No Escape Blu-ray Review
NO ESCAPE is a surprisingly intense action thriller from horror movie director John Erick Dowdle. Although it does feel like a B-movie at times, NO ESCAPE is helped by a charming, yet reserved Owen Wilson and fast pace. Fans wanting a true shoot-em-up action movie may be disappointed since the film is more of an action thriller, but there’s enough intensity and suspense to keep everything rolling.
Jack (Wilson) and Annie (Bell) have relocated to a third world country for Jack’s work as an engineer. Already uncomfortable in their new surroundings, things take a very hostile turn when the leader of the country is murdered and the ensuing military coup results in mass chaos across the country. Unfortunately for Jack and Annie, the rebels running the country now don’t like Americans and they’re forced to run and hide for their lives, their only ally being British intelligence agent Hammond (Brosnan).
For most of the movie, I was surprised by how realistic and terrifying the film was. I was constantly imagining myself in their situation and the mere thought of having to get my family out of a similar situation was enough to make my palms sweat. But the biggest problem of NO ESCAPE was how they used Hammond. It seems any time Jack and Annie got into an impossible situation that they couldn’t get out of, Hammond would miraculously show up and save the day. The strange thing is that Hammond was also one of the best parts, thanks in large part to the always great Pierce Brosnan. His character should have been used more efficiently as opposed to a plot-saver.
NO ESCAPE plays out like an action film, but Jack is not an action hero and Dowdle was careful not to turn him into a superhero because the situation called for it. Hammond provided the only standard action pieces, but most of the film revolves around Jack and Annie trying to avoid danger and harm rather than confronting it. That worked very well in the film and it’s what made Jack and Annie very relateable. Another thing that helped was the fact Jack and Annie weren’t only trying to protect themselves, but they had two little girls that were along for the ride As a parent, that made everything even more heightened and intense.
With bad trailers and a strong B-movie quality to it, it’s easy to overlook NO ESCAPE. But it’s surprisingly efficient and moves at such a brisk pace that it’s an enjoyable film. I do feel obliged to point out that even though Pierce Brosnan is plastered all over the posters, trailers and the Blu-ray cover, he’s not actually in the film for very long. And for those that didn’t enjoy Owen Wilson’s last action turn in BEHIND ENEMY LINES, res assured that he’s not playing an action hero in NO ESCAPE. He’s just a normal guy trying to save his family, which is one of the reasons NO ESCAPE works as well as it does.
Video: NO ESCAPE doesn’t have the same high production quality you may be used to, but given the circumstances, the film looks fine.
Audio: The audio was much better.
Commentary with John Erick Dowdle and Dew Dowdle: This is a fun, fast moving commentary track from two people deeply involved in the making of the film.
Deleted Scenes (5:08): Only two scenes, but one of them does feature more Pierce Brosnan.
Behind the Scenes (13:38): Four separate featurettes focus on the three main actors and the director talking about the film.