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Laramie Movie Scope:
Nowhere to Run

Better than average martial arts flick

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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February 8, 1993 -- ``Nowhere to Run'' marks grunt-and-kick specialist Jean Claude Van Damme's successful entry into so-called mainstream motion pictures.

While the plot is pretty familiar, evil developer with foreign accent tries to muscle widow and kids off the farm and is saved by fisticuffs and well-aimed kicks, the acting and dialogue are way above average.

Most kung fu flicks are fairly low concept. Lots of fighting, lots of blood, bad acting, terrible dialogue, stupid plot and mouths that don't quite move in sync with the words. This one has good character development, a plot that does make sense and some of the bad guys aren't all bad. Van Damme plays a guy who breaks out of prison with the help of a buddy and hides out at the farm mentioned above.

He slowly becomes friends with the widow, played by Rosanna Arquette, and the two kids. He becomes their protector against the bad guys. Arquette's sheriff's deputy-on-the-take boyfriend confuses the whole issue. It's a little like the movie ``Shane.''

Arquette is very good in her role as the tough widow determined to keep her farm. Van Damme does a good job of portraying a man torn between self preservation and saving the woman he loves. The relationship between the two works well. The film goes pretty easy on the violence for an action film, but there are some gratuitous nude scenes thrown in for an ``R'' rating, along with the usual foul language.

All in all, it is a pretty good action film and it could be a breakthrough for Van Damme. It also should be a boost for Arquette, who has not been active for the past few years. It rates a B.

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)