How does it feel to watch a nightmare unfold before your eyes, slowly and brutally? No Escape is a thriller that will take you on that uncomfortable ride you crave for at the movies. No fluff, no pretences; No Escape gives you a moment to think of the worst of a situation for anybody to be in and almost always, in the very next moment, fulfills what you wished wouldn’t happen.
Owen Wilson and Lake Bell play Jack and Annie Dwyer, a couple who move to a South-Asian country with their daughters, Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Breeze (Claire Geare). Jack, after troubled times has a new job and a life to look forward to. Luck frowns upon the Dwyers from almost the time they land and get out of the airport. Try no ride to their hotel and then finding a cabbie who idolises Kenny Rogers and even calls himself so (you want to take your chances with no cabbie then), arriving at a hotel from hell where just about none of the amenities work, and then constantly bumping into a loud over-the-top character called Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). Things go for an absolute toss when the next morning the Dwyers find themselves caught in a civil war where the local residents are baying for the blood of the expats. All that the family does to survive the nightmarish circumstances they find themselves in and eventually look to escape forms the rest of the 103 minutes you will spend being at the edge of your seat.
Wilson is extremely relatable as the hapless father and husband who has to fight an extraordinary battle to protect his family. Your heart goes out for Jack Dwyer and then you know Owen Wilson delivers a splendid performance. Raising the bar is the performance of Lake Bell playing the mother who is scared to death and yet has to be the stoic wife. The little comforting exchanges within the family during the entire crisis is moving. Brosnan might seem a tad hammy as his character is introduced but comes into his own in the second half. You then wish you had more of Hammond in the movie than what you have to settle for.
Thrills No Escape delivers and does so relentlessly. Director John Erick Dowdle has little mercy for his audience who might find themselves gasping on more instances than one. No spoilers here but watch out for when Jack decides to jump from one building to another with the rest of the family and be wary about your heart in your mouth. There are times when one wonders if this movie suffers from a Taken hangover but they are quickly dispelled. One might even scoff at some remarks made about the “Third World” that may seem unnecessary but then this one is not meant to be a fairy tale. No Escape attempts to be as real as your nightmares get with regular, relatable characters.
Why You Should Watch this Movie:
No Escape cannot be missed because we know how much we root for the underdog. We know how much we love stories of ordinary people fighting extraordinary odds. This movie gives you all of that. Watch it also to be pleasantly surprised by Owen Wilson and the very sincere performances by the rest of the cast. The thrills of course, cannot be highlighted enough.