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No Escape

Updated on August 18, 2016

This is a late one I know… 'No Escape' was released in August 2015, and I did see the film then at the cinema, it was utterly entertaining. But I was not sure and waited for everyone to have their say on the film before I gave my two pennies worth, and after re-watching the film now for the second time I will hit you with my critique.

Rotten Tomatoes……..47%
The Guardian………….2/5
Metacritic.…………...…38% 6.5
Rogerebert.com……….Less than 1 star

Are these reviewers crazy, did we see the same film? Did Bob and Harvey Weinstein forget to hand out their bribe money for this film?
I give 'No Escape' a SOLID 4 out of 5 stars.


Now 'No Escape' is no political drama, and it does not pretend to be one.
'No Escape' is a rock-hard action thriller, exploitation film, and does everything the genre asks, it ticks all of the boxes and never leaves you with the feeling the filmmakers cheated you.

Yes the plot is a little flimsy and some of the situations are beyond ludicrous, but this is exploitation its entertainment, and one has to remember this when going into this film.
I hear reviews calling out the film as being racist or xenophobic, reviewers claiming the film contains a retrograde worldview with too many generalisations to give any context to the political turmoil portrayed in the film.

Well, I say those reviewers need to stop writing mind-boggling gobbledygook. I for one do not like being spoon fed information, I like to peel back the layers of a film to find the true inner meaning, and 'No Escape' fulfils this by perfectly keeping a cryptic hold over the viewer.
yes there may be some generalisation, but if you are too freaking stupid to realise they end up in Vietnam in the film's climax, which means they can only have been in one of three countries Cambodia, Laos or China the latter two being the more obvious of setting for this film, then I cannot help you.

This is exploitation, and I think people forget how the genre works especially in regards to politics and war, these types of action films were ripe in the 70s and early 80s, covering themes that traditional big budget Hollywood movies were too frightened at the time to explore.
'No Escape' may be generalised and its premise of water and power may be more reflective of South American countries than Asian.
However, the main theme in this film becomes inherently clear from the beginning, that if the west "America" keeps pushing involuntary actions, trough intimidation and aggressive driving forces, with overseas contracting deals as well as unwanted occupation, these little poorer countries will stand up and fight for independence.

Going back to the generalisation of the country and the political situation, I feel it is more honest than giving a face to the enemy, as it makes the film that much more frightening… Just as our own media portray terrorists, we become scared because the media don’t tell us anything about them… Why are they doing this? Where do they come from? These questions are rarely answered in our media.
In my opinion choosing a nameless southeastern Asian country was a bolder choice than going straight for the Middle East.
However much this film is an exploitation movie, I have to give 'No Escape' credit for portraying a different political struggle and being unique when most films are still focusing on the soldier-sob-story genre or PTSD and American supremacy in general or over Afghanistan.

The acting throughout is astonishingly brilliant.
Owen Wilson gives an unusually strong and serious performance, standing out as a great underdog action hero.
Lake Bell gives us a variation of the strong feminine housewife, though at time she does feel marginalized by the children who kind of steal the show, both Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare are immediately adorable and loveable, they hold their own and give great performances never breaking the immersion of the film that some child actors manage to achieve.
Pierce Brosnan gives us a variation of his spy espionage character that he seems to portray in most films, albeit he does keep the character interesting with quirks and his voice is amazing… I want Brosnan to talk like this in every film he does from now on.
The family dynamic in 'No Escape' is tight and you really feel that this is a real family not just a bunch of actors the director pinned together, they all work and seem to have real history between them, unlike the shocking family dynamic from the recent 'Poltergeist' remake.
If you had to watch this film for any reason Owen Wilson's performance alone is worth the watch, he really comes across as a loving dad who would do anything to keep his family alive.

Now I will not go through the film with spoilers, this is an action thriller; I will not ruin the movies set pieces for you.
The action in 'No Escape' is solid, however, the action always is leading into a tense moment, which does become a little bit exhausting, as I was kept eyes unblinking at the end of my seat the whole time.
Keeping with the exploitation theme this is a surprisingly violent movie, with some generally disturbing scenes and as the action unfolds you never feel quite safe, not knowing what will happen to the main protagonists.

'No Escape' is an action packed, suspense riddled, exploitation thriller that will keep you fully entertained from the beginning to the end.
This really is an underrated film, which has much more relevance than you think politically.
The filmmakers are not giving you answers and for that reason alone makes this a stronger film than most political dramas in recent years.
Wilson becomes a badass, the action and suspense is killer and Brosnan's voice is awesome.
I give 'No Escape' a SOLID 4 out of 5 stars… So let's bring back the BUZZ on 'No Escape' people, you will not be disappointed.

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    • SteveSunpire profile image
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      Steve Sunpire 23 months ago from England

      Thanks again Jodah.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 23 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Great review Steve. You sold me on this one. I can't wait to check it out, especially to see Owen Wilson in a serious dramatic role.