In a packed theater anxiously awaiting the start of a film that wasn’t going to release nationwide for another few days. The feeling of although there hasn’t been much hype behind this film with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan headlining the cast, what could be so bad about it couldn’t be helped being felt. Once the credits rolled across the screen, that semblance of hope dissipated to the point where almost the entire audience rushed out probably to cleanse their soured palettes with another film. There are so many problems with “No Escape.”
Its problems start from the opening scene of the film, when we see Wilson interacting with his two daughters and wife, Lake Bell, on a plane to someplace — was never indicated. The dialogue between them is delivered as if the actors are bored and the lines are corny, cheesy and chock-full of clichés. Also, somehow it manages conveniently to have Brosnan’s character sitting directly behind the entire family, and as quickly as he’s shown on screen he’s off in a matter of seconds. Don’t worry Brosnan will receive more attention in this review than he did in all of “No Escape.”
Once off the plane, Wilson; Bell; and kids continue their unbearable dialogue for another 15 minutes, or so. Eventually the film shifts toward trying to have Wilson carry the film, which he fails at doing, and having Bell support him, but she looks continually disinterested in her role. Shortly thereafter, the film becomes extraordinarily violent, for what seems to be for the sake of being violent. Not going to delve into any of the set pieces because they’re all key plot devices, which is why the pacing is off too. Funny thing is the violence is done well but to the point where it doesn’t make much sense, and it raises more questions than answers when more is revealed in the final 20 minutes.
There’s one roof scene in particular that can be seen in snippets in the trailer that makes no realistic sense, the CGI is sloppy and atrocious and it leads to more time wasting in the following scene relying again on a poorly written script.
Aside from the violence being “done well,” and even that’s a stretch. A few areas the film succeeds in is the feeling of tenseness because of the claustrophobic settings it’s shot in, a real-world apocalypse and Brosnan’s limited performance. He carries the film whenever on screen but he’s so underutilized that once he’s given more screen time it’s too late. The decision on how to feel about this film is already made. Misdirection; a terrible script; blase performances from Wilson and Bell, especially the latter; and nonsensical violence outweigh any of the film’s positives.