Featuring an intriguing spin on the whole vacation gone wrong subgenre, No Escape is an entertaining thriller with a great cast. What’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you go to a country that’s a bit unstable? That’s right, you might end up right in the middle of an armed conflict with the rest of your family. I’m sure that when you’re looking for holiday destinations, the stability of the country you’re going to is a big factor. Especially considering the number of uprisings and terrorist attacks in recent years. Shot in Thailand, No Escape feels authentic and exotic at the same time. And it doesn’t fuck about as the action kicks off fairly early and doesn’t stop ’till the end.
As you’ve probably guessed, No Escape follows a family who ends up in the middle of such a dangerous situation. It’s a mainstream movie with a decent budget and a great cast. Owen Wilson was great as the Average Joe along with Lake Bell playing his wife. On the other hand, Mr. former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan delivered his usually great performance. I just loved his character and not just because he has a great sense of fashion, drinks, and smokes. Hammond feels smooth as a medium-sized joint after a couple of beers. The atmosphere here is intense and suspenseful just as it should be. And I just loved the crisp clear image quality and cinematography in general.
Granted, they did milk a little this whole family thing but that’s to be expected with a movie like this. There are these forced emotional scenes that just go on and on, slowing the momentum of the story. I just wish they had the courage to go all the way and make a movie that would echo through the decades. Instead of that, they decided on a safe approach relegating No Escape to the sea of average thrillers. Also, more background on why this is happening would’ve helped with the immersion greatly.
The Dwyer family is pretty excited as their flight to Southeast Asia is soon coming to an end. Jack Dwyer, with his wife Annie and two daughters, decided to take a job in another country after his own business failed. He’s an engineer in charge of designing a new waterworks system. The next morning, Jack leaves their hotel trying to find some newspapers and soon explosions can be heard in distance. It seems that all hell is about to break loose…
So, depending on your previous movie experience, No Escape will be either a fun thrill ride or a disturbing tragedy. And don’t get me wrong, I was on the edge of my seat for some of the scenes too. One of them was a particularly unnerving experience, something that you’ll rarely see in mainstream thrillers. It’s not like these potentially dangerous events are not happening around the world, something that adds another dimension to the story. However, I have to say that the chances you end up in such a mess are minuscule.
Still, it’s fun to think about what would you do in a similar situation. And this is not The Green Inferno or Turistas. The setting and general vibe reminded me of another movie set in Southeast Asia, The Impossible. So, if you liked No Escape, you might wanna check it out. Finally, I also have to mention a much more serious movie Beyond Rangoon inspired by real events and people. Starring Patricia Arquette and Frances McDormand it offers a different perspective on the same issues and I can’t recommend it enough.
Fun Facts: During production a fire damaged the set in Lampang, northern Thailand. After filming an explosion scene inside a dilapidated building, the crew was in the process of packing and moving things downstairs when somebody saw the fire on the third floor of the building. No one was injured.