When you think of Owen Wilson, the first thing that probably comes to mind is ‘wow,’ immediately followed by the string of hit comedies where he essentially played variations of the same character over and over again. That being said, he’s more than capable of giving a solid performance in more dramatic fare, and he’s also an Academy Award nominated writer having co-authored the screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums alongside Wes Anderson.
One thing you probably don’t picture him as, though, is an action hero, with 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines the only straightforward entry in the genre he’d made in his entire career up until No Escape fifteen years later. When Wilson tackles action, it generally tends to be in projects with a heavy comedic influence like the Shanghai duology with Jackie Chan, the Night at the Museum trilogy or Starsky & Hutch opposite regular collaborator Ben Stiller, but the only laughs in No Escape are completely unintentional.
The Hollywood star plays an American businessman starting a new life in Southeast Asia with his family, where he gets caught in the middle of a political uprising and must flee from the epicenter of the violence as fast as possible. Director John Erick Dowdle makes no bones about the fact that it’s little more than a glorified B-movie, and packs in a nonstop barrage of chase sequences and shootouts, making for a wholly enjoyable if not particularly memorable watch.
However, No Escape also features one of the most accidentally hilarious scenes in modern cinema, when Wilson’s Jack Dwyer literally throws his children from a rooftop in glorious slow motion to save them from advancing militia, and when the film hits Netflix next month on February 26th, we’d urge you to check it out for those two minutes alone.