Thursday, 3 September 2015

Holiday from hell: "No Escape"

Consider it First World Problems: The Action Movie. No Escape finds the Dowdle brothers taking a step up - in scale, at least - after 2010's Devil (who's the killer in the lift?) and last year's As Above So Below (idiot kids get lost in Parisian catacombs) by relocating a family of nice, white Westerners (Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and their two adorable little cherubs) to an unidentified Asian nation (it's Thailand, stripped of all signifers) just as an especially bloody coup is going down. No-one's expecting Costa-Gavras from their multiplex filler at this moment in time, but even a smidgen of sincere political engagement would have been nice: as it is, we get a half-hour of sightseeing followed by an hour of dissident-dodging, before an unlikely deus ex machina materialises in the form of Pierce Brosnan's jovial Cockney sex tourist. The set-pieces are functional, if overly reliant on ominous slo-mo, but the insularity involved - insisting that all Asian uprisings look the same, while turning legitimately restless natives into strategy-bereft rapists and sociopaths - falls somewhere between resistible and outright objectionable. The moral of the story is clear: keep your passport and your dollars in your back pocket, and holiday in Disneyland again next year.

No Escape opens in cinemas nationwide tomorrow.

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