Behind Enemy Lines Again
10 years ago Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson - Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) would never have imagined doing this but having received a fantastic promotion he, along with his wife Annie (Lake Bell - Black Rock) and their two daughters, are relocating to Southeast Asia. But just 24 hours after arriving they find themselves in deep trouble as some sort of rebellion is going on with violence on the streets and a group of people brutally killing any foreigner they find. As Jack does what ever he can to keep his family 10 paces ahead of the trouble he not only realises that these rebels are looking for him in particular but finds some help from a mysterious British tourist, Hammond (Pierce Brosnan - Survivor).
Can you imagine yourself in the position of Jack, fighting to save your family in the midst of violence whilst realising they are hunting you in particular. As someone who is neither married nor has children I have to admit that I couldn't fully connect with that sense of fear and desperation which Jack and his wife must have felt. And that is a major point because for me "No Escape" was a good movie, in fact there were some things about it I liked, but at the same time I felt this movie's power came not from being an action movie but from connecting with parents who could put themselves in that position, so in love with their family that will do what ever it takes to protect them.
So without that connection what "No Escape" ended up for me was a solid action movie, a simple survival movie featuring a family trying to escape from rebel action. But what I like about "No Escape" is in fact two things. Firstly whilst the action is extreme with even a roof top leap it isn't so extreme that it is completely unbelievable or over the top. The other thing is that whilst "No Escape" is a violent movie, with cold blooded killing and even sexual violence, it never feels like it is glorifying the violence or just about the violence. In fact at times it is suggestive rather than being in your face and gory which whilst some might have wanted more splatter for their buck I appreciated it allowing the audience to use their own imagination to fill in the gaps.
Aside from that there is of course the acting and to be honest Owen Wilson impressed as an action dad in this because you don't associate him with full on action rolls and this is certainly better than "Behind Enemy Lines" which he did a few years back. It is the same with Lake Bell as whilst I have seen her in more recent dramatic roles because you don't associate her in the action role there is no real expectation or baggage to get in the way of her performance. Unfortunately that is not the case with Pierce Brosnan as Hammond and sadly the accent he uses ends up a big issue as it doesn't fit what we expect of Brosnan, it simply sounds wrong.
What this all boils down to is that "No Escape" is a good movie, a solid action/survival movie with a good control of the violence so that it isn't a movie which glorifies it. But it is the sort of movie which I am sure works best for those who can connect with the parental and protective aspects of the storyline.