Escape and Evasion (2019) – Film Review

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Director: Storm Ashwood
Cast: Josh McConville, Bonnie Sveen and Hugh Sheridan

Certificate: 18

by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow

After his men are killed in Burma, a lone soldier returns home in search of solace. Hiding a dark secret and confronted by an unrelenting journalist, he’s forced to face the ghosts of his past. That’s the premise of this generic “war is hell” drama which is reminiscent of so many better offerings.

The hero (Josh McConville) looks like Phil Collins in his younger, bearded days, and there’s a soap-style quality to some of the scenes as our troubled protagonist ties to avoid killing himself.

However, it begins well with a rousing score (take a bow Michael Lira); great photography at magic hour (kudos to Wade Muller), and a helicopter shot like the opening of Predator.

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“Lack of acting baggage”

There’s an interesting love scene when the obligatory PTSD flashbacks and a very muddy bed get in the way of the romance, and moments of grimness as our captured hero and his mate have to endure all manner of nastiness at the hands of their captors. So yes, a bit like The Deer Hunter.

I doubt it needed 15 producers, which may be the problem; too many cooks throwing in their opinion waters down the best of screenplays, but the casting is also wrong. Josh McConville is good, but he’s not leading man material.

So it’s not a masterpiece, but hardcore genre fans may enjoy it, and the lack of acting baggage helps sell the premise. Expect little and it may be your cuppa, but only if you’ve never seen First Blood, The Deer Hunter, Predator, Lethal Weapon and many similar offerings.

Escape And Evasion is on Digital Download now and on DVD from October 5

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