Inescapable's Pre-Civil War Syria Seems Almost Quaint

Given the current state of affairs in Syria, it's hard not to look at Ruba Nadda's Inescapable as almost quaint, a period piece reminiscent of a time in that country's history before all-out war replaced getting "disappeared" by one of the government's half dozen secret police forces. It's the eve of the rebellion against Assad, and probably the furthest thing from Adib Abdel Kareem's (Alexander Siddig) mind is going back to the country he fled under mysterious circumstances 20 years before. Unfortunately, his daughter, Muna, has vanished on an unannounced trip to Damascus, wrenching Adib out of his Canadian idyll. Now he has to call up the ex-fiancée (Marisa Tomei) he hasn't talked to since the Clinton Administration and confront his past, all while trying to find Muna. Those expecting Taken 3: The DamascusProtocolwill be disappointed. Adib's espionage skills are a bit rusty, leaving him to rely extensively on Fatima (seriously, who runs out on Marisa Tomei?), former friend/colleague Sayid (Oded Fehr), and a Canadian consular official with a lousy poker face (Joshua Jackson). There's a lot going on here—love story, kidnapping mystery, political thriller—but Nadda never gets the ingredients to gel completely. Worse, Adib ends up relying as much on coincidence as his comrades—either that, or Damascus (played here by Johannesburg) is the smallest city of 1.7 million people ever. Inescapable isn't a terrible movie, but absent its ripped-from-the-headlines setting it's unremarkable.

 
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