Here are two things that the new Owen Wilson thriller No Escape is not:
1. It is not an action-centric rework of Jean-Paul Sartre’s seminal existential masterpiece No Exit, starring Wilson as a harried career man who becomes trapped in an abandoned underground mine shaft, forced to contend not only with the goat-sized overgrown rats the inhabit the tunnel, but also with the fundamental nothingness that gnaws away at the core of our soul. Wilson will not kick mutant-rat tuchus and confront his own insignificance in the larger scheme of mere being. Not the tagline: “Hell is other people. Life is worse.”
2. It is also not a modern-day update of 1994’s similarly-titled dystopian Ray Liotta vehicle No Escape, with Wilson trapped in a corporate-owned penal colony during the year 2022. The film will not wed white-knuckle action with incisive commentary on the reprehensible rise of the private prison and prison-industrial culture at large. Owen Wilson will not fire a rocket launcher.
The No Escape that’ll enter theaters in September of this year is a thing all its own, with Wilson playing a businessman who’s toted his wife (Lake Bell) and moppet daughter to an unspecific Asian nation on a work trip. Unfortunately for him, he arrived during the height of armed-street-conflict season, which is only slightly worse than monsoon season. Less unfortunately for him, he befriends greying ass-kicker Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan has grown a beard. Everything will be okay.
Arm yourself well, and check out the trailer below:
The trail of the tape
Title: No Escape
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Screenwriter: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Cast: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan
Release date: September 2, 2015
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “You’re alive, Jack. Just get your family the hell out.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
After a spate of bland studio comedies (the feature-length Google advert whose name we dare not speak) and well-realized roles in auteurist fare (Midnight in Paris, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice), Owen-Wilson-as-action-hero could be a big pill to swallow. But let us think a bit further back, back to the Owen Wilson of the late ’90s, who kicked buttock alongside Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon and appeared briefly in Armageddon. He may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but Wilson’s still got some moves.