The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Irritating plot provides no escape for audience

By Tabitha Redder/reporter

In No Escape, a family’s journey to survive in an ambiguous unspecified Asian country was shot well but carries the weight of an achingly uncomfortable plot.

The film stars Owen Wilson as Jack Dwyer, your average attractive white guy who drags his family from Austin to pursue an engineering job overseas.

Jack (Owen Wilson) and Annie (Lake Bell) run for their lives in the new thriller No Escape. Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
Jack (Owen Wilson) and Annie (Lake Bell) run for their lives in the new thriller No Escape.
Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company

His wife Annie (Lake Bell) and their two annoying daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) arrive in the country complaining of inconveniences like an out-of-service phone and television.

However, they soon find themselves as targets of a political uprising.

Given director John Erick Dowdle’s past works (Quarantine, As Above, So Below), this xenophobic political thriller is a change of pace but maybe a waste of directing talent.

Jack’s family alternates between frantically traveling and hiding in the country in an attempt to survive the chaos unfolding around them.

Throughout the film, a myriad of faceless rebels are slaughtered so these Americans can live, creating a hostile, sacrificial tone.

Further distance between American audiences is generated when rebels speak the native language with no subtitles, but that’s probably a necessity when withholding a country’s identity.

The children’s characters are terrible.

Sometimes it’s acceptable to credit less savory children’s roles to poor acting, but it was the dialogue that kept me irritable when the film was thankfully over.

Every time the family managed to evade the rebels ruthlessly pursuing them, one of the daughters would mumble a generic childish complaint like “I’m hungry,” and the audience would giggle — perhaps because that’s charming and relatable.

Speaking of dialogue, the only tolerable scenes were the ones without it.

In a handful of select scenes, cinematographer Leo Hinstin produces beautiful slow-motion or panning shots, but the rest of the film is tainted.

Miraculously, the two daughters remain unscathed the entire film. One of the girls is even barefoot but manages to avoid a single scratch or blister after running across this unnamed country for days.

And an entire minute of screen time is devoted to one of the daughters peeing herself. Why is that necessary?

Also needless: an almost-rape scene. This senseless addition just adds to the demonizing portrait No Escape presents.
This viewer couldn’t escape the theater fast enough.

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