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March 31, 2009

Review: The Escapist

Although living in Kuwait means we get to see films sometimes 6 months after you guys, sometimes we have the chance of watching a non-American film 6 months before you guys :)… That is the case with The Escapist I saw this film a few months back, and thought I should review it since I saw it on the main page here as a “yet to be reviewed” film… So I’m beating Devin to it. This will be short, cause I haven’t seen the film in a while, so I don’t remember the details too well. In any case, The Escapist is one of the best British films of 2008. And by that I mean Made in Britain with Britain as location…. so Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t belong here… my blog, my rules. I saw this film cause there was nothing else to see at the theater, so I figured it would be a good waste of time. Boy, was I surprised. Firstly, I think this is the only film I’ve seen where character actor god Brian Cox is the star. And boy does he shine. I don’t think any of you need to be convinced at how great this man is at his job, but here he really shows you why he’s that face you never forget, but his name’s always a bit muddled in your mind. The man sinks into his roles flawlessly, and this film is no exception. Alongside him we get a fun cast including Joseph Feinnes (hamming it up in a role you’d never expect from him), Seu Jorge (Knockout Ned from City of God, and that dude who sings David Bowie songs in Portugese in The Life Aquatic), and Damian Lewis (Maj. Winters from Band of Brothers, playing a villianous soft-spoken role here). The film deals with a prison break, but one that’s more original than most such films in a long while. I’d actually consider putting it up there with Prison Break Greats. When you first walk in, you might think it to be a bit gimmicky and ultra-cool in it’s technique as it intercuts between the breakout itself with all the events that led to it. But as the film progresses, you’ll find it works as a fantastic character piece, little touching nuances coming in more often than not. By the surprisingly touching and powerful ending, one that most of you will never see coming, you’ll find yourself thoroughly impressed by a film that sadly no one’s really heard of. If any of you see this playing at a theater near by, make it your next film. Judging by the calibur of the films on show now, I think it’s a safe bet to say that this would be the best choice. Until Next Time Your Man from Across the Sea Tarek J.
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