Monday, 7 September 2015

No Escape (4 Stars)

Owen Wilson has made a successful career as an actor in comedy films. "No Escape" is an opportunity for him to show if he has what it takes to play serious roles. Based on the evidence of this film, I would say he does.

Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) invented a revolutionary new valve and founded a company to market it. After the company went bankrupt, or as he puts it "almost became successful", he joined an American engineering company to work on a plant creating clean drinking water in an east Asian country. The country isn't named in the film, but based on internal evidence it seems to be Laos. Maybe one of my readers can confirm this if they recognise the language in the photo above.

Jack, his wife (Lake Bell) and his two daughters move into a hotel occupied primarily by American workers and their families. They're welcomed by a roguish Englishman called Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who proudly boasts that he's a frequent visitor to the country because the women will do anything. Unfortunately, Jack picked the worst possible day for moving to Laos. Six hours after his arrival rebels assassinate the prime minister and stage a coup. Their main objective is to remove America's influence on their country, so they begin a bloodbath, killing all the Americans they can find.

The film is very impressive in its realism. Jack Dwyer isn't an action hero. He doesn't have any special skills in fighting or using guns. He's just a normal, everyday man like you and me, doing what he can to save the lives of himself and his family. There's nothing that he does in the film which I couldn't imagine myself doing in the same desperate circumstances. In a way, the film reminds me of "San Andreas", which is also a film about a man trying to save his family in a crisis, but that's a film with the Rock, Dwayne Johnson, and he's a far-from-average family guy. Owen Wilson plays a man that the audience can relate to. That's the film's strength.

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