No Escape

“Continuing the theme of watching movies because they’re there and not so much because I legit want to see the movie, we’ve got No Escape. (Have I said lately how much I dislike this end of summer movie graveyard?) The trailer left me kind of cold. It indicated a lack of plot and some contrived action, albeit with a cast that I like (Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan). What I hadn’t expected (and in retrospect, prolly should have) was the superficial shock value of the spectacle.

Owen Wilson has moved his family to Asia. Unbeknownst to him, the country is on the eve of war, which the family soon find themselves caught in the crossfire. Now they’re running for their lives from somewhere they apparently have no escape from.

There were so many things wrong with the movie. Undeveloped characters, thin plot with nonsensical details, gore for the sake of gore, and just generally lazy film making. However, I will admit to getting caught up in it, up to a point. The initial suspense build is pretty strong, especially with the confusion of not knowing what or why things are happening. But that can only sustain the film for so long, and unfortunately the movie relies on that suspense too heavily. As someone who has minimal interest in foreign travel (due in part to a fear of getting in some type of trouble and not knowing the language), this film started off terrifying. I imagined myself in the situation and had no clue as to what I would have done. I see how helpless and frantic the family is and I feel it along with them.

And then at some point, the novelty wore off. I realized that this is basically a foreign set version of The Purge, specifically the sequel which wasn’t self contained in a single location. Bad guys are indiscriminately killing anyone they come across. Again, it’s a terrifying thought, but it doesn’t manage to hold on to that terror for too long.

Oh and the shock value I was talking about? There were some pretty gruesome deaths. I heard murmurs of “”Oh Jesus”” and gasps from the rows behind me. That too got old after a point. I was trying think about why it didn’t work well here, even though it’s something I tend to–(hmm ,don’t want to say enjoy, but that’s kind of the word, let’s say)–appreciate. The best conclusion I could come to was that it simply didn’t serve the film. For directors like Tarantino or Roth, gore kind of sets the tone, and sarcastically lightens things up. In other words, there’s some purpose and thought behind it. Here, it felt more like blood for the sake of blood. The rest of the film is crap, but maybe no one will notice if there’s a red haze over everything. yeah sorry, I noticed. Try again next time.

I feel sad for the cast, because they deserve much better than this. Thankfully, I should be able to forget this one ever existed pretty quick, as I’m sure the rest of the world will too. I’m sure they’re hoping for at least that.

No Escape – \m/ \m/”

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