Four Stars or Less – No Escape: A Bland Addition to Action

Shane Freeman

Shane Freeman

A weekly review of the latest films to hit the big screen.

How far would you go to protect your family when escape seems impossible?

Over the course of the summer, I had seen trailers for “No Escape” multiple times, and two things caught me by surprise: the image of a father throwing his child off a roof and that father being played by Owen Wilson. Most people know him as the funny man in a number of comedies. This clearly was not a comedy.

I can’t say I’m a fan of Wilson, but I gave him pass on this one since the role was so intriguing. As far as rousing curiosity goes, this film hits the nail on the head. After buying the ticket, I realized I actually knew nothing about this film. I was going in blind. By the end of the film, I had mixed feelings.

As an action/drama film, it surprised me on a few levels because it kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat The plot, though, was unclear. Before we meet Wilson’s character and his family, there’s an opening that supposedly sets up the whole plot, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense because we’re never given enough information. 

The gist of it, which I got about 20 minutes in, is this: 1. a leader is killed, 2. a rebellion begins in the city where the leader was killed and 3. Wilson’s character and his family are being targeted. It’s fairly basic, but it drives itself on tension.

While the acting isn’t special in any way, Wilson stands out by making his character believable. He plays a great father and delivers during intense moments, but I still found myself seeing his funny side even when he wasn’t being funny. 

The only other interesting character is Pierce Brosnan’s. He has a mysterious past, but it doesn’t make any sense when he explains it. Ultimately this doesn’t matter because his only purpose is to clarify parts of the confusing plot.

In the end, I was surprised and excited by the film, but it has faults. The performances weren’t great, even with Wilson’s. The action got repetitive and less believable and was hyperviolent, which doesn’t appeal to everyone. The tension, action and surprises were enjoyable, but these were stale by the time credits rolled. 

I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed the film to a certain extent, but I also felt it bland by the end. All in all, it’s good to see over the weekend if you want a mindless action film.

My Score: 2/4.