The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No Escape

In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

When comedic actors and actresses take a more serious role, rather than playing their usual comedic roles, it can be a hard transition and there is no escaping the comedic persona that they create. See what I did there? I am going to go crawl in the fetal position now, excuse me. But seriously, it is hard to see actors in a different genre if we are already used to them in another. No Escape felt like a long third act of a film and nothing else, it was a bit flat.


Director John Erick Dowdle brings us a suspenseful chase scene stretched into an hour and forty minute film and it was thrilling for a few scenes. John has directed films like: Quarantine, Devil and As Above, So Below and, for me personally, I actually liked Devil and As Above, So Below. He can capture horrific scenarios and make them feel gripping and there were a few times in this film that made me never want to go to Asia, so thanks?

The dialogue is very one-note with Owen Wilson’s lines either “I will get us out of here.” or “We need to hide.” I felt like there were no risks taken and this dangerous situation seemed more implausible with unlikely scenarios that borderline on laughter. The movie is a giant chase scene and, I hate to say this, but it was kind of boring and monotonous; I wanted a bit more to it.


The acting is serviceable for the film and Pierce Brosnan was pretty awesome as his “character” (I only put it in quotes because I don’t spoil films, I ain’t about that life.)

Like in my opening, it’s hard for comedic actors to breakthrough to another genre and that was kind of the case here. No one was bad, and I even bought Lake Bell and Owen Wilson as a couple, but they also didn’t do anything special and could have gotten anyone to play their roles.


It has a dirty, gritty look to it to compliment the setting and the action sequences are shot well and add a sense of urgency for the most part.

Some of the sequences have a lot of shaky-cam and it’s hard to tell what was going on within the frame, but it wasn’t too bad.

Editing/Special Effects


For an hour and forty minute movie, it was a chore to sit through. It was very repetitive with its plot and I felt like we were watching the same hide and then escape scene over and over. This also bugged the heck out of me, and that was the slow-motion shots randomly placed in a scene. Just stop that. It didn’t add anything emotional, suspenseful etc. It was almost like the director wanted to emphasize the scene and make it more intense but it comes off more comical, especially the roof scene.

Overall: An average thriller at best with decent acting, very thin plot, slow pace and unnecessary slow-motion. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it either. I usually like John Erick Dowdle directed film's, however, this is one of my least favorites from him.

Score: C
(Review by Chase Lee)

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