6 Reasons There's No Escape From Hollywood Racism
No Escape From Hollywood Racism had to shorten its name to fit in a hashtag. But No Escape could have just used #FFFFFF, the perfect RGB color code for this movie and also an acronym for the words spoken by anyone watching this bullshit.
F this bullshit as often as HTML will allow.
Extrapolating from the trailer (which is what trailers are for), No Escape is the heroic struggle of a white man to defend his white woman and white girls from filthy foreigners. Every single one of them, apparently. When they printed the script for No Escape, the pages got whiter. If No Escape's mentality was any more ancient it would have been a better movie, because the white family sailing off the edge of the world would have run into "Here, There Be Dragons" and found some potatoes.
Foreigners Are Zombies
The entire movie is set in a foreign, non-Caucasian country, and the "Every Word Spoken By A Person Of Color" cut of both trailers can be summed up with this jpg:
You will note that there is no image, just some white.
The foreigners don't speak; they horde, charging in mobs to murder any poor innocent white person they meet, rampaging through hotels apparently drawn to the scent of poor defenseless white women. Which is the entire second act of trailer. No Escape makes it clear that foreigners are a new type of fast zombie that can't even say "brains."
It's like Resident Evil 5 (the game about a white guy going to Africa to shoot everyone), except at least that had one black person on the player's side while the white hero mowed down the local population. No Escape imports another white guy to be the local expert. Pierce Brosnan plays the part of the trusted adviser, because in No Escape people are like fantasy dragons -- color-coded by good or evil.
Connery was a better dragon.
Zombies have a better motivation than these people. At least zombies are hungry. The "foreigners as mindless hordes" theme is so thoroughly installed that the first trailer's big scary final reveal is that the foreigners know how to use tools. I wish I was joking. The white people cheer to see a helicopter approach, and the big slow-motion Inception-noise scare is that it's not a white person inside.
"They're adapting! To our American tactic of violent suppression from the air!"
Terminators have been rendered more sympathetically. You get the impression that the movie only hired foreigners at all because they're cheaper than buying enough boot polish for white extras.
All Asian Countries Look The Same
Owen arrives in a foreign country, Pierce cries, "Welcome to Asia!" and that really is as accurate as they can get. We're never sure exactly which darn part of Asia we're in, but they definitely want to kill women and children. That, uh, that really is the entire trailer. Christopher Columbus was a better navigator than that. At least he tried to identify his destination. Asia is a third of the Earth's land mass, and two-thirds of its human population, but Hollywood's binary definition of the world is American or Not-American, and the Not-American is definitely the zero. All Asian countries look the same anyway, right?
No Escape's writers imagine meeting Premier Li Keqiang.
I understand not wanting to claim a real country had turned caucacidal (especially when you're filming another good reason for them to do so), but the great thing about fiction is that you can make things up. Create an imaginary country instead of implying that all the real ones are savage murderers mere minutes from anarchy. Upper New Asingland. There. Done. All the wonderful implications of thoughtless colonization and exploitation of entire nations -- although in the past that was usually for resources, not movie plots -- and just a touch of foreign implication. Bonus: This name is such an imperialistic suggestion of just going and slapping a few stupid English words over an entire foreign culture it could double as a back-up script for No Escape.
Couldn't they have picked some of the awesome stupid cliches?
Even the "friendly introduction" scenes at the start of the trailer are scared shitless of foreigners. These scriptwriters boil their hands after using a remote to change away from foreign-language movies. Street scenes in Asialand get the same brooding background music normally heard as sexy teens sneak into the abandoned zombie-virus laboratory. Owen stumbles around the baffling and foreign mysteries you could see in any city's Chinatown. Apparently that plane that took him around the world also carried him a few centuries back in time. The foreboding music escalates to fiveboding, maybe even sixboding, when a vendor brutally beheads a fish with a cleaver.
"AVENGE ME!" (Translated from fish, which is more translation than anything else in the trailers gets.)
Not like in the USA, where fish presumably have the vote and use sheer can-do attitude and free market economy to turn themselves into processed fish fingers for consumption. Which is actually more accurate a model of American capitalism than I intended.
The Suffering Of White Tourists
The murderous self-destruction of an entire country undergoing civil war presents a bit of a hassle for visiting Americans. And that really is the only angle presented. It's not like there could be any local innocents threatened by the violence. We all know foreigners revolt by a sort of crude lemming instinct, a species-wide urge that admits to no free will or individuality. The only languages in the world are American English and Violent Borg.
"PHEAP THN KU KMEAN BRAYOCH!"
In even the worst disaster movie you usually have a local dog, but I'd be terrified of what this writer thinks happens to dogs in Asiatlantis. The only downside of this country's utter destruction is ruining Owen Wilson's trip. You can almost see him prissily thumbing in his Yelp Review: "The Entirety of Asia: Locals can't even speak English, and they murder everyone who can for no reason. Also, no Starbucks. Zero stars."
Owen Wilson realizing he can't pay with Bitcoin.
Revolutions certainly aren't violent horrors that the majority try to survive. No, in Mysterious Asialand, they've got their squiggled moon-calendars marked clearly: First-day wish you were American, other-day publicly execute a fish, too-many-calendar-overflow-ERROR GRAB MACHETES AND PISTOLS AND RAMPAGE TREATING AMERICANS LIKE FISH.
Only White People Care About Children
Children naturally evoke our sympathy, so it's a good thing foreigners don't make many. Apparently. In an unbelievable equivalence that would make the writers of No Escape very happy in a generation or two, a single American family can apparently equal the breeding output of the entire Asian continent. Except all the Asian kids disappear after a single early appearance each. Maybe they combine to form one of the rampaging mob in a large trenchcoat.
"Bye, enjoy the movie, you're REALLY not going to like reality's future demographics!"
Apparently, foreigners usually reproduce by sporing or by mitosing into more murderous mobs. The American kids are more sought after here than they are in Children Of Men. They're blonde Holy Grails filled with precious U.S. blood, with every character utterly devoting their lives to getting them one way or another. The clear implication is that if you have a kid you're allowed to kill anyone you want, and that girl-children are the most precious, in possibly the purest expression of the tribal-caveperson id ever committed to film. Their fate soars above that of an entire country.
We didn't slow that down for dramatic effect; "the visage of the white child"
is dramatically slowed in the movie.
Foreigners Kill For No Reason
The destruction of an entire country is one of the most violent upheavals we can conceive of in the modern world. And absolutely no reason is given. No reason is even suggested. It seems that catching fire and killing everyone is just something foreign countries do, like salmon swimming up waterfalls or the hibernation of bears. It's presented as such a natural fact of a mysterious species that you half expect to hear a voiceover from David Attenborough describing it.
"And here we see the majestic hordes of foreigners running wild across their hunting grounds."
Modern movies give more explanation for why the zombies are eating people than this. They have an entire scene explaining the curse, or the T-virus, and another explaining the remaining urge to feed. But foreigners? Apparently they're a species of bull whose red flags got bleached in the wash. Even the movie's title is color-coded.
WHITE GOOD. OTHER COLOR BAD.
This utter obliviousness is embodied in the star, Owen Whiteguy. The entire country apparently goes from "idyllic holiday" to "insane bloodbath" during a single trip to the shops. He didn't suspect a thing. Foreign nations are just drunken tightrope walkers constantly one step from screaming while clutching broken sticks. True, Owen seems so utterly immune to learning from his environment that he'd queue to view the corpse at a wake and then loudly complain that his cappuccino order was taking too long, but this is insane. Though Owen's utter obliviousness could just be method acting. Because he read this script and thought, "Yep, no problem there; I'll put my face on that for global release."
TWO WHITE GUYS in SOME DAMN FOREIGN COUNTRY OR OTHER
There's no reason given in the trailer, but there's plenty of possible implications. Countries don't normally rise up to slaughter the ghostfaces because foreigners have been particularly nice to the locals. It's usually the result of a few centuries of dehumanization and exploitation. And No Escape apparently decided to get one last payoff out of it.
Foreigners Are A Natural Disaster
The studio attempted to fix the problems of racism by releasing a second trailer. But their releasing trailers is what caused all the problems in the first place, and this didn't help. They "fixed" the racism by removing almost all the non-white people. Which a moment's thought would reveal as the most racist possible solution. Now non-Caucasians exist only as hordes, shown in the same way trailers usually show approaching tidal waves or volcanic flows, while Owen Whiteman and family run around an otherwise deserted country yelling and screaming in response to random objects and moving vehicles. At least in the previous trailer the foreigners were zombies. Now they're an outright natural disaster: a vast force you can't even look in the face but which causes immediate pain and must be escaped.
The San Andreas movie showed more of the antagonist, and that was a tectonic fault. Maybe because it was an American tectonic fault. The second No Escape trailer is cut so perfectly around the edges of white skin that we even see Owen beating up a foreigner without ever seeing the foreigner. Just a famous white man using cunning media techniques to act like a justified victim while beating down at someone unseen, forever.
"Which direction am I meant to punch again?"
Thanks to Saladin Ahmed for the tip. If you like non-Americans who can not only speak in complete sentences but use them to incant fireballs against unliving ghouls in the midst of desperate swordfights, check out his book, Throne Of The Crescent Moon.
For more media education, enjoy 5 Shockingly Racist Scenes In Famous Superhero Comics and 8 Racist Ads You Won't Believe Are From The Last Few Years.
Clearly Hollywood possesses the tact of a drunk baby boomer when it comes to making movie trailers. Good thing they make up for it with misdirection and lies. See how in The 6 Most Hilariously Misleading Movie Trailers and learn how movie posters are even worse in 15 Grossly Misleading Movie Posters.
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