| The script logic of No Escape capes
me. Why tell this story at all. This is an example of concept at its worst. Start out with
a maximum-security prison sometime in the future. Add a rebellious new inmate thats
so quick he can put a gun to the wardens head before you can count to six. Then
shift gears totally. Abandon the Science Fiction basis and dump your prisoner on an island
where former inmates are vying for survival. So they fight it out under the delighted eye
of the prison warden who can watch everything on video beamed through a very good spy
The best thing about No Escape is Stuart Wilson. He plays Walter Marek, the leader of The Outsiders. Wilson has a good time hamming it up, throwing one-liners better than spears and showing his teeth in a variety of situations. But hes just one of the villains. This is Ray Liottas show. Liotta is Robbins, a former Special Forces captain who can break out of most any prison and who has been thrown on this island of living hell, Absolom, because he couldnt be a model prisoner. Hell? Absolom doesnt seem so bad. The prison looked a lot worse. Theres even enough freedom so that a civil minority of the prisoners has established a nice little farming community. But Marek and The Outsiders are determined to break into The Insider community and destroy it. I am not sure why they want to, but hey its something to do on a Saturday night. The main questions here are: Will Dad, The Insider leader save the community? Will Robbins join the fight? Will Marek ever stop smiling? Whatever will become of the warden?
Liotta provides a
one-note performance, overuses the Liotta stare, and generally proves that No Escape
wont provide the leaping off point for an action movie career. Lance Henriksen gets
to make some sanctimonious speeches as The Father, leader of The Insiders and Kevin Dillon
plays a young prisoner who wants to be Robbins friend. Ironically, its
filmed very well by director Martin Campbell. The photography is slick. The music packs
punch. And it all moves pretty quickly, thank God. Maybe the producers hoped they could
develop a No Escape Theme Park. Just dump park visitors onto an island and let them fight
it out for food. Does it sound familiar?
„1998 Stuart J. Kobak , all rights reserved.