Christian films can only sometimes maintain a strong foundation with a surprising amount of depth to the characters, and writing to envy. Why is this so rare? Because Christian filmmakers have no idea how to write a movie, and I’m not only talking about a Hollywood movie, I am talking about any movie whatsoever, including Christian films. If a movie does good, consider it a winning lottery number, because it is a gamble to write these films. “Escape” had its interesting elements, but was it enough?
Two doctors, both alike in dignity, in fair Phuket, Thailand, where we lay our scene. These doctors are somewhat Christians, but they recently lost a baby and are angry at God. Now let’s pause and reflect about how infinitely complex their character are. Oh, that’s right… that is how deep the rabbit hole goes on this one folks. This is the foundation for the entire film. Why? Because Christian movies do this all the time, they don’t think character development is important, they just need an idea to work with. Well guess what, your movie is 90 minutes long…in order to fill that space right, you need more than that. Anyway, I am getting too far ahead of myself, allow me to continue.
Paul Jordan (C. Thomas Howell), is approached by a young boy that tells him his mother is ill and needs his assistance. So off Dr. Jordan flees to aid this poor child’s mother when he is captured by a group of…pirates or something. These pirates have a brother who was shot in the leg three days prior and was bleeding to death. So they put this doctor into captivity and force him to help the dying brother. In captivity, he meets Grimli, err, Malcolm (John Rys-Davies), whose purpose for being captured is unrealistic and stupid, speaks to Dr. Jordan about the figurative cage God sets for us; because that is clearly what would happen in real life.
I am not going to lie, the movie was bad, but it is pretty awesome to see Grimli in any role. The guy is just fun to look at and listen to. However, let’s investigate his role here. These pirates…hijack his boat because it looks pretty, and only because it looks pretty, and just as they are about to kill him for seeing his face, he begs them, and from the goodness of these pirates…they let him live. Seems legit. So he is this highly religious guy that descends to the most hated role of any and all Christian films for those of you that actually appreciate film. He acts like this life or death situation is nothing and preaches God.
I get it, okay, I do. Being the voice among reason, showing the darkest corners of our life that can still be shown the light of God if asked, but when you’re watching it’s just so…bad! It was honestly just the execution, as it often is. We have terrible acting, an unbelievable story, a throwaway plot (we’ll get to that in a second), and it is just SO melodramatic. Words cannot describe how melodramatic these films are. You would be astounded.
So how do I define a throwaway plot? Easy, they used Phuket, Thailand. What else came out in 2012 from this film company? Obviously, a huge majority of you just won’t know, so I’ll tell you. “The Encounter: Paradise Lost”. Not only did they say “This isn’t paradise”, but “The Encounter 2” was also filmed in the same city. It is obvious that they just wanted to film something else there at the same time so that they had more material to release. Excuse me, but what about that doesn’t sound rushed? Second of all, it just sounds like you grabbed the camera and said, well.. *enter city of Thailand here*, let’s just film something.
Alright, this is more of a slight problem for me, but it made me say “come on” annoyingly. Let’s see, this man’s wife watches her husband run to the aid of this boy’s mother. 8 hours later, she already has a batch of printed off LOST posters with her husband’s face on it, looking for some kind of answer as to where he went. Wow, we already know this woman is the paranoid-type.
I saw other things in the movie like trying to be a rip-off of ABC’s “LOST” and a copy off of several other films where the doctor is forced to operate on someone under the power of a gun, but because everything else was terrible, no one cares. There is no character development; there is no reason why we should care. Nope, this is just made to make Christians happy and not to be seen by non-Christians, because it will not reach them without soul.