It’s that time of year again. When schools are back in session and football season begins. It’s the end of summer, and with that comes the inevitable hiatus of movie going. Luckily I’m still here to provide you with a few reviews for those films you’ll more than likely only be interested in while visiting your nearest Redbox.
NO ESCAPE Owen Wilson stars as a husband and father of two young girls who relocate to a 3rd World Asian country (never named in the film) for his new job only to be swept up in a political war zone. Lake Bell costars as his wife while former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan does his best to show that he can still play an action hero.
If you think it will feel weird to see Owen Wilson deviate from his usual comedic antics, you’re right. But Wilson’s often plucky demeanor actually manages to bring some welcomed heart to this intense thriller. If you are looking for heart pounding suspense, there will be no new film more entertaining for you than No Escape. But do yourself a favor and check your notion of common sense at the opening titles. This is a film where mild mannered house fathers can fight off men with machetes and guns and where a U.S. Embassy can be ransacked by a tiny militia with no immediate consequences. There is just enough ridiculousness to make it not worthy of the full price of admission, but just enough exhilarating moments to at least make it worth a watch. FINAL GRADE: C+
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS Zac Efron stars as Cole, a 23-year old wannabe DJ living in southern California with his best friend Dustin (Jonny Weston). Together with their friends Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) and Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) they waste their lives away doing drugs and promoting parties. That is, until accomplished DJ, James Reed (Wes Bentley) takes Cole under his wing and shows him the path to musical recognition. All Cole has to do is not let his friends hold him back, and keep away from his mentor’s young girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski).
Ignore the title of this movie and it instantly becomes better. None of the friends are really interesting, and only one of them outside of Zac Efron is remotely likable. Their ups and downs and dramatic moments could’ve been sifted out completely and the movie would’ve been equally as interesting. The movie keeps its beat when focusing on the love triangle and complex relationship between Efron, Bentley, and Ratajkowski’s characters even if the end result is a tad predictable. Come for their interaction or come for the music, just don’t come for the actual friends in We Are Your Friends. FINAL GRADE: C+