The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (18)
The film tries to meld politically charged personal drama with the action-movie tropes you'd expect in a story set in the Middle East. (Chase through a crowded marketplace? Brawl at the hamam? Check!)
The plot unfolds at a nice clip, but at no point does director Ruba Nadda evade expectations.
One hopes "Inescapable" is only a momentary stumble for this promising filmmaker.
A Canadian nonthriller that plays like a heavily sedated hybrid of "Taken" and "Not Without My Daughter" ...
Inescapable is Nadda's first foray into thriller territory, and her inexperience shows in awkwardly mounted fight scenes and clumsy car chases, not to mention an almost fatally explanatory script.
Muddled and inert despite the best intentions, this inescapably dull thriller plays like a Middle Eastern take on Liam Neeson's "Taken."
"Inescapable" offers a respectful treatment of its Arab characters' struggles, set at a central position rare in North American cinema, but it waters itself down in its effort to make them palatable to a non-Arab audience.
Clearly meaning Inescapable as an act of love, Ms. Nada, a Canadian filmmaker with Syrian/Palestinian parents, has instead done a great disservice to her gene pool and our film-loving sensibilities. Irksome would be a more appropriate title.
The movie suffers from the conflict between its potboiler instincts and the filmmaker's understandable need to acknowledge the brutality of Syria's secretive regime.
Doesn't have the juice normally associated with such violent entertainment. Its interest in characterization is admirable, but there's little firepower where it counts the most.
The movie could just as well be set in Islamabad, Nairobi or any city Westerners find threatening. (It was filmed, in fact, in Johannesburg.) It would look about right on a cable channel at 9 p.m.
This international thriller-sparked by a nice, unexpected Marisa Tomei performance-starts off promisingly but trails off into cheap melodrama.
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.
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.
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