Home Video Hovel: No Way Out, by David Bax
Maybe the most striking thing about revisiting Roger Donaldson’s No Way Out (available on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory) is how rarely we get movies like this anymore. Smart but trashy, fun but sexy; studios just don’t give us big ticket, big star movies like this. There’s no more adult popcorn.
When the secretary of defense (Gene Hackman) kills his mistress (Sean Young), he and his lackeys concoct a cover-up, sending Naval officer Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) on a wild goose chase to track down the fictional Soviet spy who allegedly committed the crime. Tom, who knew the murdered woman all too well, starts to find out more than he’s meant to.
Costner’s Tom and Young’s Susan had an affair that is fleshed out (in more ways than one) in flashbacks. Even if it weren’t a great movie in its own right, No Way Out would at least stand as a testament to the electrically charged sexiness of Young and a reminder that Costner’s late-career onscreen quietness was not always the norm for him. The two of them seem to power the movie with their own chemistry.
Despite the presence of some kinetic scenes, the film is less defined by its action and more by its tense atmosphere. Foot chases are somehow less dynamic than the ones where Tom stares at computer readouts, coming closer to the truth with each line of data. No Way Out may be known for its killer ending but it’s lively and potent throughout.
The transfer was clearly sourced from a healthy source but it appears to have been overly tinkered with, losing some of the grain and texture.
Special features include an audio commentary by Donaldson.