‘Inescapable’ Movie Review – Inescapable (Unoriginality)
Standing out can sometimes be hard. With upwards of ten movies coming out each week (and various others simply not making it to a movie market), there’s bound to be a lack of originality. Looking at some of my favorite movies of the past couple years, films like Drive and Looper stick out because they’re so different. Yes, it can be unfair to judge smaller, independent movies against such revered films, but you’ve got to beat the best to be the best, right? Inescapable isn’t near this class of film because it fails to garner any of the elusive quality – originality – that helps preceding films.
After leaving Syria, Adib (Alexander Siddig) finds a comfortable life exiled in Canada. However, when his daughter (Jay Anstey) goes looking for the truth about his roots, she turns up missing. He must confront his past and return to the Middle East in hopes to find his daughter.
It is essentially Taken with slightly different circumstances…and a heck of a lot less violence.
Inescapable takes its time – a strategy they somehow exhaust in just 93 minutes – explaining Adib’s past. It is a key component to the conflict, and the second act surely drags along with the pace.
This pace ends up being one of the things keeping the film from being as heart-thumping as its potential. It is set up as a thriller, yet plays out too much like a drama. I’m all for drama, but it simply doesn’t fit the story here.
The “thriller” aspects seem too cheap, furthering the story’s inconsistencies. There are too many – one would even be “too many” – moments that seem overdone. If originality and “standing out” are important components, Inescapable fails.
The characters are just one example of this. Despite good performances by Siddig and Maria Tomei (his ex-lover, Fatima), and an at least-not-distracting one by Joshua Jackson, it’s the characters that overshadow the craft (in a bad way). Adib has the most potential for dynamic characteristics, but Fatima and Paul (Jackson) aren’t dynamic in the least. Simply put, they make the story boring with such bland characters.
This surely contributes to compromising the, what I assume was meant to be, sentimental ending. It’s hard to justify any of the emotions we’re supposed to feel when you don’t think it’s earned.
I’m not trying to be a pessimist, I just can’t point to Inescapable as an original piece of storytelling. Originality is, ironically enough, difficult to explain; however, it’s definitely something you know when you see it. Now, is this particular movie trying to be original? To me, that question isn’t important, because I expect films to at least stand out, and that’s definitely not the case here.
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