Owen Wilson plays a father who unwittingly drops his family into a war zone

Owen Wilson plays a father who unwittingly drops his family into a war zone

Reel Reviews: Political thriller doesn’t hold water

No Escape, starring Owen Wilson, could take it down a peg or two.

  • Sep. 4, 2015 7:00 p.m.

Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) moves his wife and two young daughters to an Asian country where he will help manage the water supply on behalf of the American company that built its infrastructure.

Dwyer, recently hired and ignorant of the nation’s civil unrest over the privatization of water and other matters, finds himself in the midst of a violent coup.

The rebels discover Dwyer’s identity and occupation, now for himself and his family there can be No Escape.

We say, “Take it down a peg or two.”

TAYLOR: Operatic in scope but not in execution, you have to accept Wilson as the everyman patriarch in addition to buying into the nondescript Asian countries’ mob mentality.

Then, even if you can do all this (I did, for a while), the film is going to push it to the point where these humans couldn’t possibly be at a more tragic crossroads and make you cringe in the process. Thus, No Escape repeatedly makes the audience uncomfortable on multiple levels. It’s not that the film is bad, you can feel the tension, it’s just extremely unpleasant.

HOWE: It’s meant to be unpleasant. You have to remember, a dangerous, blood thirsty mob is chasing after them. They are hardly going to chase you down, find you and say “tag you’re it.”

The film is fraught with tension; it sucked me in and had me on the edge of my seat numerous times. But every time Wilson whispered anything I just kept picturing him in Zoolander. The two little girls who played the daughters, on the other hand, were fantastic and did a great job. In many ways, they were the most believable.

TAYLOR: Audiences can’t enjoy this film because they can’t see past Wilson’s comedic past, the apparent xenophobia of using the unnamed Asian country that happens to border Vietnam and the lack of setup. Namely that banks, corporations and governments do work together to privatize the infrastructures of third-world nations.

But there is no political statement here, just the torment of an idiot who works for the water company. I get it. It’s a sound enough vehicle, it’s just ugly. With no class or style, it’s blunt like an old western without the boons of being cool or clever about it. See it only if you’re in the mood for desperate melodrama of near caricature.

HOWE: Oh and before I forget, wasn’t it great to see Mr. Pierce Brosnan back to his old suave, smarmy best? I love this guy when he plays these types of roles, the rough around the edges protector.

TAYLOR: His part is small, but without him we would have no idea what is going on.

– Taylor gives No Escape 2 Argo plans out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 tiger teeth out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films in Reel Reviews every Friday ad Sunday,