Inescapable Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 21, 2013
A tense, smart, terrifically character driven and exciting suspense-thriller. It depends on story, characters and substance above all else and is surprisingly effective and genuinely moving. It's a riveting, well-crafted and nail-biting film that delivers some strong performances and gritty action. A solid and outstanding cast. Alexander Siddig is absolutely superb. Joshua Jackson is excellent. Oded Fehr is terrific. Marisa Tomei is wonderful. A tough, stylish, gripping and excellent movie. It's great to see a Canadian-produced film of this quality, they rarely get as good as this one.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2013
After his daugher Muna(Jay Anstey), a photographer, goes missing in Damascus, Adib(Alexander Siddig) is forced to return to his native Syria for the first time in decades where he is persona non grata to say the least. At least, he still has friends there like Fatima(Marisa Tomei) who helps him enter the country and Sayid(Oded Fehr) who is now a big cheese in the security services. That's not to say Adib is helpless on his own as he discovers a couple of clues in his daugher's hotel room. Of course, there is nothing quite like protocol when he visits the Canadian embassy to check in with Paul Ridge(Joshua Jackson) before making a call to the Russian embassy.

"Inescapable" is at best a half-baked thriller. Now, if only it had been a fully baked thriller, we could have gotten some fun out of the whole thing. As it is, there are some nice moments, especially the opening lock picking scene, and fine shots but not much beyond that. On the minus side, there is almost a running joke out of quickly obtained visas and characters here tend to get rescued not out of their own resourcefulness but out of somebody showing out of the blue. You need more than that level of potential watchfulness and a few mentions to fully document pre-civil war Syria as a police state which does not exactly come as a surprise. What is desperately needed in the movie is a broader perspective not only on the country but on Adib, along with more dramatic depth.
February 4, 2014
Mild execution when it coulda, woulda, been like Taken. It beats a kick in the head, but in all it's a meh. Plus, why would Marisa Tomei been cast as the Demascus woman, couldn't they get someone of middle eastern origin?
½ July 25, 2013
A Canadian nonthriller that plays like a heavily sedated hybrid of "Taken" and "Not Without My Daughter", or "missing"
June 15, 2015
That inescapable feeling that I wish I did not watch this boring drone of a supposed thriller.
May 11, 2015
Marisa Tomei plays a great Arab woman. I liked the twist and turn of the plot and the topical relevance of Syria. A very entertaining thriller.
½ July 30, 2014
"Two women, once a lesbian couple and now just friends, leave for a seminar together. Their current girlfriends, left to their own devices, fall for each other and begin a desperate steamy affair," says IMDB.

Err.. no. Oops. Sorry, wrong 'Inescapable'. I did not watch the horridly atrocious girl-on-girl flick by writer/director Helen Lesnick from 2003. Rather I watched the excellent 2012 movie from Ruba Nadda starring an excellent Alexander Siddig.
As is the case with an unfortunate number of movies the last couple of years, most of the audience reviews you will find online for 'Inescapable' focus on how this movie portrays the country it was (supposedly) shot in and how the author of that review doesn't agree with the (political) view of said country that is given in the movie. First off, that is unnecessary. Second, did anyone ask for that? Third, this is a movie. So what?!.

'Professional' reviewers are getting on my nerves more and more as well these days. Who cares -in relation to this work of fiction- if Syria is in the news right now? Who cares if the shooting locations in South Africa and Lebanon do not really look like Syria? And lastly: any 'professional' review writer who compares this story to 'Taken' has disqualified him/herself from being taken seriously by me.

Back to the production at hand. This is a movie that is very different from 'Taken' and the likes. The main character is Adib (Siddig), a successful Syrian immigrant in Canada who learns that one of his daughters, on a road trip in Europe, has vanished on a secret visit to her father's birth country. Adib has very good reasons to never go back there, but is forced now his daughter has gone missing. We follow him as he pursues different avenues to get his daughter back.

Siddig plays a layered, very human character. He is -thankfully- nowhere near the superhuman ex-CIA combat soldier portrayed by Liam Neeson in 'Taken'. He brings the story to life here. The pace is nice. No unnecessary shots of travel or family drama. Even though the movie was obviously not shot in the warzone that is Syria these days, the movie does a good job of portraying what you'd expect the situation to be in this fictional story.

See, I didn't say it portrays Syria accurately. God knows I don't have any clue of how it looks there and I have no desire whatsoever to find out or to read about it in movie review. So what if the Syrians speak English in this movie. I'm always glad when I don't have to read subtitles.

I'm not going to spoil the story here. I'm just going to say it has several layers and some twists and turns that keep it interesting. Not so many that you wonder why the hell you ever chose to watch this movie, but enough to keep you awake. It's produced well and has nice visuals. Please ignore negative reviews for this one. You won't regret it.

Pros: Great acting, well-developed story.
Cons: none
Verdict: Go see!
½ December 9, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013

(2012) Inescapable
POLITICAL THRILLER

While the notion may be the same as other political missing persons movies as "The Constant Gardner", 1982 "Missing" starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek, perhaps the 1956 version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" starring James Stewart and Doris Day among other movies, the situations are different. Starring Alexander Siddig as a 20 year Canadian citizen Adib having to return to the country where he originally escape from which is Syria, for the purpose of first, finding his daughter, and then second, to bring her back to Canada. We don't know too much about Adib as much until he returns back to the country where he originally abandoned or had escaped from, viewers get to witness some of his past about what he used to do and the sacrifices he had to make upon leaving a ruler who's also known to be a dictator by the name of Bashar al-Assad as his picture is plastered onto walls. For by judging this movie as a whole it almost seems that the 'missing persons' scenario almost serves as a backdrop to the political unrest that exists in Syria since I didn't know Syria had the 'secret police' functioning in their country in the first place. Marissa Tomei also stars as Fatima an Oscar winning actress I barely could recognize, and Joshua Jackson also stars as Paul who works for the embassy. Written and directed by Ruba Nadda using actor Alexander Siddig for a second feature after "Cairo Time" is somewhat an enlightening type of movie about what used to happened over in Syria which may be worst right now in comparison to what happened back then.

3 out of 4 stars
November 15, 2013
Nadda's attempt to make a film - a thriller - that might reach a larger audience than his far better 'art' films about characters / individuals.. although the acting is admirable and the photography is respectable, the story is predictable; no surprises here.. the subject might be timely but the story becomes dull.. he shudda' hung out for an equally (if not the same) timeline but a way better storyline - he had the actors to do so...
½ August 28, 2013
i gave this suckfest 60 min of my life and nothing happened-some dude walks around syria talking to people. what a dud. hollywood: things have toi actually happen in a movie in order for people to be entertained by it. der.
½ March 19, 2013
Everything is missed up, they can't even talk, acting sucks, and a lot of wrong details, they have to bring professionals to do the movie.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2013
After his daugher Muna(Jay Anstey), a photographer, goes missing in Damascus, Adib(Alexander Siddig) is forced to return to his native Syria for the first time in decades where he is persona non grata to say the least. At least, he still has friends there like Fatima(Marisa Tomei) who helps him enter the country and Sayid(Oded Fehr) who is now a big cheese in the security services. That's not to say Adib is helpless on his own as he discovers a couple of clues in his daugher's hotel room. Of course, there is nothing quite like protocol when he visits the Canadian embassy to check in with Paul Ridge(Joshua Jackson) before making a call to the Russian embassy.

"Inescapable" is at best a half-baked thriller. Now, if only it had been a fully baked thriller, we could have gotten some fun out of the whole thing. As it is, there are some nice moments, especially the opening lock picking scene, and fine shots but not much beyond that. On the minus side, there is almost a running joke out of quickly obtained visas and characters here tend to get rescued not out of their own resourcefulness but out of somebody showing out of the blue. You need more than that level of potential watchfulness and a few mentions to fully document pre-civil war Syria as a police state which does not exactly come as a surprise. What is desperately needed in the movie is a broader perspective not only on the country but on Adib, along with more dramatic depth.
February 18, 2013
Nothing really good, but okay for a low budget no name time waster.
December 3, 2012
Alas the screen-writing is inescapably poor
October 28, 2012
2.0/4.0
Saw this movie at its world premiere at TIFF 2012 and I must say I was disappointed. Firstly, there is no particular reason why this movie was not filmed entirely in Arabic other than probably achieving the mass appeal it will unlikely achieve. Having one of the best actresses of our time, Marisa Tomei, play an Arab and sport an accent when probably an English speaking Arab actress could have done the same job still bewilders me. Although to be completely frank, I must say she passes well as a Syrian. Secondly, the movie does not break any ground nor does it make wise use of its Middle Eastern setting especially in light of what has been happening in that part of the world since early 2011.
The plot centers on Syrian expat Adib Abdel Kareem (Alexander Siddig) who has made a life and family for himself in Toronto. He learns that his oldest daughter traveled to the Syrian capital to try to learn more of her father's ambiguous origins and is now missing. Thus, he decides to return to his home country for the first time in nearly 20 years enlisting the help of his former lover Fatima (Marisa Tomei). As his search starts, he encounters a Canadian embassy official (Joshua Jackson) and a childhood friend who is now a prominent police/army official and who seems to share a big secret with him (Oded Fehr).
"Inescapable" could have played out as a great mystery but unfortunately it does not. The way "secrets" are revealed is underwhelming and predictable with many questions unanswered. As an action movie, it falls particularly flat. [The movie may draw comparisons to "Taken" but definitely the 2008 hit shines in comparison, although I must say I didn't feel that this movie was emulating it]. Writer-director Ruba Nadda ("Cairo Time) also fails in making this a pure emotional ride by focusing on father-daughter dynamics. The main saving grace is uniformly good acting particularly Tomei (in some moments) despite the above-mentioned concerns. "Inescapable" is a passable, forgettable piece of entertainment of a man searching for his daughter that at 90 minutes kills the time.
½ October 15, 2012
The broad strokes of the story might sound like Taken, "A father flies half way around the world to find his daughter who has gone missing in a dangerous land." But this film is the more thoughtful variation. It comes from the director's own father saying "Just don't go missing" when she was in Syria directing Cairo Time. So there is a personal hook and the gravitas that goes with it. Rick Groen is wrong to call is "soft" and compare it to "hard facts" about the hotbed area and its authorities; instead of sprawling through anecdotes and headlines, Inescapable focuses on the human beings at its core. Marisa Tomei is outstanding as Fatima the abandoned fiance that Adib (Alexander Siddig) left behind when he had to quickly leave for Canada years before and build a new life. Perhaps he never quite escaped that old life, or perhaps Fatima will not escape her state in Syria. Or perhaps it is just the missing daughter who should not escape the dangers and bureaucracy of the region in the person of their old Israeli mate Sayid (Oded Fehr) and Paul the Canadian Embassy rep (Joshua Jackson). The film has a good distributor but I saw it in limited release at the Varsity weeks after its appearance in the Toronto International Film Festival. When the excitement and action happen in this film, there is an actual edge given by the reality of Siddig's presence and the possibility of real consequences.
September 21, 2012
I like what I've read about the movie and it's taking place in Syria. I had hoped to visit Damascus and this might be as close as I'll get to it.
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