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No Escape


Stars: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare

Director: John Erick Dowdle

There may be more unlikely adventure yarns in the annals of Hollywood history, but this one, for all its ferocious pacing, will certainly run them close.

Engineer Jack Dwyer (Wilson), his wife Annie (Bell) and their two daughters (Jerins, Geare) fly to an unnamed S E Asian country - the film was shot in Northern Thailand, close to the border with Burma/Myanmar - to supervise a countrywide water project.

Met at the airport by Hammond (Brosnan), who is clearly more than the cheery expat alcoholic he makes out, the family has barely settled into a hotel when a full-scale revolution breaks out, with the prime minister assassinated in their very hotel.

In no time at all, the family is on the run in a hostile and dangerous environment, with Jack a prime target for the revolutionaries. 'America,' an out-from-cover Brosnan tells him, 'are taking over their water supply and they don't like it'.

Full of eyebrow-raising moments - in a remarkable display of marksmanship, Brosnan shoots two men out of a guntower with a pistol at about 200 metres; while the hurling of the two small girls over a parapet down to a concrete roof 30 metres (and a gap) below would certainly have led to fractured limbs or worse - the film still pounds along, its chase sequences rarely letting up, as the fugitives are poised at any moment to be betrayed or shot.

Not sure why, when the rebels speak their own language, Vietnamese soldiers (in a later scene) speak in flawless English. Perhaps Thai actors can't do 'Nam accents - though there's always dubbing.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: EntertainmentOne . Colour (unspecified).
103 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Aug 2015