Owen Wilson has made a name for himself in the comedy world with a ton of hit funny films. Sure he took a stab at action off and on with his team ups with Jackie Chan, Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, but all of these operated on the laugh first. His latest film, No Escape marks his first foray into the action thriller genre since his 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines. Featuring a great supporting cast in Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan could this film deliver something more than a throwaway straight to DVD style flick or will it be taken out quickly?
No Escape follows an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup in their new overseas home and are forced to frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed. To say this movie is intense is an understatement. The trailer showcases that there is going to be some action pieces, but it give you more of a straight to DVD vibe and it could not be further from the truth. The story is simple, but the level of danger and intensity take it to the next level. The cast all do a great job with Wilson offering up the perfect every man needed for the role to make you believe in their situation. This is further cemented as the film progresses and their fight for survival is amped up. Bell offers up the perfect wife for Wilson who is supportive and full of emotion as the events unfold while never feeling just like a victim. Brosnan who plays an important role although brief in the overall film is perfection. He is perfectly cast here offering up a couple of different personas that work and has one of the best moments of the film standing up to those trying to kill them. The first half of the film is a bit slow as it sets up their situation, but once the uprising begins it is nonstop action for just about the entire film. The action is violent and bloody with some moments that not only make you cringe, but are made all the more intense due to the realism. People that have visited these countries and the events happening overseas now makes this film all the more terrifying in knowing that it is very much a real possibility.
One of the best aspects of this film is that they never took the Hollywood approach and turned Wilson or Bell into badass action heroes, but instead kept them as this normal married couple just fighting for their survival. This offers up some moments that affect them emotionally due to their actions and it makes the real nature of it all work that much better. Some might have issues with the shaky cam which is usually annoying, but here actually added to the realism and was done well enough that you could still see everything going on. This is a pretty hardcore action thriller that hits all the perfect marks and will hopefully end up one of those sleeper hits with audiences as it is worth checking out.