Provoking visceral thrills and moral unease in equal measure, thrilling and unsettling action movie No Escape puts us in the shoes of a desperate American family caught in the middle of a violent coup in an unnamed Southeast Asian country.
Owen Wilson’s water engineer has barely arrive there with his wife (Lake Bell) and young daughters (Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare) to take up a new job when rebels overthrow the government and begin killing all foreigners. Writer-director John Erick Dowdle – previously best known for horror films – gives the family’s plight a terrifying immediacy, ramping up the tension to an almost unbearable level.
He doesn’t quite manage to sustain this degree of excitement in the second half, but Wilson and Lake – both acting outside their usual comic comfort zones – are so believable that we continue to root for their characters even when the narrative lurches a little off course with the interventions of Pierce Brosnan’s shady expat.
Certificate 15. Runtime 99 mins. Director John Erick Dowdle
No Escape is available on Digital HD and is released on Blu-ray & DVD on 11 January by Entertainment One.