MPI / 93 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: July 2, 2013
Adib Abdel Kareem (Alexander Siddig) gives the impression of just being another guy. He has a nice house, a kid or two, a job that seems relatively high-profile but not exactly hyper-taxing in any major capacity – at the center of Inescapable, he appears to have a fulfilling, rewarding life in Canada. Ah, but then the onion layers of Kareem’s past begin to unfurl, and the stasis that feels so important for this character to uphold start eroding, and we quickly learn that this guy is no mere mild-mannered banker: he’s a man with a deeply hidden and potentially lethally dangerous past.
When he finds out that his daughter Muna (Jay Anstay) defies his wishes and takes a detour into their home country of Syria during a trip to the region, she’s whisked away by baddies. And just like Liam Neeson in Taken – I doubt there’s a single review of Inescapable that doesn’t mention that franchise at least once – Kareem takes his sights off of normal life and travels back to the country he has such volatile ties to and decides to retrieve his daughter from the evil forces that took her. Case closed.
As one watches Inescapable, is the interest in figuring out whether the guy can pull it off enough to keep up an overall layer of suspense? Sure. There’s nothing intrinsically compelling about the story at hand here, but once Kareem makes that overseas flight, anyone with even just a marginal connection to genre storytelling will want to invest the rest of the movie’s running time to make sure the antagonists get theirs. It’s not elegant or particularly well-told, but sometimes all you need is a good set-up, and Inescapable has that.