No Escape tracks Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), who moves to South East Asia with his family and finds himself trapped amidst a bloody rebellion where the locals are baying for blood and are ruthless with their executions. The story of one day tracks how Jack and his wife Annie (Lake Bell) get themselves out of trouble in the face of confirmed death.
Directed by Jorn Erik Dowdle, the movie has a good premise, a good storyline and a decent cast. However, the director's inexperience showed up everywhere. The cause behind the rebellion is their anger at American water companies who are controlling the water and hence the local populace. Fair enough. However, their rebellion involves ruthlessly killing even the locals which feels really weird at times. They are chasing foreigners and in their anger towards the foreigners and the way they are executed you can see the xenophobia of the makers too. That villainy and the lack of a humane element even though both sides have a point is what turns you off.
No Escape does a good job with the thrills sure. Owen Wilson is complemented by Pierce Brosnan who has his moments and Lake Bell does well as a woman, who starts bitter and afraid and ends up really strong after a harrowing traumatic night. By the time, they make it into Vietnam and hence safety you breathe a sigh of relief too for the family made it through an impossible situation which involved thrilling sequences such as jumping from one terrace to another and throwing your kids across, climbing roofs and crawling on a two-wheeler amidst a frenzied crowd with masks on your faces.
The movie besides the obvious flaw of wafer thin characters could also have done with better cinematography. Most of the time, you find it hard to feel the thrill with the shaky camera and dark scenes. The racist references especially when Annie refers to it as fourth world in spite of being in quite a posh hotel because their TV, phone and internet wasn't working was pushing it a little too far. The patchiness is what lowers the intensity and steals the thrill out of the thriller!