Escape and Evasion opens with us meeting Seth (Josh McConville), a special forces soldier, succumbing to post traumatic stress disorder after a mission goes sour in Myanmar. His inability to seek help has caused a rift with wife Sarah (Natalie Rees), who wants to take their daughter Lizzy (Jessi Robertson) as far away from him as possible.
He regards his relationship with Lizzy highly, however his inner turmoil pushes Seth closer and closer to the edge. He is further thwarted by the arrival of journalist Rebecca, sister of one of Seth’s comrades, who presses to know what happened to him. She digs deeper for the truth – seemingly ignorant to the signs of Seth’s fragile mental state.
Told in flashback, we learn little by little of the events of the mission and what happens to his crew – Josh (Hugh Sheridan), Welshy (Firass Dirani) and Stretch (Juwan Sykes). The battle scenes are tense and brilliantly filmed and choreographed. These are interwoven through Seth’s current reality of trying to blend back into society. However at one stage, visions of his dead comrades sends him into a screaming mess in front of Lizzy and fellow patrons at a restaurant. With this, McConville delivers an emotionally-charged performance.
However, the film lags with the love interest of journalist Rebecca. It navigates for a time through clunky dialogue as the relationship between the two develop. Fortunately, it’s relegated to the first half of the film and the action elevates the second half of the story.
Locals will recognise Gold Coast as the setting of Seth’s home turf. The golden sands and high rise apartments seem a jarring contrast compared to Seth’s dark, damp trailer and the jungle battlegrounds of the Myanmar in Seth’s head. But seeing the home-grown talent and familiar places on screen is great for the industry.
Escape and Evasion is screening now at the New Farm Five Star and the following Queensland cinemas:
Ingham – Thurs to Sun only
For openings in other states, check your local guides for details.
About Escape and Evasion
Written and directed by Storm Ashwood
Stars Josh McConville, Bonnie Sveen, Hugh Sheridan, Firass Dirani