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NO WAY OUT

   

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: This Kevin Costner thriller has long been on DVD but this new release from Shout! Factory marks its Blu-ray debut. This is a film that I felt was overcooked but it has remained popular, so here you go, fans. This is my Aug. 14, 1987, Deseret News review.

“No Way Out” is a remake of “The Big Clock,” with the setting changed from a newspaper to the Pentagon. This is a complex thriller about an innocent man caught in the middle of a murder investigation, desperately trying to prevent himself from being linked to the murder victim.

The film opens with Naval officer Kevin Costner undergoing interrogation, then the bulk of the movie is a lengthy flashback.

We see Costner at a high-society Washington ball being introduced to the Secretary of Defense (Gene Hackman) by Hackman’s slimy aide (Will Patton). Hackman rudely ignores Costner, so Costner settles for exchanging glances with beautiful Sean Young. They leave the party, get into a limo and, as a song cranks up for music-video effect, immediately make love. (Promiscuity is apparently still “in” in D.C.)

Their affair is interrupted when Costner goes back to sea duty. But at sea, during a storm, Costner performs a heroic act that catches the attention of Hackman, and soon Costner is back in Washington, working for Hackman and Patton.

  

Gene Hackman, left, Sean Young, Kevin Costner, 'No Way Out'

The plot thickens when Costner continues seeing Young and discovers she is also Hackman’s mistress. If that isn’t complicated enough, Hackman is involved in a killing and Patton comes up with a convoluted scheme to keep Hackman’s name out of the scandal by inventing a killer, a Soviet spy named Uri. Costner, meanwhile, is assigned to head up the investigation.

“No Way Out” is wild-eyed and preposterous, but that would be acceptable on its own “entertainment” terms if it were to build slowly and get us so involved with the characters and plot machinations that we could suspend disbelief.

But from the beginning plausibility is thrown out the window so that what builds is one ludicrous situation upon another. About halfway through the screening I found myself laughing where I shouldn’t have been laughing.

  

Too many specific complaints here would give away some of the film’s many surprises, but perhaps the silliest aspects take place in the Pentagon when officials decide to search the building. Someone protests that the Pentagon is the largest building in the world, so it is decided that the search should be room by room. Right. In addition, a witness doesn’t notice that the person he saw was wearing a white Naval uniform, which would considerably narrow down the list of suspects in the Pentagon.

There is also a twist ending that is supposed to be justification for everything that has gone before, and though it does fill in a few plot holes, for me it just seemed like one more cheat in a movie that had already gone way too far.

“No Way Out” boasts some good performances and a high level of energy but its overflow of convoluted, idiotic twists and turns just blows it out of the water.

It is rated R for violence, gore, sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity.