No Escape - Intense Racism

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No Escape - Intense Racism

No Escape has some thrills and is good at generating suspense, but it's also really racist.

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I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

inu-kun:
I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

Yeah, this was the kind of vibe I got from the trailers. Was kind of hoping they wouldn't make that mistake, but at least it was technically sound, I guess. :/

It's a real shame because it's not like this kind of thing can't be done without making all the locals into a substitute for a zombie hoard.

Heck there's actually a zombie movie that has the zombies revolt against a survivor city that actually manages to make you have sympathy for said zombies. So it shouldn't be too hard to do so with living people.

Hi! I'm an American, and I've been in an Asian country during a revolution. They tried to burn down the apartment building I was living in with my wife and child, and they tried breaking in. They did successfully make several very threatening phone calls intimating their desire to kill us and take our stuff.

Thanks to Soviet architecture, burning down the building only succeeded in knocking out the electricity and scorching the first floor stores (which we watched them loot). Also, every floor had a locked door and then a locked gate to get through, and they apparently couldn't figure those out (although they tried).

In short, mob mentalities during revolutions tend around rampant violence, blind tribal hatred, and alcohol. The author of this article probably doesn't know jack squat about how terrifying situations like this can be. Probably the closest he's been is watching it on CNN.

Isn't it fair to say that anyone acting under a mob mentality, regardless of race, are a bunch of savages? I haven't had the chance to watch the film, only a few glimpses of bits outside of the trailers, but what's racist about showing a large group of extremists attacking foreigners and not showing any humanity toward them? Would it still be racist toward the extremists if they were white groups "being portrayed as savages" toward foreigners that are partially contributing to their hard times?

When it comes down to it, you can't write off a film as racist for having the villains be a different race than the protagonists. Maybe once I give it a watch, I'll understand where the vitriol for the assuredly paper-thin plot comes from, but for now it just seems like undue controversy.

Oh, sure, Hollywood can't make a Hitman movie that feels like Hitman, but they can make a spot-on Far Cry film without even trying!

Gorrath:

inu-kun:
I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:

Gorrath:
[quote="inu-kun" post="6.881507.22207993"]I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

So in summation, everything is racist.

flashoverride:

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

So in summation, everything is racist.

Excellent summary. I make 3 very specific points explaining how one hypothetical example would be racist. Therefore, everything is racist. That is some penetrating analysis right there.

Jesus, the filmmakers could have made the mobs all white, and people would have complained that there was no representation of other skin colors.

In short, some peeps gotta complain about anything or they're not happy.

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:

inu-kun:
I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

I don't think they would have to actually be ISIS; you could have a group that's meant to represent ISIS as a metaphor and it would not be racist. The movie itself does not need to play the, "But not all Arabs/Muslims," card in order to avoid the racist label. If the movie deals with a specific group that's doing these things and the crimes of the group are attributed to that group, that should be sufficient to indicate the, "But not all Arabs/Muslims," without having to talk to the audience like they are eight year olds. The audience should be able to draw the distinction between actions by a specific group and attribution of those actions to an enormous populace, some of whom belong to said specific group.

The same argument basically applies to you next two points as well. Following a group of tourists being chased by ISIS and not spending a great deal of time expanding on anyone else isn't racist by default. The narrative is about these specific people being chased by this specific group for these specific reasons. None of that becomes racist because the narrative didn't also dip deeply enough into local politics or other examples of brutality against other people native to the area.

One need not go into actual ISIS dogma to the Nth degree in order to show why murdering American tourists is bad. People are aware enough of ISIS and its exploits that having them as an antagonist in a film could certainly work, or better yet, using a fake group meant to represent ISIS and its ilk.

All of that said, spending the time on each of the things you mention would probably make a better movie than a movie that does not since all of those things are likely to make the film deeper and more interesting but lacking those elements does not automatically make a film racist.

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:

inu-kun:
I think the film makers wanted to use ISIS originally but because having muslims be terrorists is "racist" they used asian country No. 43 instead.

Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

How would it be racist? It's the story of a single family and can be related by people watching (americans), the family can't really know why everything is happening and won't really care. It's not a completely unrealistic situation and the fact we can't do that movie because racism shows how horribly self-censoring society we became.

I don't know how to take this. All this culture war shit going on has seriously numbed the effect of calling things racist. On one hand I've read a few of this author's articles and he doesn't seem like the type to rant on it... but on the other hand it seems like everyone could be blowing it out or proportion. Correct me if I'm wrong but the storyline is based on being on the receiving end of racism, local ethnicity vs the 'other' Americans, and trying to survive it. A dangerous premise given the charged environment currently.

I guess the question is did they do it on purpose: Were they going for an 'othering' effect on purpose and screw it up? Did they intentionally ignoring the other side to highten the tension caused by the unknown? Or was it a white guy writing a story for other white guys because that's all he knows?

Personally I'm of the opinion that a relatable villain makes for a better movie. Sounds like a scene or two to show how desperate the locals were and why they resorted to mob rule would have cleared this up and made for a more intense ride. Maybe I'll watch it on Netflix when it comes out.

NinjaDeathSlap:

flashoverride:

NinjaDeathSlap:

They would, however, actually have to BE ISIS, and not just 'Generic Arabic horde that we're going to call 'ISIS' because they're the ones everyone's paying attention to now'. If it was still exactly the same movie, just with the slitty eyes swapped for black headscarves and the ISIS label name-dropped in the dialogue a couple of times, then it would still be racist. It would be racist for making no distinction between ISIS and the melting pot of different ethnic groups being brutalised by and/or fighting against ISIS. It would be racist for caring not a jot about those people in favour of the US tourists (who would be visiting a country ravaged by ISIS for... some reason). It would even be racist for not bothering to explain what the beliefs and mission of ISIS actually is, and why THAT is bad, preferring instead the implicit suggestion that 'they're bad because they're Arabs and they're toting Kalashnikovs'

So in summation, everything is racist.

Excellent summary. I make 3 very specific points explaining how one hypothetical example would be racist. Therefore, everything is racist. That is some penetrating analysis right there.

Eh, you made one valid point - the first one. ISIS isn't a racial, ethnic, or tribal group; there are members of many varying groups (Arab, Turk, Persian, Southeast Asian, Central Asian, etc). To paint them all as Arabs would be factually incorrect. I disagree that it would be racist, unless it was imputed that all Arabs are members of ISIS or that all members of ISIS are Arab, but a case could be made.

Your other two points are nonsensical. In a US-made movie about US nationals intended for a US audience, how would it be racist in any way, shape, or form to primarily focus on the US persons? That's stupid. US persons aren't comprised of a single race. Also, it's not racist to not fully develop the back story, ideological beliefs, and core mission statement of the antagonists in a film. Might be good storytelling to do so, but it's not racist to skip it.

A holy trinity of disappointment here.

1. It isn't a film about exploring and overcoming racist communities, the likes of This is England or American History X.

2. Oops, they went full resident evil 5 on us.

3. That picture is not of Steve Irwin, as I first suspected, but of Owen Wilson. What a disappointment.

Gorrath:
snip

I guess I didn't mean to imply that you couldn't make an stand-in for ISIS (or Boko Haram, Al Shabbab, Al Qaeda etc). However, whether your going for an explicit depiction or not, you have to show that you have a grasp on what your dealing with. I don't think anyone was really expecting this particular film to be an insightful examination of any global conflict, but it is as Marter said, if your only ambition is to put a bunch of readily 'identifiable' (I really, really don't want to get started on how much THAT argument reeks to me, so I'm just leaving it alone) characters up against the Endless Vaguely-Defined Horde of General Threat, then that's what we have zombies for. Even if they are overplayed, just making a zombie movie sans the zombies won't make it any less generic; and if you're going to make a movie in this day and age that paints vast swathes of a foreign culture as filled with blood-frenzy, then you should recognise that you're dealing with human beings, and that they need at least some semblance of a human identity. That's not to say that they have to be necessarily sympathetic (although it wouldn't hurt to have a few more of those), but they do need to have a dimension at least. Bonus points if you can get at least two people with the same colour skin to express as much as two separate opinions at some point in a 90+ minute run-time.

I'm not asking much. I don't go into a B-list, late-summer Pierce Brosnan vehicle expecting a seminar on international relations. However, if we can make films featuring Nazi's where the bad guys are recognisably individual and possessing human reasoning, then nobody has an excuse any more not to do the bare minimum.

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:
snip

I guess I didn't mean to imply that you couldn't make an stand-in for ISIS (or Boko Haram, Al Shabbab, Al Qaeda etc). However, whether your going for an explicit depiction or not, you have to show that you have a grasp on what your dealing with. I don't think anyone was really expecting this particular film to be an insightful examination of any global conflict, but it is as Marter said, if your only ambition is to put a bunch of readily 'identifiable' (I really, really don't want to get started on how much THAT argument reeks to me, so I'm just leaving it alone) characters up against the Endless Vaguely-Defined Horde of General Threat, then that's what we have zombies for. Even if they are overplayed, just making a zombie movie sans the zombies won't make it any less generic; and if you're going to make a movie in this day and age that paints vast swathes of a foreign culture as filled with blood-frenzy, then you should recognise that you're dealing with human beings, and that they need at least some semblance of a human identity. That's not to say that they have to be necessarily sympathetic (although it wouldn't hurt to have a few more of those), but they do need to have a dimension at least. Bonus points if you can get at least two people with the same colour skin to express as much as two separate opinions at some point in a 90+ minute run-time.

I'm not asking much. I don't go into a B-list, late-summer Pierce Brosnan vehicle expecting a seminar on international relations. However, if we can make films featuring Nazi's where the bad guys are recognisably individual and possessing human reasoning, then nobody has an excuse any more not to do the bare minimum.

All of what you say here I think I can agree with 100%. I feel the difference between this film and the proposed film is that this film only vaguely defines the antagonists which leads to painting the whole culture or group of people the same way, which does have racist connotations. Using a specific group ameliorates that issue by defining the antagonists. It's like the difference between making a movie where the antagonists appear to all just be blood-thirsty Germans murdering every non-white person in sight and making a movie about Nazis doing the same thing. Even if the film doesn't take to the to explain who the Nazi's are, what the core beliefs are or that not all Germans are Nazis, you won't necessarily end up with a racist film. People understand to some degree who the Nazis are and why murdering anyone and everyone who isn't a Nazi is bad, even if the film takes no time to explain these things. The same could be said of a film that does this with ISIS or some ISIS stand-in. Hope that clarifies my point a bit and thanks for hopping into this with me; it feels productive.

Imp Emissary:
Yeah, this was the kind of vibe I got from the trailers. Was kind of hoping they wouldn't make that mistake, but at least it was technically sound, I guess. :/

It's a real shame because it's not like this kind of thing can't be done without making all the locals into a substitute for a zombie hoard.

Heck there's actually a zombie movie that has the zombies revolt against a survivor city that actually manages to make you have sympathy for said zombies. So it shouldn't be too hard to do so with living people.

I know right?! That movie was amazing, if only for the fact that it made me, ME, empathize with the undead. That opening scene of the village of zombies being attacked by the "barbarian horde" (ie: the survivors), made me actually feel bad for them. So yeah, I was actually rooting for the zombies in that movie. And, this might not seem like much, but I don't like the undead. I've always hated them in stories. Any kind of undead thing just annoys and bothers me. I hate zombies, I fucking despise vampires, especially our pop culture sexification of them. Basically, any time someone tries to make them into some kind of sympathetic hero character, I have zero interest.

Now using them as antagonists, no problem. I LOVE them as badguys, they make great ones. Hell one of my favorite villains is the Dracula in Van Helsing. He was so gloriously chewing every scene he was in. It was great!

But that Land of the Living Dead movie, I was totally rooting for the zombies. Which says something about the directors ability, that he made ME of all people, feel bad for walking corpses! xD

Oh, yeah, No Escape, sounds like a bad movie, glad I had no interest in seeing it.

Someone smarter than me had this to say about it: Even the title is wrong. The American tourists have an escape, as long as they get to an airport or embassy they can fly out of the country. The people who have no escape are the locals, whom the movie conspicuously avoids showing - the best they can hope for is to evacuate the country and leave every material thing they own, assuming a neighbouring country will permit asylum.

I read a cracked article taking the piss out of the trailer for its racism. The comments section to is almost entirely made up of people bitching and moaning about how cracked has gone too far into SJW territory, whilst apparently unaware that every other critic is also calling this film racist.

Seriously, my first thought when I first saw a trailer for that movie was "Wait, did they make a Dead Island movie?" and my wife's first thought was "That looks like it could be really racist."

In retrospect, they should have made it a Dead Island movie.

Happyninja42:

Imp Emissary:
Yeah, this was the kind of vibe I got from the trailers. Was kind of hoping they wouldn't make that mistake, but at least it was technically sound, I guess. :/

It's a real shame because it's not like this kind of thing can't be done without making all the locals into a substitute for a zombie hoard.

Heck there's actually a zombie movie that has the zombies revolt against a survivor city that actually manages to make you have sympathy for said zombies. So it shouldn't be too hard to do so with living people.

I know right?! That movie was amazing, if only for the fact that it made me, ME, empathize with the undead. That opening scene of the village of zombies being attacked by the "barbarian horde" (ie: the survivors), made me actually feel bad for them. So yeah, I was actually rooting for the zombies in that movie. And, this might not seem like much, but I don't like the undead. I've always hated them in stories. Any kind of undead thing just annoys and bothers me. I hate zombies, I fucking despise vampires, especially our pop culture sexification of them. Basically, any time someone tries to make them into some kind of sympathetic hero character, I have zero interest.

Now using them as antagonists, no problem. I LOVE them as badguys, they make great ones. Hell one of my favorite villains is the Dracula in Van Helsing. He was so gloriously chewing every scene he was in. It was great!

But that Land of the Living Dead movie, I was totally rooting for the zombies. Which says something about the directors ability, that he made ME of all people, feel bad for walking corpses! xD

Oh, yeah, No Escape, sounds like a bad movie, glad I had no interest in seeing it.

That's the name! :D
Thanks. I couldn't remember what it was called, and searching for it gave me just a bunch of other zombie movies with similar words in the title.

I'm not that fond of undead myself, or horror movies for that matter. However, there are a few I like. Ones that are more about psychological horror instead of lots of gore tossed at the camera, (one recent example would be "The Babadook"), or ones where you get to cheer on the monsters (at least a little bit).

By that I mean cheer them on because the story shows them as sympathetic, not because you don't care about the "main characters" and just want them all to die.
That's why I like "The Dark Man" so much.

Gorrath:
snip

It was, thank you. I know that the 'r' word is a provocative one, and will always provoke a two-sided reaction. I suppose it depends on where you draw the line (if at all) between 'racist' and 'racially insensitive'.

Regardless, I think we can all agree that this is a bad movie that didn't try hard enough at anything it set out to achieve, beyond perhaps the cinematography.

People seem to be focusing a lot on the "racist" aspect of the review, like that's all he said about it.
He said it was a very competently put together, very tense thriller, there's just a lot about it that's kinda gross.
And, honestly, that's the vibe I got from the trailers.

Like, just from the advertisements, they framed this (rather conspicuously) unnamed asian country in the same way that Friday The 13th would frame Camp Crystal Lake.
And the zombie comparisons are apt, because shots of the hordes of scary foreigners descending on our scared white heroes are staged almost exactly like the countless zombie horde shots we've seen time and again.

Now, I don't think any of this was intentional, but it doesn't make it any less unfortunate.
And the review didn't seem to indicate that the film was malicious or hateful, just really tone deaf. Which, again, yeah... really kinda seemed to be.

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:
snip

It was, thank you. I know that the 'r' word is a provocative one, and will always provoke a two-sided reaction. I suppose it depends on where you draw the line (if at all) between 'racist' and 'racially insensitive'.

Regardless, I think we can all agree that this is a bad movie that didn't try hard enough at anything it set out to achieve, beyond perhaps the cinematography.

Oh no doubt about that. From reading the review, I'd quite agree this movie is total shite. Good tense action sequences do not a good movie make. It's all the worse really that such good sequences are wasted on such an appallingly tone deaf movie that's not trying hard enough at not being racist. I'm sure it's probably not intentional but I even got that vibe from the trailers. Watching them made me roll my eyes at first and then make a face that probably resembled the look one might get after being presented with a bowl full of dog droppings and rotten eggs.

I love how the Facebook comments are somehow even MORE hostile than usual.

Hell, even THESE comments. Wow.

You'd think that people didn't understand that some people are bothered by things that don't bother you. Hell, maybe you people don't. That would explain why Gamergate is still a thing.

(For the record, I'd be totally bothered. Having little to no explanation why the Asians are rebelling would definitely trigger every BS alarm I have, because I've actually been down there, in the slums and well out of the way of the tour zones, and a more generally white-friendly and pleasant race is not to be found.)

KungFuJazzHands:
Jesus, the filmmakers could have made the mobs all white, and people would have complained that there was no representation of other skin colors.

In short, some peeps gotta complain about anything or they're not happy.

Including people who get upset at people who get upset, no doubt.

I haven't seen the film, so I can't really know for certain how apt the description is. But I have to make two observations.

1. If someone(s) tried to kill my wife and/or child, I doubt I would feel anything close to trauma about killing them until well after the adrenaline wore off.

2. Racism is, indeed, gross. But unless the film's protagonists are personally responsible for the suffering that leads to the coup, implying that they even slightly deserve to be brutally murdered by a mob is also pretty gross.

Gorrath:
Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

How do you make someone look ISIS? they look like just normal poor middle eastern citizens.

P-89 Scorpion:

Gorrath:
Which is quite an unfortunate and, frankly, stupid decision. If they thought portraying ISIS as bad guys was racist, they'd be wrong; ISIS really are "bad" people. This sounds far more racist than if you used an actual group who does actual horrible things to the Americans (and anyone not on their side.)

How do you make someone look ISIS? they look like just normal poor middle eastern citizens.

The same way you make someone look Nazi? Or Hydra, if you're doing a stand-in. Iconography, quite simply and you need not merely rely on looks; dialogue can convey group membership as well.

NinjaDeathSlap:
/

Gorrath:
/

I love the discussion you are having. I think the biggest problem and the point you missing about the biggest problem of the movie can be summarized pretty much as....

......They just didn't care.

they could've built the motivation of the rebels but...

......They just didn't care.

they could've shown the lives of Native people suffering in those countries but...

......They just didn't care.

they could've built a realistic depiction and back story of the country but...

......They just didn't care.

What they cared about was making a dumb suspense movie for the average American bloke, with well-known actors(who a lot times are white) and shit it for mass appeal. Because doing what you guys or I mentioned above would take too much damn work for Hollywood blockbuster. I don't think they meant to be racist but they so did not give a shit that they accidentally made something uncomfortable.

so in short...

They just didn't care.

tf2godz:

NinjaDeathSlap:
/

Gorrath:
/

I love the discussion you are having. I think the biggest problem and the point you missing about the biggest problem of the movie can be summarized pretty much as....

......They just didn't care.

they could've built the motivation of the rebels but...

......They just didn't care.

they could've shown the lives of Native people suffering in those countries but...

......They just didn't care.

they could've built a realistic depiction and back story of the country but...

......They just didn't care.

What they cared about was making a dumb suspense movie for the average American bloke, with well-known actors(who a lot times are white) and shit it for mass appeal. Because doing what you guys or I mentioned above would take too much damn work for Hollywood blockbuster. I don't think they meant to be racist but they so did not give a shit that they accidentally made something uncomfortable.

so in short...

They just didn't care.

Well sure, that much is self-evident. What's interesting is why they didn't care. We can speculate on how this movie could have been made better, more interesting and in doing so been less tone deaf but none of that is commentary on why the movie is what it is, what decisions led up to its shitty narrative or why the people working the movie didn't care about the message the narrative was creating, intentional or not.

If we want to wade into that, I'm game! I'd suggest the main culprit being marketing, in that the execs probably felt that if you want to sell an American action movie to Americans, you need to tone down the political aspects, focus on the action/suspense and, of course, make the main characters white. None of that suggests that any racism read from the narrative is intentional or that the execs didn't care about the movie appearing racist, it merely suggests that the considerations I mentioned naturally led to the movie becoming what it became.

There are good reasons to make those decisions as well. Action/thriller movies are not often made better by spending time on superfluous exposition; it's often enough to say, "Here's the obvious good guy/family, here's the dangerous thing they are running from, boom!" A bunch of exposition on how and why this or that real or fictional American company screwed over this or that real or fictional Asian country isn't going to help the audience get onto the edge of their seat. But out with this exposition goes the framing for the antagonists that's needed to keep it from coming off as, "Attack of the mindless Asian horde!"

Even the Deus Ex Machina of the film serves exactly this purpose, of keeping things moving even if it makes no sense and is bereft of depth. It makes sense in an action/thriller to keep things moving but the execution of the Deus Ex Machina comes off as just as shallow and bone-headed from a creative standpoint as the unintentional mindless Asian horde antagonist.

So while I do think you're right, that they didn't care, the reasons they didn't care are certainly worth examining and understanding. They didn't care about exposition, possibly for good reason. They didn't care about the Deus Ex machina making sense, probably for good reason. But while they may have had good reasons for not caring about those things, the gaping holes left behind ruin the movie.

That's my rambling stream of thought on that anyway,

Hmm i gotta admit judging by the trailer posted here I'm not really feeling the whole racist vibe. I'm half tempted to see it if only to see if it really is as racist as everyone one around the internet is claiming, or if its just another case of Resident Evil 5 "racism".

Also, one interesting detail, according to Wikipedia in one of the trailers they show the Khmer Rouge symbol flipped upside down, implying this could be taking place in Cambodia. Though some people claim its Thailand do to the way the written language appears.

Edit: Okay chances are it is Cambodia since the unnamed country supposedly borders Vietnam, though I guess it could be Laos as far as geography is concerned.

I think anyone saying this film is "racist" is incredibly ignorant, that article was absolutely terrible, (as was the Cracked article) I saw the film and enjoyed the hell out of it and never once got a "racist" vibe from it, I think people really are grossly overreacting.

None of the critics that reviewed this said a single thing about it being "racist", this review pretty much echoes my thoughts on the film:
http://www.reelviews.net/reelviews/no-escape

Honestly I think people just look way too hard for racism in every single thing.

Gorrath:

NinjaDeathSlap:

Gorrath:
snip

It was, thank you. I know that the 'r' word is a provocative one, and will always provoke a two-sided reaction. I suppose it depends on where you draw the line (if at all) between 'racist' and 'racially insensitive'.

Regardless, I think we can all agree that this is a bad movie that didn't try hard enough at anything it set out to achieve, beyond perhaps the cinematography.

Oh no doubt about that. From reading the review, I'd quite agree this movie is total shite. Good tense action sequences do not a good movie make. It's all the worse really that such good sequences are wasted on such an appallingly tone deaf movie that's not trying hard enough at not being racist. I'm sure it's probably not intentional but I even got that vibe from the trailers. Watching them made me roll my eyes at first and then make a face that probably resembled the look one might get after being presented with a bowl full of dog droppings and rotten eggs.

Yes good action scenes DO make a good movie, and no it is not "tone deaf" or "racist" in the least. I'd recommend you actually SEE the damn film BEFORE passing judgement on it, trailers can often be very misleading, and I can tell you the trailers don't really tell you the whole story.

maninahat:
Someone smarter than me had this to say about it: Even the title is wrong. The American tourists have an escape, as long as they get to an airport or embassy they can fly out of the country. The people who have no escape are the locals, whom the movie conspicuously avoids showing - the best they can hope for is to evacuate the country and leave every material thing they own, assuming a neighbouring country will permit asylum.

I read a cracked article taking the piss out of the trailer for its racism. The comments section to is almost entirely made up of people bitching and moaning about how cracked has gone too far into SJW territory, whilst apparently unaware that every other critic is also calling this film racist.

Well the title was originally "The Coup", but that got changed.

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