Is 'No Escape' Based On A True Story? The Owen Wilson Thriller Has Some Connection To Real Life Events
No Escape tells the story of your basic, run-of-the-mill, All-American family of four that moves to Southeast Asia. The Dwyers seem to be acclimating to the new culture and their new surroundings, but there is one small problem: they get caught in the violent crossfire of political unrest. Instead of enjoying paradise life, they find themselves trying to get to safety in a city that is literally burning to the ground — and things get quite tense. The patriarch of the family (played by unlikely action/thriller star Owen Wilson) leads his family through the violence as he answers the movie's tagline, “How Far Would You Go To Protect The Ones You Love?” My guess is as far as it takes to keep them alive and safe. But is No Escap e based on a true story? In a very general scope, the movie is loosely inspired by real social unrest that has happened in southeast Asia for the past century. Other than that, it's just a thrilling bookend to the summer movie season.
It isn't likely that there was an actual Dwyer family that tried to escape a coup d'etat in a generic Southeast Asian country (the movie was filmed in Thailand, but it's not 100 percent clear where the family lives). In fact, I'm pretty sure that the movie is 95 percent fiction with some real-life events peppered in there.
Filmmakers John & Drew Dowdle pulled inspiration from the 1982 movie Missing starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. Based on a true story, Missing takes place during the 1973 in Chile. A writer has gone missing and his wife teams up with an American business man to find him. John Dowdle told Collider, "It had this sense of dread and it was so scary but it was rooted in humanity." If that's what you're looking for in a movie, here are some other films that have that same intensity of escape, dread, humanity and social unrest echoing that of No Escape.
Not Without My Daughter (1991)
This has everything you want in a movie: drama, intensity and early '90s branded Sally Field melodrama. Sure, the trailer is a tad bit over the top, but the fact that this happened (and is probably still happening) makes it extra fascinating.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
An underrated movie that told a specific overlooked story about the civil unrest in Rwanda.
Brokedown Palace (1999)
Not necessarily a story about political unrest, but it fits the mold and tone of what we're going for here.
District 9 (2009)
A different (and amazing) way to tell the story about the uprising and oppression of a particular race.
Flowers in the Attic (1987)
The recent Lifetime reiteration of the V.C. Andrews classic about a family of kids kept prisoner in their evil grandmother's attic was OK, but I prefer the original from the '80s.
It is clear that there are no shortage of movies about people trying to escape the grips of violence and evil. Luckily, they all have a happy ending... for the most part.
Image: The Weinstein Company