism I have is that the ending feels a bit flat, but that’s only because the rest of the film is so tense. Overall it’s an intense film that enthralled me, and I give it a very high recommendation.

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