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Understanding Syria
gradyharp11 March 2013
Though this film has been negatively received as being a take-off on the TAKEN films (father looking for daughter under dire circumstances) it is a different kind of film and one written and directed by Ruba Nadda who manages to gives us a story that in many ways explains why the Syrian situation (terrifying chaos) is as it is. If for no other reason than to gain insight on what life in a country infested with many 'secret police' organizations whose drive seems to be shoot now investigate later.

Years after he left Damascus under suspicious circumstances (he was a accused of being an Israeli spy), Adib Abdel Kareem (udanese born British character actor Alexander Siddig) is comfortably at work in Toronto when he is confronted with devastating news: his eldest daughter, Muna (Jay Anstey), has gone missing in Damascus. Now Adib, who has not been back in over 30 years, must return to Syria and deal with his secret past in order to find her. Getting a Visa is the first near impossible step, but once in Jordan he calls upon his ex- fiancée Fatima (Marisa Tomei) whom Adib deserted when he escaped to Canada years ago to assist him in ploughing through the red tape and dangers to find his daughter. The Canadian ambassador Paul (Joshua Jackson) is inextricably involved as is Adib's old comrade Sayid (Oded Fehr) and the man with answers Halim (Saad Siddiqui). Inescapable is a thriller about a father's desperate search for his daughter and the chaos of the Middle East he left behind.

The film is tense and disheveled at times but that reflects the worrisome chaos of too many factions trying to assist a country who seems unable to find its core values. This is not a great film but it does offer a taste of what life must be like in war torn Syria. And for that it is worth watching.

Grady Harp
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Excellent, thoughtful, fun
Jawsphobia7 October 2012
I was very pleased to see this movie was willing to bring the action, as good as Ruba Nadda's romantic-leaning films Cairo Time and Sabah were. But where this film about a father who flies to a dangerous land to rescue his daughter from an unknown threat is different from Taken is that the hero is flesh and blood and approaches the problem in a civilized way first and by the time there is fighting we can feel a sense of consequence.

It has been said that the movie starts off fast. It starts as it should and as I reflected afterwards it avoids stock shots of a plane taking off and gives the impression of travel with aerial shot of a road the hero is riding along in a car. Cinematic short-hand. At the same time, it manages to avoid scenes that would be obvious beats in a lesser movie, like the panic of the mother upon learning of the crisis. Instead we see the moment before, as she watches her husband on the phone preparing to make the trip and confront the problem. There is just enough of the Canadian wife in this movie, considering that she would not compete with Marisa Tomei who "blends" into her environment and feels authentic. Even to the end I am thinking I hope Tomei's character makes out alright.

Alexander Siddig is not playing a super human but someone who is willing to face the worst and some real consequences to find his daughter. Joshua Jackson as a Canadian embassy guy manages to show several divergent aspects of his role without falling into any traps that would be central to a lesser movie with similar layers. Had Siddig been playing a typical action hero, he would have to cross a line into sociopath to clear away all the bad guys at once. He gets some good shots in and we can cheer for him, and one secret police figure is especially smug and needs to be killed but the way this film arrives at what has to happen is to take a left turn into character-motivated choices that are refreshing for the genre. Where there is tension, we are absolutely rooted in the reality of the moment by Siddig's expression. This is real for him and for us.

I have read a comment/review here on IMDb by one "A P" that seems to be a screaming stream of lies, one after the other. I contest his claim that people walked out during the TIFF screening. The movie grabs your attention and Siddig has a strong presence. There is a reason for every scene and not a moment is wasted. Any politics I took for granted. One villain is identified as Israeli but even he is redeemed. This is not a political tract. As I watched the story unfold as a Caucasian Canadian male I looked at the cultural aspect as colour that Ruba brings but the concept of a hero's descent into a special and dangerous world is one that we know and accept as classic myth. I had no problem identifying with Siddig's character, often called "Mr. Toronto" by an innkeeper in the film, and seeing it through his eyes. I am stunned by the current low numerical rating this movie has on IMDb and I trust that the more people see it the more the rating will improve. I noticed in a TIFF guide or other such publication Inescapable was misidentified as a romance. There is a restrained and heartbreaking lost love woven through the story, but it is a thriller that is correctly paced and set- up. It has action, though the build up is half the entertainment. I highly recommend seeing this movie.
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Better than expected
julia-totino23 September 2012
After reading some other reviews of this film online, I was expecting to be slightly disappointed...but was pleasantly surprised by it. Having been a fan of Ruba Nadda's other films, (and a general groupie of anything involving Alexander Siddig), I was eager to see her newest film as part of the CIFF.

The movie starts rather abruptly, and just dives in to the plot - A man, Adib (who is originally from Syria but has lived in Toronto for the past 25 years) goes to Damascus to search for his adult daughter who has gone missing while traveling there. This sudden, rather stark beginning is very different from Nadda's last major film, (the subtle and slow paced "Cairo Time") but, it works: The story develops naturally in a somewhat frantic way (in keeping with the protagonists understandable anxiety) from this stark beginning, and we learn more and more about Adib's past and just why his daughter is in such danger. Marisa Tomei is also particularly convincing as the lover that Adib left behind suddenly some 2 decades ago, and Siddig is of course, flawless as always.

Without revealing too much of the plot, I will say (having traveled through Syria), that director Nadda has done a brilliant job of capturing the somewhat concerning climate of a police state, while also illuminating the rather conflicting general atmosphere of Damascus- haunting, beautiful, blue- tinted layers of history, coupled with this very brutal military presence.

This is a real departure for Nadda, shooting a political thriller as opposed to a romantic drama, but I think she succeeds simply for the fact that watching it, I felt like I WAS in Damascus...and she was able to convey this in a film she shot in only 29 days, in South Africa (the Syrian government obviously not having let her film there).

While there could have been slightly more character development in some cases, I found the film to be beautifully shot, and it kept its pace suitable to the subject matter.
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Father seeks daughter, done before and done better before.
deloudelouvain29 May 2017
In all honesty movies like Inescapable have been made before and way better. Inescapable is okay to watch once and then forget about it. It won't remembered as a great movie. The story itself isn't bad though, even if it has been done before. It's just some action scenes that brings the movie down. Not that there are a lot of it, but the ones where there are fighting scenes are clearly done by amateurs. None of them look real and that's the minimum you could ask from an action thriller. Alexander Siddig isn't a bad actor but fighting scenes are clearly not his thing. The cast is okay without having Oscar winning performances. All in all it's an okay movie, there are for sure worse movies than this one, but it's just not great either.
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A different sort of thriller that fails to really grasp you
Robert_duder10 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Over complicated and taking itself way too seriously Inescapable tries to craft an intelligent and complex thriller but despite a few twists and turns and a leading man that does well enough it just failed to really grab my attention. It certainly wasn't that the film dragged, in fact the hour and a half flew by and there is plenty of action and intrigue and yet for some unknown reason I just didn't care about any of it. I wish I could explain it better but there isn't any one reason why it doesn't work. It is just missing something. At times I felt like I was losing track of what was going on and what this mysterious background was of this father desperately looking for his daughter. It felt like it was trying to be a more political version of Liam Neeson's Taken. It very loosely touches on the political turmoil of Damascus but then at the same time I'm not sure they used it as much as they could have. The cinematography felt bland and empty and some of the supporting characters felt underdeveloped. I do feel like there was a lot of potential here because the script is decent and as I said there is plenty of action but it all comes across as being without any real merit and that's unfortunate.

Alexander Siddig is excellent in his role. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his performance as the protective father with an old secret that he has been running from. He is believable and shows a lot of intensity in his role. Joshua Jackson is much better of an actor than you would think from his performance in this. I feel like he sincerely misses his mark and almost seems bored in this performance. There is no chemistry between him and Siddig and he absolutely does not give this his all. Marisa Tomei is borderline pointless in this film. Her bad accent and deer in the headlights performance is annoying and barely existent. A great character actor, Oded Fehr is very good in his role but its such an unfortunately small part. I feel like he should have had a far more vital part in the whole story but sadly he does not though he has one very good scene towards the end when he is getting the truth out of Siddig.

To call the story convoluted is an understatement. There is a lot of intrigue and back story and to be honest I am not sure I even understand a single thing that happened. And yet at the same time, I never got even remotely invested enough to really try and understand it. I didn't feel like everyone was putting their entire heart into the film and I think that's where it falls apart. Ruba Nadda is apparently a very well respected writer and director but I simply felt like this was poorly shot and put together. Even the climatic reunion of father and daughter felt like it was lacking any depth. I'm not sure what drew me to try this and I'm not sorry I did because I have seen worse but this just felt so very empty. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for any sort of powerful story because it misses the mark in a big way. 5/10
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Emotional, tense roller-coaster
Rusack28 September 2012
This was such a good film. I am baffled by some of the sexist reviews on line. Typical from Canada I suppose but this was a great movie, more personal, character study of this man who is from Syria and his daughter gets kidnapped. Not very similar to Taken in that he doesn't go around shooting people. My boyfriend and I were on the edge of our seats – great twists and turns, excellently written and what a cast. Marisa really transforms but it was Alexander Siddig's performance, raw, contained, masculine. Wow. I was crying at the end of the movie. Some of the strange reviews on line almost seem personal especially when you see this movie. Canadians should be proud although I can see the pettiness. It looks like a Hollywood film. Pure heart though. Totally recommend.
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thegrayrace28 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Other reviews have touched on many of the flaws of this film. My review is specific to complaints regarding realism of this movie.

Having lived in Syria for over 3 years, I was a bit skeptical that this film could pull off any sense of authenticity, and my skepticism was apparently warranted. Aside from the typical pitfalls of movies set in the Middle East (actors that don't really speak comprehensible Arabic, for example), this film is deeply flawed in its portrayal of Syria both from an aesthetic standpoint and a socio-political standpoint.

1. I understand the importance of the plot in bringing to attention the fact that Syria is a police state, but this movie goes way over the top with the Syrian flags and posters and banners of Bashar al-Assad everywhere. Yeah, OK, they're not rare in Damascus... but they are not even remotely as common as this movie suggests. It is cartoonish in its portrayal. Oh, and they forgot the Ba'ath Party flags.

2. The extras in this film almost all look North African, not Syrian. Syrians tend to be much lighter in complexion. Just adds to the inauthentic feel.

3. Far too much traditional North African and Gulf dress than is seen in Damascus, where the vast majority of people dress in Western style clothes.

4. Syrian intelligence (mukhabarat) agents monitor foreigners through hotels. All hotel registries are collected daily, and anyone with a history like the main character supposedly had would have been greeted by intelligence agents promptly the next morning. He'd be monitored in his every action, if not immediately detained.

5. The guy who plays Sayid, the old friend, behaves nothing like any Syrian I've ever met. His mannerisms, gestures, way of speaking, everything... all wrong! Not a believable character at all. While I was watching the film I kept saying to myself, "this guy acts like an Israeli". Sure enough, I check IMDb, and he is Israeli...

6. The Syrian mukhabarat agents portrayed in this film act nothing like they do in real life. I have had more experience dealing with them than I should probably admit, and they act more like lazy bureaucrats than as the gangsters they're portrayed as.

7. Intelligence agents in Damascus did not need guns to intimidate people. They rarely carried them and, if they did, they were generally concealed. They don't point a gun at you and ask for your phone. They just ask for your phone, and you give it to them because you know better.

8. They aren't going ask for the Canadian ambassador's phone, though. And the Canadian ambassador isn't going to be assaulting them, either.

9. In my 3 years living in Damascus, I never saw the pipe bomb souq for the convenient purchase of PVC pipe, nails, and used mobile phones...

10. Why is this girl's body - killed as the result of an ordinary bus accident - stored in some sort of military complex? Syria does have normal morgues... they aren't guarded by military.

Also, there is no desert on the road between Amman and the Syrian border (the desert is south of Amman). And random armed men don't stop cars on that road to take bribes of alcohol, either!

At least there are like 4 clips totaling maybe 10 seconds of actual footage from Damascus. That was at least something redeeming about this movie.

If the writer/director spent any time in the Middle East in the past few decades, she should be embarrassed by her effort here. Honestly, my own experiences in Syria would make a more compelling story than this fiction...
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nogodnomasters9 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Peter or Adib (Alexander Siddig) is a Syrian escapee living in Canada for the last 20 years. He has a wife (Bonnie Lee Bouman) two daughters, Laya and Muna (Jay Anstey), a hidden past, and a nice inlaid olive wood box where he keeps old photos. His daughter Muna is a photographer in Europe. While there she decides to slip off into Syrian where she goes missing. Dad goes to rescue her.

Yes, this is another dad looking for daughter film. Keep the expectations low because Alexander Siddig is no Liam Neeson, and Syria is not France. Adib knows how to bribe his way through the corrupt system. His past is a mystery and a problem for him. He is aided by Fatima (Marisa Tomei), a woman he was engaged to when he left Syria and never looked back. Joshua Jackson adds some minor plot twists as a Canadian embassy diplomat.

The film has some action scenes, but they are brief. No roof top jumping, no extensive car chases, no torturing people for information. There is some killing and blood splatter. The picture gives us a glimpse of the corrupt Syrian government at a time when it is vogue to hate Syria. It is not a bad film, but it is not memorable either. My recommendation: rental.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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they don't know how Syria looks like !!!
wael-yakti27 April 2013
I'm 100 % Syrian ... I will only focus about the things which should people consider before making a movie about a country they do not know !

I would like to send a message to the guys who produced this film telling them to learn more about the country before making a movie about it .

The only true thing is that taxis are yellow ... yes that is true while everything else is not !

  • extras ( combers ) are totally foreigners !!! all police ,army and ppl in the street lake the Syrian face !! no one of them even has it !! the Canadian guy who works in the embassy has a face which is more Syrian than 90% of people appeared in the movie

  • the language used by the " native speaker " has nothing to do with any of the Syrian accents !!! to me it was like an Indian accent guy representing King Richard in a movie !

  • the way people dress is totally not Syrian ... it is more like north Africa ( Egypt , lybia , Morocco , etc )

  • the way the secret police acts is totally lame , they can get anything they want much easier than appears in the movie !

  • the way the police and the army dress is 100% wrong

  • there are many other details which are totally making this movie week , like the Idea of he is standing in front of the ministry of defense waiting for something ( no one is allowed to sit there ) .. and a colonel has a different rank shape on his shoulder !

  • plants species in the streets are not the ones u see there !!

  • the atmosphere of the hotel he is in is typical Egyptian ( except one chair )

there are many points to be mentioned ... I think if they asked one only one Syrian about such things they would have improved their work much more !!
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I wished this film was ESCAPABLE -- but I was stuck in my row
amyp78313 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Saw the premiere at TIFF, and I really wanted this to be good, (especially coming from a Canadian director who did well with her last film.) But this one just does not work. First, the story followed a far more superficial plot line than I expected. (You won't find any meaningful commentary on Syria here.) Worse, none of the actors was at their best. I'm not sure if it was a matter of the lines being poorly written or poorly delivered, but I found myself rolling my eyes within the first ten minutes. Marissa Tomei, who I normally like, was severely miscast for her part. The story was trite and full of plot holes, and I don't think anyone in the theater (least of all the people filing out during the show) cared what happened to the characters. (Not that much happened to them anyway.) Best wishes to those who worked on the film for better results in the future. But for this one, not a film I'd recommend seeing, even as a rental.
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No Sense of Authenticity
ssfreedm1 March 2013
It's a shame that this movie is a mess, as we rarely see movies set in Syria, especially now with the political upheaval taking place there. Despite an admirable attempt in terms of production design to recreate a Damascus atmosphere, there is no sense of authenticity. Two great actors (Siddig and Tomei) are wasted on a clunky plot (mostly lifted from TAKEN, but without any of the excitement), and even clunkier direction. If it weren't for those two talents the movie would be completely unwatchable. And the music is just too emphatic, as if to cover up for the lack of genuine mystery and thrill. It's like blowing smoke in your eyes. I haven't seen the other movies that this director has made, but I understand that she is better at handling love stories. Perhaps she should stick to that instead of this cliché-ridden enterprise.
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An unsuccessful leech on the Taken bandwagon.
mwburrows18 February 2013
Inescapable came across as nothing substantial in it's trailer: A fairly simple clone of Taken, with some gritty fight scenes and a hard-nosed ex-military protagonist who has to confront his past to save the damsel in distress. Nothing groundbreaking there, but still, fair popcorn material.

So it came as no surprise that Inescapable arrived on screen as an overwhelmingly lacklustre thriller, worse than could have been predicted. It doesn't waste a moment getting the ball rolling but fails to stoke any emotion in the cast, even from the usually capable Siddig, who just seems uncomfortable with the role and ill-fitted to be an action hero. It was almost embarrassing to watch him grimace and grunt his way through dialogue and stifle lines that were meant to be shouted or spoken with passion, as if it's simply not his style so he doesn't bother trying.

Interaction between characters is awkward and haphazard, lacking connection. Western actors put on their best middle-eastern impressions but only come out sounding like caricatures. Siddig too, fails to provide a convincing Canadian accent and his speech feels laboured and inauthentic.

Acting aside, Inescapable is actually more of a sleuth film than it is a thriller. The first half of the film involves Siddig going through the motions of looking into clue after clue, each less interesting than the last, bumping into old nemesis Oded Fehr or an uptight consular official along the way who have agendas of their own.

Ultimately, Inescapable wastes its potential through a plodding pace, unengaging story, and poorly conceived ideas. Don't even waste your time downloading it. Watch Taken instead.
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A movie that is fast paced and well worth watching even though it is a little generic. Tense and exciting though. I say B.
cosmo_tiger24 June 2013
"I'm not the same man you chased away all those years ago. Find my daughter!" Years after he left Damascus under suspicious circumstances, Adib Abdel Kareem (Siddig) returns when he finds out that his daughter has gone missing. When he meets people from his past he is forced not only to confront his earlier life consequences but also find his daughter before its too late. This is a movie that is good, fast moving and worth watching, but also a little generic. There really isn't much to say about this one. Father finds out his daughter is missing, he is forced to seek help from those he has had previous problems with, encounters resistance. I did like the movie and I do think it's worth watching and while it is pretty tense I found that the daughter storyline seemed to have gotten lost in the jumble of what was going on. When you watch that will make sense. Overall, a movie that is good and well worth checking out but it is a tad generic. I give it a B.
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Terrible Movie
andrew78220 February 2013
What can I say..... Taken 2 was a weak follow on from the original which was quite a fresh approach to a mild action movie, this is neither. This makes Taken 2 seem fast paced and full of kick ass. If you enjoy slow moving stories with the actors seemingly pausing to buy time (or remember their lines) this is for you. I should have turned off after the titles. I did eventually switch off after an hour. The characters are boring, slow paced, uninterested in their role and I can only imagine the director saw what a train crash this was going to be and left halfway through filming! The main actor excelled in Deep space 9 and was even watchable in Primeval but in this movie he just seems bored and certainly not overly concerned about his missing daughters welfare. Snore,,, watch at your peril! Sci fi channel movies seem glossy and well written/acted compared to this mess. 1/10 cos it's the lowest I can give. You may see higher ratings from Canadians who have watched this film, they're being patriotic, trust me.
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Wonderful, excellent film and story
creespoken-497-988659 October 2012
This was such an amazing movie. I saw it with my parents at TIFF, then by luck again on the 2nd screening because I had heard Alexander Siddig may be there and I have been a huge fan of his ever since his Star Trek days. And he surely he was there, answering questions, lovely as you can imagine. Inescapable was an amazing tour DE force. Alexander was stunning in it. Contained, raw, selfish, brutal, emotional, stunning. The director was also on hand for the 2nd screening and she talked about the difficulties making this movie and the threats she received from the Syrian state government. This movie was excellent, and not in a Hollywood, cheesy way. Well told, well written. I am curious about some of the comments here - no one walked out at RTH gala - in fact, there was a resounding standing ovation. It was well deserved as well. The ending was beautiful, heart breaking and I never cry and this, like Cairo time's ending, snuck up on me. Some of the comments (specifically from AP) seem to be similar to the comments on you tube and I am curious to see if it is negative comments from the supporters of the president regime. I wouldn't be surprised. This movie and the story was haunting and I am happy when the filmmakers mentioned the sale to the US. This movie deserves to be seen. Alexander Siddig and Marisa Tomei gave Oscar worthy performances.
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Loved it, emotional and a great thriller
naddaruba26 September 2012
It was such an emotional, fast paced ride.

Loved it, tells a personal story with Syria as a backdrop. I liked this. If you want more politics, go read a book - but if you want something that is emotional, a character study of an Arab man living in Canada - whose daughter goes missing, see this. A little bit of thriller, mystery, action - and so emotional.

The ending ripped my heart out. Loved it. Also looked like a big Hollywood movie, found out it was Canadian - which made even more sense. As its politics and the violence don't hit you over the head. Instead, it's a very universal story about how far a father would go and the past he needs to delve back into. Loved it.
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Heading home for trouble
Prismark1021 October 2015
Inescapable is a low budget generic action thriller with a Taken vibe. It is set in a Syria before they had civil turmoil with the Assad regime.

Alexander Siddig is Adib Abdel Kareem a man who fled Syria some years earlier as he was accused of being an Israeli spy. He has made a new life for himself in Canada.

He receives news that his daughter Muna (Jay Anstey) has gone missing in Damascus and must return to Damascus many years later to confront his past.

Adib enlists the help of an his ex-fiancée Fatima (Marisa Tomei) to help him while he is in Syria. He gets help from the Canadian embassy Paul (Joshua Jackson) and tracks down old associates and rivals such as Sayid (Oded Fehr.)

The unusual setting of Syria which is reality a police state gives the film some intrigue as you always have the sense of being watched and betrayal not being far behind.

The plot however does feel like Taken without much of the action and violence. Siddig is very effective in a meaty role but not a lot happens as he looks for clues to track down his daughter and stay one step ahead of his pursuers and double crossers. Its tense and watchable enough, Marisa Tomei lends it a lot of credibility but I felt it should had been a lot better.
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Great movie
JayPatton8815 November 2019
Drama , Action, plot twists. This movie was a gem to find and watch for me
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In the middle
rgcustomer11 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm somewhat baffled by the ratings here. This is clearly not an extreme film, yet there are so many 10s. And 1s.

It is a good enough film. It's a sort of detective action movie, involving a Canadian returning to his native Syria to rescue his daughter who is held captive because of something in his past. It kept my attention the whole time (even though I really should have been at home asleep).

Some changes I would have made if I had no constraints (a) replace the TV actors with unknowns, and (b) shoot in the mid-east. It's worth delaying the film to make it the best it can be.

In summary, it's a competent telling of the "good but flawed Western hero goes to bad non-Western country to rescue lost family member" story. If you want a Canada-Syria version of that story, then this may be that film. I'll have to leave it for others to comment on how accurately Syria is portrayed, as I have no idea.
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Ex-Spy Has A Daughter That Is Taken
LeonLouisRicci21 February 2014
The Basic Plot of a Taken Daughter may be a Reason to Knee-Jerk and Cry Foul or Worse Stay Away from this Low-Key Thriller set in Syria, of all Places, just Before the Uprising. This is not that Clear on Details, and it would be Better if it was, like the Background of the Protagonist, and His Much Talked About Past.

But it is a Movie that Looks Really Good with Sharp, Colorful Images, and the Dialog and Performers have and Urgent Gravitas. The Movie is Somewhat Slowly Paced for this Type of Current Trend Action, but it has a Difference about its Similarities that makes it Intriguing.

Overall it is Well Produced and Thoughtful but not Rich Enough or Viscerally Intense to Rise Above its Independent Stature. Worth a Watch but do not Expect any Bar Raising in the Genre, just a Competent, Entertaining Little Movie with Big Intentions.
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Sometimes suspenseful, but needed tension
bob-rutzel-124 July 2013
Adib's (Alexander Siddig) daughter goes missing in Damascus, Syria and he must go and find her; but Adib has a secret that has kept him from Syria for 20-years. Actually, 2-secrets. This whole movie hinges on the reason his daughter went to Damascus in the first place when she was supposed to be on her way home to Toronto, Canada.

This is very slow going, but consider that if Adib goes back to a country that he escaped from and if caught now he would be arrested. He knows the customs of the country and still knows some people who are in high places, sort of. Language is no problem as he knows Arabic. Ah, but he does go back and knows he must approach everything slowly as there are many secret police units all over the place in this police state.

Adib needs help from someone who can do the things he needs done to find his daughter. The help comes from Fatima (Marisa Tomei) who Adib was supposed to marry back in the day, but he escaped and never made contact with her again. And, to be sure, Fatima tells him all about it in a rough and tumble way; and she is still in love with him. Okay, so now you know one secret.

So he goes to the Canadian Embassy (Adib is a Canadian citizen) for any help they can provide. He goes to see his old friend in Syrian Military Intelligence, and tries to run down a old Russian spy he knew back in the day to get his help. Adib knows he is being watched by factions of the Secret Police and is acutely aware that he could be arrested at any moment as now people are beginning to see him and do some research about him. But, no tension is felt.

This is sometimes suspenseful, but the tension is not there. The acting is fine all around, but also halting as one would expect in a place like this where one must choose one's words carefully. But, still no tension.

One thing that bothered me was that he wanders all over Damascus in a new Western suit, which stuck out like a sore thumb; and later he walks around openly in a newly pressed ultra white dress shirt. He should have worn things to blend in more, but the director didn't see it that way. She was never a spy. HA !

You will enjoy this if you take Adib's character to be your own. Sometimes you may ask yourself if you would have done anything different aside from the suit and the white shirt, of course. He knows people and needs to ask favors and he has to be careful about it. And, yes, he does get beaten up at times, but still no tension. If there was a way to get tension in here this would be a very good movie. It needed tension. (5/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes, not much.
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Super Thriller
janzaka16 December 2020
Amazing realistic acting all along. Interesting plot line. A few lose ends. But works great. Would I watch again
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Richie-67-48585225 April 2019
You get to glimpse another country and see its dysfunction as well as its lifestyles and you cannot be but thankful that you live in the good ole USA. A father learns that his daughter is doing a little soul-searching about his past and gets more than she would have ever knew possible. The stakes quickly become life-threatening for all involved and we get to see what good friends and family as well as enemies can or wont do and why. Its one thing to get in trouble and try to get out of it and it is another to do this on foreign soil. Exciting at times and moves quick enough so you care what's happening. Interesting to note that during the movie a statement is made by a man who shares the reason why he has never had kids and the movie causes you to examine both sides of this with passion. Have a snack ready or nail-biting may visit with you at some points
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Might as well be called Taken in Syria
Leofwine_draca25 September 2016
INESCAPABLE is a TAKEN-style thriller set in Syria just before that country descended into the war which is still on-going. It's a rather cheap and uninteresting production that fails to ignite the screen, despite the best intentions of writer and director Ruba Nadda. There aren't really many films around in which are set in Syria, so that's a selling point in itself, but it's just a shame the story is so clichéd.

The film features Alexander Siddig (best known for his brief recent turn in GAME OF THRONES) as a father living in the west who discovers that his daughter has gone missing in Syria. He goes over there and soon begins kicking backside, uncovering the usual conspiracy of silence, working his way through various thugs and goons and corrupt officials in a bid to rescue her.

The film is shot in a standard way and it's a pity that the action scenes are so routinely unexciting, filmed by a director who has no understanding of what looks good on screen. The film is in a tight spot really as it wants to be dark and gritty and yet has a family friendly rating at the same time, and that can be tough to pull off (Greengrass and Nolan are two of the few directors who know how to achieve the balance). Siddig isn't bad but his character is very dull and Joshua Jackson is badly miscast in support. INESCAPABLE isn't the sort of film you'll remember long after watching.
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not quite realistic enough or thrilling enough
SnoopyStyle13 January 2016
Adib Abdel Kareem (Alexander Siddig) lives a comfortable life in Toronto under an alternate identity. He has two daughters but has told them nothing about his past in Syria. He was a military intelligence officer but left under mysterious circumstances 20 years ago. His oldest daughter Muna has disappeared after going to Damascus behind his back. He sneaks back into the country with the help of ex-fiancée Fatima (Marisa Tomei). He talks to Canadian Embassy officer Paul Ridge (Joshua Jackson) and former fellow workmate Sayid (Oded Fehr) as he navigates the dangerous police state.

This movie seems to be caught between a realistic movie and a Bourne-like thriller. It fails as either and it struggles to be better. It's great to have Siddig as the lead. The problem is that I can't believe his character wouldn't be snatched up by any one of the random secret police agents. His supposed crime is too big to ignore. The daughter is too naive. It would have been more logical if she's researching in Turkey and gets kidnapped into Syria. Also having Tomei as an Arab does raise an eyebrow. A lot of little things limit the believability. It doesn't work as an action thriller either. It is terribly flat and has low intensity despite the exotic setting. The few action sequences seem weak and out of place. I would like a realistic take on the 2012 police-state Syria. I can't buy it here.
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