Tony’s Movie Review: “We Are Your Friends” and “No Escape”

Photo Courtesy: Gephardt Daily

August 28, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — Only two films are worth mentioning this weekend as “High School Musical’s” Zac Efron takes us into the world of dance music and Owen Wilson and Lake Bell are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“We Are Your Friends”
Starring: Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski
Directed by Max Joseph
Warner Bros. Pictures / Rated R

WAYF Poster
Photo Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures

In “We Are Your Friends,” Zac Efron is up and coming DJ Cole Carter attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune. But he’s caught between a forbidden romance and the rigors of his career.

“We Are Your Friends” is two movies. A kind of bro-buddy picture and a look behind the incredible effort it takes to be a working DJ.

Zac Efron is still a bit unsure of himself as a leading man. He always seems a bit reserved and holding back. Even in his romantic scenes with the beautiful Emily Ratajkowski the feeling is very reserved.

On the other hand the film is about ‘EDM’ (Electronic Dance Music) and it does a great job (when being authentic) in conveying the struggles that go on in this medium.

But then the film strays from it’s authenticity to get back to the drama and love story and fails to hold the audience.

All in all the film itself just doesn’t know what it wants to be… and neither does the audience.

“We Are Your Friends” gets a C- and is rated R.

“No Escape”
Starring: Owen Wilson and Lake Bell
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
The Weinstein Company / Rated R

Photo Courtesy: TWC

“No Escape” stars Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan in a political thriller about a family who moves overseas to find themselves caught in the middle of a bloody coup.

They frantically look for a safe escape from being executed.

This is a white knuckle ride from beginning to end. It is a violent film with a claustrophobic sense to it as the more they run the more closed in you feel.

Owen Wilson, whom we think of as mostly a comedic actor, puts in a formidable performance as a man using every ounce of his being to keep his family safe. It is, in my mind, one of Wilson’s best performances.

Lake Bell, again an actress most known for comedy, is equally frantic as Wilson’s on screen wife. The two had the right amount of chemistry and understood the film’s pacing. Bell shows off some terrific acting chops as she is the perfect counterpart to Wilson.

“No Escape” is a well-crafted thriller and will hold your attention throughout the film.

It gets a B and is rated R.

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