Owen Wilson tries again to play a character in a dire situation (remember “Behind Enemy Lines”) and he conveys this fear and desperation extremely well. As Jack Dwyer, an engineer who has joined a multinational corporation after his own company failed, and is moving his family to an unnamed Southeast Asian country. As brave a front as he and his wife, Annie (Lake Bell), put up for their two young daughters, Lucy and Beaze (Sterling Jerins and Clare Geare), they know the situation is bad. Of course, it’s about to get much worse.
As “No Escape” begins, the Dwyers are landing, befriended on their flight by Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), a seatmate with the rough beard, fresh scars and randy cheer of an old post-colonial hand. A typical mysterious Brit who helps out from time to time through out the movie. When Jack takes a walk out of their luxury hotel the next morning, he’s caught in a clash between the police and mobs, then scrambles back minutes before anti-Western revolutionaries go room to room, slaughtering foreigners. From that point, the film is a series of fight-or-flight set pieces of the panicked family trying to stay alive. At every turn the family is in the militants cross-hairs, yet somehow manage to escape.
Though the plot is pretty thin, and somehow Hammond seems to turn up just when the script requires and improbable rescue, the movie zips along at a fairly fast pace and offers up plenty of scenes that have you laughing just from the implausibility of it all, yet you never really understand why these knife-wielding locals are so hell bent on revenge. All-in-all the movie was enjoyable for what it was, that is as long as you don’t read too much into it and just want to watch an escape by a hairs breath type of movie.