"No Escape" is about a family who finds themselves in the center of a country's internal struggle and try to find a way to escape from the conflict. More drama than action, "No Escape" focuses on the realistic reactions an American family would have in this situation, while also diving into what it truly takes to survive.
Owen Wilson is the biggest surprise here. Normally seen in comedies, he pulls off a great performance in this more gritty, action-drama type of film. The character arc which he portrays makes some sense and Wilson brings a certain realistic sense to it as the audience witnesses a man go from innocent to a survivor, and what that can ultimately cost someone.
Pierce Brosnan is largely underutilized in this movie. He's introduced at the beginning, and then just seems to spring up when needed to the point that it seems like the script could have just been altered slightly to not include him at all. That said, he steals every scene he's in and brings a certain level of charm to his role.
Lake Bell was a character who seemed unbalanced to me. Early in the film, when men with guns are getting ever closer to her and her family, she has a difficult time jumping to another rooftop to escape them, at one point refusing to jump. This annoyed me, as I know that if I was in a jump and maybe survive or definitely die situation, I'd take the former and hope my luck was good. And then towards the end of the film, she's taking down bad guys without a second thought. I think they were trying to duplicate the arc which Wilson's character goes through, but she doesn't really seem to earn this new attitude and mentality.
The action scenes, however, are great, as they showcase a realistic sense of violence. It's what one would imagine a situation like this being like, with people being executed in the street and just killed without reason. It's a horrific scene and executed beautifully. However, where there is beauty, there is also darkness, and there are some truly dark moments throughout this film. Mainly towards the end, there were two scenes in which I didn't know what to expect in regards to a conclusion. It could have gone both ways, and leaving the audience in that kind of suspense is difficult to accomplish these days.
The film does fall victim to something which many survival-type films do, in that the survivors are able to get out of any situation virtually unscathed. This can be frustrating once it gets noticed and it ventures into the realm of unrealistic and presents our protagonists more as god-like beings whom can never die rather than actual people who could die at any second. While it didn't take me out of the film by any means, I would have liked to see some tragedy befall one of the members of this family to allow for a more realistic approach.
It does run a little long, but regardless, "No Escape" is a decent watch if you're looking for something to see this week, or even this weekend if you're caught up on everything else. It's not the best film of the summer, but it's certainly not the worst, and not a terrible film to end the summer movie season with.
But those are my thoughts. Leave yours in the comments below!
Check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ez7W1OLgs4