Welcome to The Best Movie You Never Saw, a column devoted to examining movies that have gone unnoticed or gained traction over the years, earning a place as a cult classic or an underrated gem that was before its time and / or has aged. like a good wine
This week we will see NO WAY OUT!
THE HISTORY: A naval attaché (Kevin Costner) who works at the State Department has a steamy affair with the mistress (Sean Young) of the Secretary of State (Gene Hackman), but when the woman is killed, he finds himself being deceived. assassin and a Soviet mole.
PLAYERS: Starring: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young, and Will Patton. Directed by Roger Donaldson.
THE HISTORY: It took Kevin Costner a couple of years to make the A list, and while many say THE UNTOUCHABLES is what he did, NO WAY OUT also played a big role in establishing him as a star. Let me explain. In 1983 Costner was cast in THE BIG CHILL as the friend who commits suicide (that's his corpse dressed in the opening credits), but his scenes were dropped at eleven o'clock by writer and director Lawrence Kasdan. He felt bad, so when it came time to follow up, SILVERADO gave him a juicy supporting role, in addition to starring in FANDANGO by Kevin Reynolds and AMERICAN FLYERS by Kevin Reyham. All three films failed, although Mike Medavoy, the head of Orion Pictures, saw FANDANGO, who decided to build a film around him. That movie became NO WAY OUT.
"I decided to find him a movie after watching FANDANGO … My instinct was that Kevin Costner could take almost any reasonably budgeted movie, because it was cut from the clothes of a movie star." Memories of Mike Medavoy: "You are only as good as your next one"
Costner signed on to play Elliot Ness just before NO WAY OUT began filming, and despite receiving a second shot, THE UNTOUCHABLES came out first. Orion did not retreat to take advantage of the exaggeration of that film. While THE UNTOUCHABLES was a huge success, NO WAY OUT also did pretty well, earning $ 35 million at the box office, and with no big stars like Robert De Niro or Sean Connery supporting it. It was his first solo success and led Orion to choose him in BULL DURHAM, which consolidated him as a megastar.
BECAUSE IT'S GREAT: NO WAY OUT is another one of those movies that, while very successful when it first came out, is pretty dark today. People of my generation saw it because it was a perennial cable favorite, but like many movies of its time, it's not really talked about that thirty-three years later. That's a shame because it's a great example of the kind of high-budget and medium-budget thrillers they used to consistently produce during the 1980s and 1990s. Most of the great stars of the time constantly appeared in this type of movies, and this genre is one of the reasons why an actor like Gene Hackman never stopped working for twenty years, since he was always in such demand to play bad (or once). once heroes) in movies like this.
NO WAY OUT is a remake of a 1948 black movie called THE BIG CLOCK, although the two movies don't share much beyond the basic premise, that the hero is ordered to track down a murder suspect who is actually him. himself, while his The boss is the real killer. Other than that, NO WAY OUT feels more like a Tom Clancy movie, with Costner largely a Jack Ryan-style hero as the good naval officer boy.
Throughout its 100-minute runtime, NO WAY OUT does a good job of maintaining a sense of urgency, particularly in the second half, where the network begins to close in on him, and the end of the twist is an absolute killer. Hackman is sympathetic and disgusting as the villainous Secretary of State, while Will Patton is excellent as his loyal help. But aside from Costner, the one who appeared on the map through this movie is Sean Young, who, despite being alone in the movie for about half an hour, made a huge impression on the public as Hackman's mistress and the Costner's love interest. Their chemistry together was palpable and their love scene in the backseat of a limo was as chilling as … well, they both seemed quite interested. It's one of the best sex scenes of the time, albeit marred by cheesy '80s music.
BEST SCENE I would surely put the love scene here, but I don't want to offend anyone who reads this, which could be a bit more prudish, so here is a nifty chase that happens during the third act, and it's one of several action sequences organized by Roger Donaldson, who became a kind of mainstay in the genre.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIrtFMokyXI (/ embed)
LOOK AT IT: NO WAY OUT is available to stream for free on TubiTV, Pluto and VuduFree in the US. USA In Canada, you can stream it on Prime's MGM channel and it can be purchased on iTunes / Google Play in any region.
SHOOTING: While NO WAY OUT is definitely a product of its time, thanks mainly to the fact that it is unquestionably the Cold War, while the Maurice Jarre score was probably even dated back to 1987, it is a very funny movie for revisit and a good look at Costner's early days as the lead. It's a great little movie and their bad studs have given up on this as a genre.