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The escapist

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

They took his family, now he must take revenge.

The victim of a vicious break in which results in the murder of his pregnant wife, Denis Hopkins (Jonny Lee Miller) turns his back on what is left of a perfect lifestyle. He reinvents himself as a hardened criminal and infiltrates the prison system to pursue his one obsession: to kill Ricky Barnes (Andy Serkis), the man that murdered his wife.

Persons of interest

  • Jonny Lee Miller .... Denis Hopkins
  • Andy Serkis .... Ricky Barnes
  • Gary Lewis .... Ron
  • Jodhi May .... Christine
  • Paloma Baeza .... Valerie
  • Vas Blackwood .... Vin
  • Phil Barantini .... Joey
  • Gillies MacKinnon .... Director
  • Nick Perry .... Screenwriter

Cinematic intelligence sources

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Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

This is The fugitive, in reverse. Instead of running away from the police, making one lucky escape after another, Denis runs toward them, giving them one lucky capture after another. That has its own sense of drama but it doesn't give the same visceral excitement of killing everyone you meet (as with Mel Gibson in Payback). Perhaps that also says something about the difference between UK filmmaking and USA filmmaking; not the the Brits can't fill the screen with blood (Lock, stock and two smoking barrels proves that) but it's usually a last resort whereas Hollywood just wades straight in.

Which is a round about way of saying that The escapist is a little dull, not only because it's English but because it's about someone working to get themselves in a place to take revenge rather than the taking itself. Of course, the revenge is taken: some things will never change; but the film is very tea and toast: an easy way to pass the afternoon.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Special features:
    • Biographies: Cast and crew
  • Languages: English

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence)

Surveillance time

88 minutes (1:28 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 26 March 2003
VHS rental: 26 March 2003

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