(US - 2015)
Directed by John Erick Dowdle. Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle. Cast: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Sahajak Boonthanakit. (R, 103 mins)
NO ESCAPE was originally titled THE COUP when it was scheduled for release in early 2015, but was sent back for some retooling and a title change when stupid test audiences didn't know the meaning of the word "coup." That damning example of real-world IDIOCRACY proves to be the most memorable thing about a largely generic action movie that constantly sabotages itself with bad editing, ill-advised slo-mo, and a complete leave from reality every time it gets some honest, serious momentum going. Filmed in Thailand and obviously set there even though all references to the country have been removed by the Weinstein Co. lest they risk offending a sizable portion of the always-lucrative Asian box office, NO ESCAPE takes place in a now-unidentified far east country where American engineer Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) is moving his family when his new employer, a corporate mega-conglomerate called Cardiff, ships him and two others to take charge of a clean-water project. Jack lost his last job in Austin, TX and while he and wife Annie (Lake Bell) and daughters Lucy (Sterling Jerins) and "The Beeze" (Claire Geare) aren't ecstatic about the move, it was the best offer he had. It's a bad omen when the Dwyers arrive and the TV and electricity are out, and no one from Cardiff has made any attempt to meet him at the airport or touch base with him after his arrival. While walking around the business district near the hotel, Jack finds himself in a middle of a riot when armed revolutionaries take on the police and the military. The Prime Minister, friendly to American business interests, has been assassinated and his regime toppled, and the revolutionaries are coming specifically for the Cardiff engineers to show the company that they aren't welcome. Jack sees one of the engineers shot in the head, and the revolutionaries pursue him through the streets and through the hotel, forcing the family to do everything they can to survive the siege, get out of the hotel, and somehow make it to the US Embassy.