July 5, 2017

Netflix Review: No Escape (2015)

"What a crazy, intense ride."

I remember when this movie came out back in the Summer of 2015, and having no desire to see it. Not sure why, it just seemed like it was going to be cheesy... which is odd because I really liked the Dowdle Brother's previous films like As Above, So Below, Devil, and The Poughkeepsie Tapes, so maybe I should have given it a bit more credit at the time.

Shame on me for not doing so, because after browsing through Netflix for something to watch tonight, we came across No Escape, and decided to give it a go... and we're still catching our breath.

American businessman Jack Dwyer has just moved his family to an unnamed Southeast Asian country, too work for a company called Cardiff, who is there to bring clean drinking water to the people of the region. Unbeknownst to him, Cardiff has pissed off the locals, who think that they've shadily stolen their clean drinking water, and so they decide to rise up against the company, and kill everyone who works for them in protest.

Marked for death by a massive mob of bloodthirsty locals, Jack and his hot wife (and two adorable kids) must do some crazy shit to survive, and even with the help of a saucy British ex-pat and Kenny Rogers (true story), there's pretty much no way that any of them are going to survive.

Butt-puckering action ensues.

It's not often that an action thriller has us on the edge of our seats, literally, but I'll be damned if No Escape didn't have us biting our nails, holding our breath, and yelling at the screen for just about its entire runtime. This was a taut and scary movie, and it wasn't shy with the violence at all, most of which played in realistic fashion.

The Dowdle Borthers have a knack for making effective, under-the-radar movies that end up being far better than they have a right to, and No Escape might be their best effort to date. Their cast is top-notch, which probably helps: Pierce Brosnan steals every scene he's in as Hammond; the British "spy" who is as charming as he is deadly. Owen Wilson plays the ordinary, everyday guy as well as he always does, which isn't a bad thing, but he's outshined by Lake Bell as his wife... which might just be because she's hot. Not sure. Either way, she's really likable, and so we like her better!

This movie could have been a run-of-the-mill effort, and we expected it to be, but The Dowdle Brothers managed to give us characters we care about trying to survive a horrific situation, and they did it about as well as any thriller in recent memory has.

It's interesting too note that a lot of the negative reviews that I saw about this movie deride it for being racist, because the lives of a white family were made out to be so valuable, and the Asians who led the bloody uprising that the family was trying to escape were painted as bloodthirsty and violent. Because that kind of thing doesn't actually ever happen in third world countries.

And did these idiot critics not see the local people tying to help the family?

It aggravates the shit out of me that everything today is sexist, racist, homophobic, patriarchal, etc... simply because people need to see what they need to see in things, to justify their agendas, or special little feelings.

It was a fictional thriller, assholes, that mimics real-life in some ways, and it didn't paint a negative picture of any particular people at all.

The uprising leads to many people being butchered in bloody fashion. It's definitely not for the squeamish.

Unfortunately, no, and as hot as Lake Bell is, it's a crying shame.

If you want to see a thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat for its entire runtime, as predictable as some of it may be, then No Espace is one you should check out asap. We're glad we finally caught it after so long, and we can't wait to see what The Dowdle Brothers do next.

No Escape is streaming now on Netflix, or you can grab a copy below. 


Lake Bell is still stunning.


  1. I've seen the trailer for this two or three times now, and my reaction was similar to yours. It looked fairly cheesy and predictable.

    I appreciate your great (and spoiler-free) review! This one's now in the Netflix queue, and I'm looking forward to giving it a watch!

  2. That was a pretty good action movie. Yeah, people hated it for all the reasons you have already pointed out in your review. Now, I agree with those people that it is kind of racist to make a big deal of rescueing a white family but on the other hand it's rather real that a family of darker skin wouldn't have a government or the mass media to care for them unless they are big money or heavy involved in politics.

    Americans tend to glorify the status as an American in their movies, so that's another reason, too. I wonder how it would have played if the family was asian-american, if the inhabitans of those asian countries wouldn't know at first glance that those are precious amerians.

  3. "You Cardiff boys get everywhere" That line had me sold as soon as it was uttered. There's got to have been a reason they called the company Cardiff. I'm from Caerphilly which is a town about 8 miles from Cardiff. It's true you meet people from Cardiff at remote countries around the world.

    Tonight, was one of those nights of struggling what to watch on Netflix. So i thought i'd best take a look at my favourite horror blog, and i was not disappointed. This was an intense movie. Owen Wilson has oddly been a Hollywood actor i've liked,

    As for critics calling this racist is just silly.

    Anyway, have you watched 'Under The Shadow' yet? Watched it last week. Great film.