The poster, the clips and the reviews for No Escape left me thinking that it could be a contender for making my ‘worst of’ list at the end of the year. My expectations were low but more often than not this was a good thing as I was pleasantly surprised that No Escape wasn’t a bad movie. Admittedly it has it’s problems but nowhere near that ‘worst of’ territory.
The film has a good opening, there is an ambitious scale to it and I wanted to see the overall story play out. Then I remembered that Owen Wilson’s character, Jack, and his family were the focus of the film, I was frustrated as I didn’t see the point in featuring them when all this action was happening anyway however the film does tie everything together nicely enough. Owen Wilson did have to prove himself in this role being such a renowned comedy actor, he ends up being fine in the role however I think the film would have benefited from a more ambiguous actor. The initial scene where the riots and rebellion begin is pretty ridiculous as one minute the streets are full of locals going about their daily lives and the next minute hoards of both rioters and police appear from nowhere – this lack of realistic build up was poor but after the origin of this scene the film has some of its best moments. There are moments of tension in this film, as Jack returns to the hotel that is family are staying in the immediate panic and hysteria transpires well, the audience feels in the moment just as much as the characters do. Unfortunately this isn’t sustained as No Escape goes mental with the slow motion, this technique is so badly overused here, it’s a shame because all it does is cheapen what should be a tension filled situation.
More character development was necessary too as whilst I didn’t dislike the family I wasn’t really endeared by any of them that much, I should have cared more for the family as a unit than I did. Albeit as the film proceeds they do gain a certainly likability but obtaining this a little earlier on would have been beneficial. One character that was very likable from the get go was Pierce Brosnan’s character, Hammond. He was great and well written, this combined with Brosnan’s delivery of lines and performance meant that the character was actually very funny in places and you were always pleased to see him when he showed up, I’m not so sure about the accent though, that was easy enough to overlook though. When the film eventually reaches its finale its unfortunately fairly anti-climatic, the complete opposite of the opening, and much like the rest of the film quite predictable, I got the impression that the creativity had run dry by this stage and that they just wanted things wrapped up, all the same the ending is watchable and it won’t alter your opinion of the movie too much.
No Escape highlights and is set in such a brutal scenario which is explored slightly but it never really does reach its full potential. There is spectacle and tension but these are often spoilt by the use of slow motion or just an unrealistic set of events. The cast are all fine but Brosnan stands out thanks to a well written character. There is enjoyment to be had here for sure so don’t listen to the reviews absolutely bashing it – I wasn’t bored for a second.
Rating – 6.5/10