In their new overseas house, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.
An ex-C.I.A. operative is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level C.I.A. officials and the Russian President-elect.
When Jack, the main caracter, finds an opportunity to move to Southeast Asia to head his water manufacturing company's new plant there, he immediately jumps at the opportunity and moves his family there. When they get there; they seem to be having problems, the electronics don't work and rarely any cars are seen in the streets. When he goes to the market the next morning, he finds himself caught in the middle of a violent rebellion headed by armed rebels executing foreigners. Jack must get back to the hotel and with the help of a mysterious British "tourist", must get his family to the American Embassy in the midst of the chaos.
This film shares the same title as No Escape (1994), which was directed by Martin Campbell. That subsequently got Campbell the directing gig for GoldenEye (1995), which was Pierce Brosnan's first film as James Bond. See more »
As the family enters Vietnam in the boat, the Vietnamese soldiers warn off the rebels by shouting at them in English. In reality, they would have spoken Vietnamese, Khmer or even French, but never English. See more »
There were scenes in this movie when I literally felt as if my heart was going to pound its way out of my chest. Among other scenes I'm thinking of the extremely quease-inducing one where the Dwyers have to leap from one building roof to another to escape those trying to kill them - and as part of it they actually have to throw their young children across the open space from one roof to another. I could barely watch that scene. And has there been a more horrific scene filmed than the one in which young Lucy Dwyer (who can't be more than 10) has a gun put to her head and another in her hands and is told she'll be killed unless she kills her father. There are several times in this movie where the title seems to be the only possible conclusion. Surely there's no escape for this family.
"No Escape" is set in a fictional country in southeast Asia. All we know from the plot is that it borders Vietnam. Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) has taken a job with an American company in that country, only to find that virtually the moment he arrives, a violent anti- American revolution breaks out and he and his family are being sought out along with every other American, and every other westerner. It's sometimes a disorienting movie, set in a large city. Having visited the Chinese cities of Beijing and Changsha, the portrayal of the city seemed authentic. China is a peaceful country, but everything was chaotic enough that I didn't venture out too far on my own for fear that I'd end up hopelessly lost. Jack and his family are running for their lives, disoriented and lost, with danger potentially lurking around every corner. The atmosphere was great. It's truly one of the most intense movies I've ever seen.
The performances from the leads were all superb. I haven't seen Wilson in too many serious roles, but he seemed perfectly cast as Jack, and I was very impressed with Lake Bell, who played Jack's wife Annie, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. The children were fantastic. Played by Sterling Jerins (who was Lucy in the above- mentioned scene) and the even younger Claire Geare, they didn't miss a beat. There was no "irritating child actor" thing going on here. Jerins and Geare hit the mark perfectly. Pierce Brosnan rounded out the main cast as some sort of British agent who helps the Dwyers in their desperate attempt to escape.
This is one of the best suspense/thrillers I've seen in a very long time. To the extent that it has weaknesses, perhaps it started out a little bit slow - but only for a few minutes, and once the action starts it doesn't stop. It also might have been helpful if the revolution had been a little more clearly explained. All we know is that there's resentment against this American company Jack has arrived to work for. But those are minor weaknesses. I haven't really come across too many movies that have literally kept me glued to the edge of my seat. This one did. (9/10)
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