NO ESCAPE is a non-stop action flick in the Steven Seagal genre.
You get to witness lots and lots of people dying many different
horrible deaths in front of your very eyes. Especially popular are
impalements, but decapitations are also quite the rage. Actually, I
like some of these extreme action movies, but only if there is a fast
paced story behind it all as in DIE HARD or UNDER SIEGE and only if you
can care about the people. NO ESCAPE had neither of these attributes.
NO ESCAPE is set in the year 2022 in an island prison run by an
evil big business. Can you imagine a Hollywood movie where a big
business was not evil? Oh well, I digress. There are the bad
prisoners, called the outsiders, and the good prisoners, called the
insiders, on the island. Ray Liotta, making an attempt at a good guy
for a change, is one of the insiders and hence gets to kill dozens and
dozens of outsiders in various horrible ways. The chief of the
outsiders is played by Stuart Wilson, and he is given dialog where he
utters one joke after another. The jokes manage rarely to be funny
however. The script by Michael Gaylin, Joel Gross, and Richard Herley
was full of nonsense laced with failed attempts at humor.
The major failing of the movie is that of the director,Martin
Campbell, and the script writers. They have made characters that you
do not care if they live or die. The movie consists of one battle
after another with many chases through the forest. Maybe if they had
edited it down to 30 minutes, it would have worked as a "Twilight Zone"
episode, but 1 hour and 58 minutes was way too long. It was done by
the same producer as ALIENS 3 which was a huge turkey after two great
ALIENS episodes before #3. ALIENS 3 also happens in an ugly prison in
the future that looks like the past.
The sets here were cute if a bit ridiculous. Prisons in 2022 it
turns out will look a lot like 13th century China complete with
costumes for warriors of that era.
My biggest disappointment was with Ray Liotta. He played one of
the scariest ex-cons ever in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild and has
been excellent in many other shows since, e. g. , GOODFELLAS and
UNLAWFUL ENTRY. In this movie, he is, well, boring. His performance
was that of ROBOCOP but without ROBOCOP's humor.
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes