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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (535)

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No Escape (2015) 
Owen Wilson for once not in a comedy.
1.5/4 stars

"Look I came here more for the women…
Well … partially for the women.
I came here to pave the way for you."

"No Escape" puts the spotlight back again on the undervalued discipline of dwarf-tossing. This favorite bar sport, as practiced by Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" (first in the mines of Moria, and then at the Battle of Helm's Deep), is also used here in the most nerve-provoking moment. Let me briefly mention that this film is definitely not suitable for heart patients and pregnant women. You can expect this movie to be extremely exciting. Up to a certain point that is. Because ultimately this film evolves into an implausible story. The number of desperate situations are shown one after the other in such a fast pace, that it feels like an ultra long survival film. The moments that the unfortunates were saved in the nick of time, are uncountable.

The cover of the film immediately reveals which way this is going. It gives you the impression of being a cheap B-movie from the 80s. You might expect something different after noticing that Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson are playing in it. No way! It is and it remains an ordinary, mindless escape-movie. A type of movie with very exciting scenes and recurring situations where the imminent victims are saved out of their predicament at the very last moment.

The only thing that made me curious for this movie, was how Wilson would handle a more serious role. He's known as an actor in funny ("Wedding Crashers" for example) and less funny ("The internship") comedies. Also joining corny tearjerkers (like "Marley & Me") is something he likes to do once and a while. So I wanted to know how this would end up. And surprisingly he did his job reasonably well. Besides some educational moments with Wilson relapsing into his familiar style, he still manages to play convincingly as the concerned father who'll do anything to save his family from a certain death. Even his prominent nose couldn't distract me (which is usually the case). On the other hand you have an actor like Pierce Brosnan, who frequently appeared in lame comedies (except "A long way down". I personally thought this was a successful film). And now he takes on the role of an secret agent once again. To be honest, this was the most exciting character although his appearance was a bit limited. And it wasn't really a big surprise when he showed up at the right moment.

Eventually this is just a fairly superficial and not very innovative film. Take any zombie movie, replace the zombies with Asians and let it happen in a fictional country, you get something similar. And add two scared teenage daughters who have stupid requests at the wrong time over and over again. I don't think I would be nagging about being hungry when I was in such a life-threatening situation. There are also some absurd, ridiculous fragments in this film. Among other things, the moment Jack enters a conference hall where a meeting is in progress. Despite the threatening crowd outside the hotel, slaughtering innocent citizens mercilessly and attacking the hotel, the Asian participants calmly proceed in following the presentation. That was a little bit unlikely.

It was to be expected that this film would cause some commotion in these particular regions. Because of its alleged political incorrectness and the tactless portrayal of the local population as primitive, bloodthirsty plundering barbarians. Apparently some Asians were offended by that. But that's the only fuss this film will make. The image of an average family that ends up in an extremely dangerous situation, is correct. But the image of the fearless hero who can guide them through it unscathed, doesn't fit Wilson. What remains is a ridiculous movie.

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