NO ESCAPE (2015)

From our Futurevue series, comes No Escape.  Coming to theatres on August 26th.

Family.  It is the most critical thing to a human’s well being.  We may not always get along and our paths may diverge as we get older.  But family will always be there.  Sometimes, it is necessary for parents to make decisions that, although exciting and adventurous, don’t always turn out for the best.

John Erick Dowdle’s No Escape is a fascinating look at an uprooted family’s move from the American heartland to Thailand where Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) has taken a job with Cargill to develop a new water delivery system.  His wife, Annie (Lake Bell) and their two daughters are with him.  As they start to get settled in, a coup d tat breaks out and no one is safe.  Pierce Brosnan joins the cast in a fun supporting role.

The story by Drew and John Erick Dowdle plays very well to the strengths of family bonding.  The tension is palpable, and the story flows well, however, most of the escapism is unbelievable.  The use of a flashback sequence to start the movie effective, but does not serve the narrative very well.  This is Wilson’s first dramatic role since 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines.  His acting in this role was convincing enough that he should consider taking on more dramatic roles.

Cinematically, the movie looks quite good.  The Brothers Dowdle (Devil) know how to frame their shots and what they are looking for out of each scene.  Leo Hinstin manages to capture the grittiness of Thailand while Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’ score helps to convey the sense of escapism.

Overall, this movie succeeds in delivering the requisite tension, but fails to deliver a satisfying experience.  The impression the story leaves is that Americans are self-absorbed and entitled.

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