Escape is a fast and lean Norwegian actioner from director Roar Uthaug (Cold Prey). The Medieval adventure stars Isabel Christine Andreasen as Signe, the last surviving member of a family who is taken captive by Dagmar (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and her band of ne’er-do-wells. Signe escapes along with Dagmar’s adoptive daughter, and the pair must fight for survival as they attempt to make it across the bleak wilderness tracked by the maternal hunter.
I’ve made my stance on movies under 90 minutes before, but Escape moves like an arrow, barely stopping as it tracks from set-piece to set-piece. The slick action makes up for the slight plot which comes across as a female First Blood as Christine Andreasen’s Signe grows to become more like the fearless killers tracking her. The Norwegian scenery is the main star here, but the cast also rise to the challenge of making their slight characters resonate.
Uthaug knows how to build tension and stage an action sequence – it’s amazing that Hollywood hasn’t come knocking yet. There’s plenty of blood and gore, but it’s not gratuitous, keeping in with the hard and savage times that the movie depicts.
It’s not going to change the course of cinema, but Escape will make you aware that there’s more to the action genre than giant robots and Hollywood dollars.
A few deleted scenes give a bit more back story to the characters, while the major draw here is the impressive (but brief) special effects breakdown.