A xenophobic thriller with a misplaced Owen Wilson as a leading hero sounds like an awful idea. However, No Escape manages to keep emotions low and thrills very high in this violent chase that captures the inhumanity set during a brutal coup d’état.
Set in an unnamed location that closely resembles Thailand, No Escape follows the Dwyer family as they relocate from America. Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and two daughters, Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and Beeze (Claire Geare) find themselves living in a cheap hotel when the local political leader is assassinated. War breaks out and the helpless family has to survive a few days of terror and journey across the city to safety. Along the way they meet Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who helps overcome the guerrillas who are killing everybody in sight.
No Escape is the Fast and The Furious version of Hotel Rwanda. It’s violent and entertaining throughout, but not the least bit plausible. There’s an intense scene where Jack is forced to literally toss his daughters over a rooftop and have his wife catch them on the other side. It’s gripping stuff, but it borders on the ridiculous.
Nevertheless, No Escape offers such an exciting and suspenseful ride that I watched it three times. It’s nothing if not fun. Also kudos to the non-violent looking Owen Wilson for being brave enough to take on something completely out of his usual range. If you’re able to switch your brain off and ignore the countless ‘non-white’ lives being destroyed in the background, then No Escape is a good way to pass the time.