‘No Escape’: Review

Owen Wilson's 'No Escape' has its ups and downs, so be sure to check out this thriller for yourself with either family and friends.

No Escape gets mixed reviews.

No Escape Sign
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It’s hard to even begin discussing my true and utter feelings for No Escape. Thus, I only find it fair to commence with a warning: This film might be the most stereotypical and flat attempt at a Hollywood suspense-thriller in years. However, it is exactly for this reason that you might find it to be entertaining.

No Escape takes its audience overseas into the deep realms of a Southeast Asian country, where we find Andy Dwyer (played by Owen Wilson) and his family beginning a new life and a new career with an American waterworks corporation. Nonetheless, such a line of work in this anonymous third-world nation brings about much disapproval from the native citizens, especially since the recent death of their prime minister links back to Andy’s new enterprise. Hence, the film throws the Dwyers into the climatic height of these international struggles, leaving them with no choice but to flee the country in a thrilling attempt to save their own lives from such rebellion.

What’s profoundly upsetting about No Escape is that it appears to have everything going its way. For instance, the casting for this action thriller engages initial interest alone, with having the usually rom-com Wilson lead as the patriarch to the Dwyer family, prominent actress Lake Bell as the courageous and strong-willed matriarch Annie Dwyer and retired Bond actor Pierce Bronson playing a British emigrant named Hammond with a dark secret. Furthermore, this film does set a high magnitude of suspense throughout its entire 103-minute running time, bringing about certain moments where I found myself gripping the arms of my seat with the full-fledged belief of no hope for this innocent American family.

In spite of these impressive qualities, it becomes obvious early-on that this international film has no substance to back up its towering levels of tension. Such an all-star cast is forced to into what seem to be lifeless characters with no relatability of any kind. If anything, you relate to them specifically because they are a typical American family. Additionally, any type of plotline is lost halfway into the film, with director John Erick Dowdle only worried about the next slow-motion shot of Owen Wilson throwing his daughter off a building. And yes, that actually happens.

All things considered, No Escape is a blessing and a curse. It makes for decent entertainment in how it constantly stretches our levels of anxiety from beginning to end, with having the Dwyers go through strenuous and somewhat unbelievable obstacles to avoid the wrath of the foreign uprising. Nevertheless, that’s really all it’s good for. Because if there is anything to take away from this film, it’s that there’s no escaping Hollywood’s love for clichéd action flicks.

No Escape is playing locally in and around Montclair! Some theaters include AMC Essex Green Cinema 9 in West Orange, AMC Clifton Commons 16, and even AMC Loews Wayne 14.  For show times, a list of even more theaters, and ticket purchases, visit fandango.com.

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