American engineer Jack Dwyer is expatriated to Southeast Asia to work in the water plant of his company. He travels with his wife Annie and their daughters Lucy and Beeze to their new overseas home, and soon find themselves caught in the middle of a political uprising, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.
When you see Owen Wilson's name on the top of a movie poster, the first thing you usually expect is that you'll be watching a family-geared comedy adventure, right? With No Escape, you couldn't be more wrong.
This movie is far more intense than I had expected going into it, which isn't a bad thing for what it is. I was expecting a good action movie, with some good tension, but instead I was legitimately shaking in my chair, jumping at the sound of every gunshot coming from the screen. I went to go see it with a friend, who ended up clawing my arm up pretty good before it was over.
For an intense movie like No Escape, I was very pleasantly surprised with how good Owen Wilson's (Midnight in Paris, Cars, Night at the Museum) performance was as Jack Dwyer. I say the same thing about Lake Bell (In a World, What Happens in Vegas, No Strings Attached), Sterling Jerins (World War Z, The Conjuring, Dark Places), and Claire Geare (Inception, Dream House, Marza). Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough) was a super funny, charming flat out badass, just as always. These actors really sold their performances and acted their parts really well all the way around.
Many of the effects in this movie were practical, which I was a huge fan of. The film didn't really call for many special/visual effects, except for the scene on the hotel roof, which turned out very well. Everything really looked great.
John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil, As Above So Below) did a great job writing and directing this movie. My favorite thing that they did is leave pretty much the entire movie in the perspective of the Dwyer family (minus the opening scene, which still kept its perspective on one person at a time), which I loved. It gave the movie an extra realm of realism that we don't often see in the modern cinema. You only know what the characters know, and you learn it as they do. There aren't even subtitles when people speak in another language, you have to wait until someone else comes along to translate it. We are quite literally just passengers following Jack Dwyer and his family through this intense, terrifying event. All of that put together within this situation that these people find themselves in makes this movie really, honestly scary.
It was rated R for a VERY good reason, so don't see it with the kids, and if you have a problem with super intense scary movies. It was intense (terrifying, in fact) , gripping, and well-written all the way through, and will keep you on the edge of your seat from the moment it starts until the very end.