Combustible Celluloid
Own it:
Search for Posters
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Pierce Brosnan, Sahajak Boonthanakit
Written by: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence including a sexual assault, and for language
Running Time: 103
Date: 08/28/2015

No Escape (2015)

1 Star (out of 4)

Racial Hostile-ing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's horrifying to consider just how this movie operates, generating so-called thrills based on a blind, empty-headed fear of foreigners. Adding dumb plot twists and bad shaky-cam makes for an insultingly bad movie. Coming from the otherwise decent horror director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil; As Above, So Below), No Escape is surprising in its blatant xenophobia — some might say racism — with evil looking, unidentified Asians, none of whom have any honor or dignity, shooting at Americans and attempting to beat up and rape white women.

Struggling businessman Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) takes his family to a new country — an unnamed Asian country, possibly Thailand — and a new job. Things don't start off well when their ride to the hotel doesn't show up and nothing in their room seems to be working. The next day, Jack goes out for a paper and finds himself in the middle of what seems to be a revolution, with citizens attacking figures in riot gear. And it becomes apparent that Americans are also being targeted. Jack takes his wife (Lake Bell) and daughters (Claire Geare and Sterling Jerins) on a dangerous path to the American embassy. Just as hope runs out, a mysterious European (Pierce Brosnan) and a local driver (Sahajak Boonthanakit -- a good guy who adopts the Western name "Kenny Rogers") intervene.

It doesn't help that the characters must rely on bad storytelling, including unlikely logic, forced incidents, and flat-out cruelty, as when Jack decides to throw his daughters off a roof, or when he beats a potential informant to death. The unstable cinematography, meant to simulate chaos with lots of shaking, makes things worse. The Pierce Brosnan character actually has a purpose, but it's too little and too late to save this abhorrent, morally repugnant movie.

Movies Unlimtied