Back Behind Enemy Lines
Efficient and effective, No Escape’s tale of a family caught in the middle of a violent coup maintains small-scale tension and terror.Returning comedian Owen Wilson, who's somewhat unbelievably pushing 50, to action duties (following his enjoyable Behind Enemy Lines - some 15 years back) we find him cast here as the unexpected hero father whose relocation to South-East Asia sees him and his young family put in imminent danger as the assassination of the Prime Minister sparks a coup that sees the streets bloodied and nowhere to run or hide.Whilst the setting – in a fictitious South-East Asian location which borders Vietnam – requires all too many rampant generalisations, painting the rebels as bloodthirsty villains, the story manages to just about evolve in a fairly natural fashion, as Wilson and his girls (two young daughters and wife Lake Bell) escape and evade hundreds of armed assailants, helicopters and even a tank in a desperate bid to find somewhere safe in this warzone.
Horror director duo, the Dowdle Brothers, certainly know how to crank up the tension and bring home the terror, taking a comparatively microscopic budget and working wonders here to deliver perfectly serviceable action that’s a clear cut above DTV standards (and, let’s face it, you can’t make much even in the DTV realm with $5 Million these days) even if it doesn’t quite sit comfortably alongside its Big Screen Big Budget brethren.
No escape, but some escapism.
A few stylistic flourishes help – although the Dowdle Brothers dally with going overboard in the slo-mo department – as does the cameo presence of a gruff Pierce Brosnan and the everyman likeability of Wilson in the lead, and No Escape ends up being an engaging, enjoying and veritably exciting little action thriller.
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