In No Escape, a family man faces the worst



If you’re thinking about traveling to Asia, don’t see No Escape.

If you’re about to take your family to a different country, don’t see No Escape.

If you’ve just taken a new job and are about to relocate to another city, don’t see No Escape.

Come to think of it, just don’t go see No Escape.

This action-thriller co-written by Drew Dowdle and written and directed by John Erick Dowdle is a downer in so many ways.

Jack Dwyer is an inventor/engineer whose failed business in Austin, Texas, has led him to bring his wife Annie and daughters Lucy and Beeze overseas, to an unnamed country in Asia, where he’s taken a job for an international company and huge water project. The girls, who had no say in the matter, are less than thrilled about this relocation mission. Then, on day one in a peculiar hotel, they end up in the middle of a raging coup, where the home people are hunting down and killing all foreigners. We find out Jack’s new company — unseen for any help in the escalating trouble — is indeed one of the culprits in fueling all the local hate.

The only help comes from an eccentric ex-pat played by Pierce Brosnan and his local sidekick who wants to be called Kenny Rogers for his love of the American singer.

Owen Wilson tries hard to make the most of the role of struggling hero-dad, and Lake Bell sweats a lot beside him as fighting mom.

But, really, all of the violence and nastiness and killing and the ways they concoct to wiggle out of it are so dark and troubling and contrived that sitting in a Friday afternoon matinée with about 50 movie-goers of all ages in a Regal Cinemas theater in the Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA, all I could do was squirm, dislike what was in front of me, and wish that I’d chosen another movie.

I despised the stereotypes of hater local Asians and their killing streets and alleys. I hated the ugly situations they placed these little girls in. I couldn’t root for the man who was supposed to be the good guy because of some of his actions were wrong and others were just plain unbelievable.

There was no getting out of my dismay and discomfort.

Do you think children’s roles should be limited in some portions of action thrillers? What’s your favorite Owen Wilson movie, and why? Have you traveled to Asia, and if so, how were you treated?

61 thoughts on “In No Escape, a family man faces the worst

  1. O really liked “Shanghai Express” and wasn’t he in the “Wedding Crashers?” I was a fan of his roles in romantic comedies for quite some time bur forget them all of a sudden! I agree with Joey and like Midnight in Paris. Mark, thank you for this honest review and so glad I didn’t go see it!


  2. Sounds like a big waste of time. I lived in Japan, and besides the women at the crystal sale at Mikasa, everyone was very gracious – well, except for the time I got in a fender-bender with an older Japanese lady and the police and the old lady tried to blame me for every scrape on the woman’s car (even the scrapes on the opposite side of the car). That wasn’t so gracious. I like Owen Wilson, but in all his movies I spend the entire movie trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with his nose. I guess that is the downside of working in ENT.


  3. I knew nothing about this movie…but now I know I don’t want to see it!
    Thanks for the review, Mark!
    My fav Owen Wilson movies are Midnight in Paris (excellent!) and Grand Budapest hotel (fun!).
    I do worry about kid actors in movies. I think they grow up too fast based on what they are expected to do for acting roles and what they experience on movie/tv show sets, etc. 😦
    HUGS!!! 🙂


  4. Well, that is good to know that we should not waste our time going! Mr. B mentioned going last weekend but we ended up not having time. Having said that, I know one of the Dowdles!! I know the wife(aunt) of John & Drew’s uncle, Mike. Got that? Chmaine (the woman I know) just posted pictures of the premiere in LA. She’s got all kinds of pics with Owen. 🙂


  5. Oh my gosh bro Mark That sounds totally horrible. What kind of Mother allows her kids to be in a movie like this? I know they have to read the script, and that one sounds so horrible I wouldn’t get much past the first chapter. As far as allowing a child to even visit the set? No way! And they wonder why there is so much violence in school, and in the streets. That seems so obvious to me.


  6. As you know I absolutely love Japan. In fact I’m going back in three months. But I wouldn’t not see this movie because I’m scared of a coup going on while I’m there. I felt extremely safe (apart from the signs on every other post which read, “danger: tsunami” of course).
    Wedding Crashers. Yeah. I’ll stick with the funny ones.


  7. We just saw this on our $5.00 Tuesday and my thought was that I only wish to travel in the America, but things happen here as well. I actually was entertained but only because I wanted the poor family to find a safe place.


  8. As soon as I saw this movie I just didn’t think it was a good idea to cast Owen Wilson in any kind of dramatic role. Clearly that only scratches the surface of this movie’s problems. I will put this one down as one to avoid.


  9. Eek! No thanks.
    I like Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris. Love that movie — clever, whimsical comedy about a writer, how could I not love it? Tell me you loved that movie?
    Nah, I don’t mind kids in movies, but that doesn’t mean I’ll watch them all. Sometimes it’s just too hard.


  10. I wonder if perhaps there might be some benefit for kids to see from the inside how fake it all is, from the movie standpoint. It is the presentation in the theater that seems so frightening but if you are doing the same scene over am over again without the special effects, seems it might diminish fear and create a better grounding in reality.


  11. I live in Southeast Asia…Singapore is one of the safest places to live in the world. They have an extremely low crime rate because of their strict laws! 🙂 Although low crime doesn’t mean no crime, here I would happily walk down the street at night by myself!


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