NO ESCAPE is an intense international thriller centered on an American businessman Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) and his family (a wife and two young daughters) as they arrive in Southeast Asia,Thailand to settle into a new job and presumably "home away from home", but unbeknownst to them, by the time they arrive at their hotel, things are going awry politically, with the assassination of the Prime Minister. Suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a violent political uprising against foreigners, particularly Americans and the company Jack works for, they must frantically look for a safe escape as rebels mercilessly attack the city and attempt to kill all foreigners they find in their path. Luckily, Jack has the help of a mysterious figure that they meet on the plane, Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who turns out to be more than meets the eye and proves to be the lynchpin in the family’s struggle to survive.
Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan create some memorable moments from a man’s perspective and provide contrasting motivations: one pushing himself to the limits to save his family and the other working for a foreign government agency - he mentions something like MI6 - that needs to see what he can do to keep the Dwyer family alive and get them out of danger while taking stock of the developing situation and plays the rogue to some degree. Lake Bell as the wife also provides a lot of emotional support and shows what lengths a mother will go to to save her husband and her children. The movie is quite suspenseful overall, but there are moments where the story has some implausibility – how did they not know about the coup by the time they got to the hotel and how is it that no one will tell them anything, but it is just a movie script that has elements of real life happenings here and there that were experienced by the movie film makers, script writers and producers, John Erick and Drew Dowdle. Yet, there are a few scenes that makes you hold your fist and ready to help the Dwyer family to punch it on their face to help them escape.
Also, when seemingly every other foreigner has been murdered by the marauding rioters, how is that this family continues to survive, but as Jack Dwyer keeps telling his wife, “we just have to stay 10 steps ahead of them” and this they do through great stress, emotional trauma and sheer determination, which is conveyed very convincingly. The two girls playing the daughters also did a great job. The final moments of their escape have you wondering how they will survive, but of course you know they have to to provide that expected happy ending with the whole family intact. That's the class American mainstream film would never do without.
Overall, a film worth watching to see Owen Wilson eschew his usual self deprecating humorous persona and tackling some bigger emotional issues with ease, as well as convincing you that he is a regular family man with marital problems and depths of emotion that we often do not get to see in other roles. Pierce Brosnan’s roguish character is the opposite of his usual polished accent and suave demeanour, it makes an interesting contrast in this film. For the next 102 minutes, hold your breath and stay put with the Dwyer's family and together from No Escape to escaping from the fatal deadly ground by saving their lives.