“No Escape” is typical end-of-summer fare, but it knows what it’s doing and does it well — even if it does go a bit too far with its cliché-ridden story and characters.
Owen Wilson stars as Jack Dwyer, an American businessman who moves his family — his wife (Lake Bell) and two daughters (Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare) — to Southeast Asia as part of his new job. The daughters are your run-of-the-mill kids who don’t like the move and would rather go home.
When they arrive, they encounter a man named Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who sort of becomes their tour guide and gives them the ins and outs of living in their new country. His character would be an acceptable substitute for your GPS.
It isn’t long, though, before Wilson and his family are caught in the middle of a violent, dangerous coup. They discover that the rioters are looking for foreigners to execute. You know this means the movie will be developing one situation after another in which the family gets in trouble within an inch of their lives and inevitably finds a way out.
I mentioned earlier that the movie is cliché-ridden; one cliché it doesn’t hesitate to use is the idea that if a man is traveling with his family, they no doubt will all stay together and survive whatever obstacles are put in their way mainly because they’re a family. I wonder if there’s ever going to be a movie in which the typical family does not stay together and survive all the way through. Just a thought.
“No Escape” doesn’t offer anything new or original, but it does feature good performances from Wilson and Brosnan in addition to some great cinematography and some riveting, genuinely tense and even brutal moments.
This movie isn’t going to be remembered past Labor Day weekend, but it does hold our interest in the moment.
Rated R for strong violence throughout, and for language.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.