Easily Forgotten

Elisabeth Röhm and Michael Shanks in Desperate Escape (2009)

As a thriller "Desperate Escape" is not good, it lacks realism, believability and to be blunt it is all too obvious. And that problem of being obvious stems from one problem and that is there are not enough possibilities to keep you guessing. Here we have a story of a woman who wakes up from a coma following an attack and is suffering from amnesia, she meets Michael who says they are engaged although she doesn't remember him and then there is the person who lurks about in the shadows and that is it. So we are left to watch to work out who attacked her, was it Michael or was it the person in the shadows and it needed more possibilities to make it exciting. As such "Desperate Escape" becomes almost a walk through of a thriller which as soon as you discover there are just 2 possibilities it is obvious which one will be the right one.

Following an attack which left her in a coma, Brooke Harris (Elisabeth Röhm - Miss Congeniality 2) wakes up in hospital suffering from amnesia and with Michael Coleman (Michael Shanks) by her bed who with a photo of them together says he is her fiancee. Unsure Brooke is released and with Michael goes to their home in the country but with memory loss not only is Brooke unsure of everything but flashbacks of the attack make her panicky. As she tries to piece together her life and make sense of things it becomes apparent that all may not be as it seems but who can she trust?

Serinda Swan as Melissa in Desperate Escape (2009)

So "Desperate Escape" runs with quite a familiar set up of a person waking up with amnesia and trying to piece their life back together and working out what happened to them. We get moments of flashback which lead to Brooke to doubt certain things such as whether Michael is the loving fiancee he seems whilst we have the person who is lurking ominously in the shadows. It isn't anything new and slowly we watch as Brooke goes from panic attacks to doubt as she becomes suspicious of Michael and tries to work out what happened to her, who attacked her and why.

Now there are a lot of issues with this movie none more so than it is not realistic especially when Michael shows up at the hospital claiming to be Brooke's fiancee and the doctors are quite accepting off it. The fact just a couple of days after waking from a coma and suffering from amnesia the hospital let her leave with Michael, a man she doesn't even remember makes it even more unbelievable. And this lack of realism and Brooke accepting things too easily flows right through out the movie and at times making a mockery of things. Plus the lack of realism comes when finally Brooke discovers the truth and we have a less than believable action ending as Brooke makes a stand against the person she discovers attacked her.

Now I never mentioned who it was who attacked her but to be honest it is very obvious because we really only have the two possibilities; there is the person who is lurking in the shadows all the time and Michael. It is a case that "Desperate Escape" needed more possibilities, more characters who could have been behind Brooke's attack to make it more intriguing. As such with just these two possibilities you end up hoping you are wrong by who you guess because at least by being wrong it would have been left obvious.

Acting wise well it is as uninspiring as the movie but to be honest with the movie lacking realism you can't blame Elisabeth Röhm and Michael Shanks as well as Serinda Swan for playing very false characters. You almost get a sense that the cast whilst not bad actors were picked more for their looks especially Röhm and Swan as they have the most amazing eyes.

What this all boils down to is that "Desperate Escape" is not a great thriller, it's not even a good thriller but just about makes it to being average. The trouble is that not only does it lack realism, missing out great chunks of narrative to create suspense, but it doesn't have enough possibilities to make it intriguing, you can guess the outcome not long after it starts.

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