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Laramie Movie Scope: No Escape

Post-apocalyptic popcorn movie

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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May 2, 1994 -- The preview for ``No Escape'' looks like one of those standard apocalyptic chase-through-the-dreary-future type thrillers. You know, junk like ``Cyborg,'' ``Gymkata'' and ``Escape 2000,'' but it is better than those.

This film is more like ``Escape From New York'' in a more primitive setting. It is about a convict sent to a prison from which there can be no escape. Whoops, I gave away the whole film.

The anti-hero, Robbins, convincingly played by Ray Liotta, must face impossible obstacles in his quest to flee the primitive island prison where he is sent. It is a place where the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. He must fight his way through killers and traps and natural barriers.

The action is convincing enough and there are some interesting characters, but we really have seen all of this before. My only question is, what is Ray Liotta doing in this movie? He's usually found in far more interesting movies such as ``GoodFellas'' and ``Article 99.''

It is hard to understand why Liotta would stoop to such an undemanding role, more suited to the likes of Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Seagal.

``Father,'' played by Lance Henriksen (he played the cyborg in ``Aliens'') is one of those interesting characters. He has managed to set up a semi-civilized area on the prison island. Henriksen is a pretty good actor. It would be nice to see him in a better film in a role he could really sink his teeth into. Speaking of teeth, he once played a vampire in ``Near Dark.''

Another actor who turns in a good performance is Ernie Hudson as Hawkins, chief of security for the civilized islanders. Hudson doesn't get many film opportunities. He is best known as the black Ghostbuster in ``Ghostbusters.''

The film is directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Gale Anne Hurd. Hurd has produced some great action films, such as ``Aliens'' and ``The Abyss.'' This film certainly benefits from her influence. It delivers no surprises, but the suspense and the action are maintained well enough keep you from thinking about the no-brain plot. It is, as they say, a good popcorn movie. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)