Movie Review: No Escape


I saw a horror movie at a screening last week, but No Escape actually scared me more. Why, you ask? Because it focused on a family who moves "overseas" - I've pinpointed it as either Thailand or Cambodia - for the husband's job, and then has to escape the country when riots break out, before they get murdered. I'm a frequent traveler, although mostly domestic, and this film made me never want to leave the U.S. ever again.

Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), his wife Annie (Lake Bell), and their two girls have just moved overseas for his engineering job at Cardiff. The company has put them up in a nice hotel, mostly full of foreigners like themselves, and things seem to be going well. Jack goes out for a morning stroll the next day to see if he can find an American newspaper, and witnesses something horrific: the citizens squaring off with the police, and people on both sides getting assassinated. He runs back to the hotel to make sure Annie and the girls are okay, and there are citizens at the hotel as well; they want to kill all the Americans. Jack, Annie, and their family go on the run, eventually meeting up with Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), another hotel resident whom they met on their plane, who helps them try to get to safety.

This movie starts off with a murder and doesn't let up its intense pace from there. The only issue I had with the film is that we get very little backstory; however, the movie still kept me riveted due to all of the craziness going on throughout it. At the beginning of the film, the Prime Minister is assassinated, and things go downhill from there; we know that the citizens hate Americans, but it's never really said why, other than they hate the companies that Jack and a few other Americans came here to work for. I would have liked a bit more backstory, but the film mostly focuses on Jack and his family trying to escape ... in a weird way, the movie reminded me of San Andreas, except they're trying to escape fellow humans and not a natural disaster.

Yes, see this movie, but don't see if if you are squeamish or can't handle deaths ... because there are a LOT of them in this film, as well as an attempted rape and a few other disturbing scenes (the whole movie is disturbing, actually). Like I said, it makes me not want to travel outside the U.S. for a very long time, and I'm sure Jack's family would feel the same way, if they were real. No Escape is definitely a "popcorn" summer movie, but it's one that was more intense than I was expecting, and it's worth seeing at the theater.

No Escape is in theaters today, August 26th, and is rated R with a runtime of 103 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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