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No Escape

A by-the-book thriller about imperiled Americans abroad

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“Dad, are people trying to kill us?” Well, sweetie, corporate colonialism can create violent blowback. But whatever — John Erick Dowdle’s thriller, set in an unnamed Southeast Asian country that resembles Thailand, isn’t concerned with global economics. It’s got a more old-fashioned angle to plumb: emasculated American man who gets his mojo back by saving his wife and children from foreign savages! (Honestly, there’s even an opium den.)

After an insta-coup — it’s not a joke to say “just add water,” because water privatization is the source of the problem — our hero (Owen Wilson), his wife (Lake Bell) and two daughters run around town, just barely escaping the usual horrors (and cinematic clichés) of violent uprisings. Thankfully, our man in Troubletown has befriended a “British CIA” fella (Pierce Brosnan), who is gifted at shooting dozens of people before breakfast. Brosnan’s ham-scented handsomeness is most welcome here. He makes a cheeky game of the pulpy material, and I wish the rest of the tedious cast, who never stopped hugging and crying, had navigated to the same wink-and-smile B-movie level Brosnan was playing on.


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