|Nowhere to Run/B,A-|
Columbia-Tristar/1993/94m/ANA,WS 1.85,PS 1.33
| An escaped prisoner wanders into a dispute
between a land developer and the remaining families still holding out against selling
their farms. The strong, silent guy makes friends with a little boy and is given shelter
by the family. When push comes to shove, the stranger protects the family and falls into
the arms of the widowed mother. The elements are classical western. Think Shane and
the homesteaders against the ranchers. Nowhere to Run may not have the same
pedigree as Shane, but it liberally helps itself to some of its magic. And
its not averse to adding a touch of The Great Escape as well. When it stays within
the bounds of simple confrontation, it plays best. The screenwriters cant resist
throwing some lame one-liners into play, but they are few and far between. Some of the
fights may be overstaged compared to Shane or its equivalent, but Shane was
made for audiences of a different time and the filmmakers here seem to want to give the
audience what it comes to expect from the typical action genre.
Damme is Sam, the taciturn former thief who sees his chance for redemption and a new life.
Taciturn cahracters limit the number of lines Van Damme has to deliver, emphasizing his
strong screen presence, and indeed, Van Damme seems more like a mortal in his fights in Nowhere
to Run. Kieran Culkin, the MacCauley sibling, is precocious as Mookie, who views Sam
as a father figure. You might want to check out Culkins current starring turn in The
Mighty, a very fine movie fantasy from director Peter Chelsom. Rossana Arquette does
good work as the lady of the house, and Ted Levine tires to act tough in the role of the
hired thug. Hes no Jack Palance, thats for sure, but he does creepy well as he
proved in Silence of the Lambs.