No Way Out (1987)

<strong class="MovieTitle">No Way Out</strong> (1987)

(In French, On Cable TV, December 2018) I saw the very end of No Way Out two decades ago, and you would be forgiven for thinking that remembering only the final revelatory scene of a thriller would have been a problem in seeing it again. But there’s a lot more to a movie that its narrative conclusion, and I was remarkably pleased to find out that it’s a solid thriller from start to finish, and that what could have been a twist is half-telegraphed much earlier in the film—and that much of the film’s dramatic tension works equally well knowing about it. As a man investigating himself, Kevin Costner gets a great occasion to play off his stoic persona, and director Roger Donaldson cranks up the tension through a few remarkable scenes. The labyrinthine complexities of 1980s official Washington, D.C. can be fascinating at times, including the limited computing capabilities that fuel one of the film’s best sequences set deep within the Pentagon. There’s even a dash of (much parodied) eroticism to make things even spicier, as if Soviet spying, underhanded government secrets, plotting between organizations and a ticking-clock plot weren’t enough. It doesn’t really matter if the plotting is outlandish, or if the characters are well beyond unbelievable—sometimes, a thriller works because it’s ludicrous and this is one such case. I had a surprisingly good time watching No Way Out, and it still works largely because it doesn’t even attempt to be realistic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *