No Way Out is a superior example of the genre, a film in which a simple situation grows more and more complex until it turns into a nightmare not only for the hero but also for everyone associated with him. At the same time, it respects the audience's intelligence, gives us a great deal of information, trusts us to put it together and makes the intellectual analysis of the situation one of the movie's great pleasures.
No Way Out (1987) offers the cinema-goer a new sort of villain: worse than Russian spies disguised as American Naval Heroes, worse than prostitutes, worse than ex-assassins from shadowy black ops death squads. He is the Evil, Well-Groomed Scheming **** in the corridors of the Pentagon, secretly in love with ungrateful Gene Hackman. The beating heart of the defense establishment where the computer is supplied by Radio Shack. An armed, unblinking **** so heinous he would shoot a man in a wheelchair in a rectilinear gymnasium supposedly within a pentagonal building. When he blows his wig off, we can neatly load up every crime ever committed and pin it on him!
No Way Out is one of those movies that'll get you in suspence. The theme song from No Way Out is pretty good also, and yeah, years ago I love this film since I watched it and the chase scenes are a lot of fun and the twist in the end really messes the audiences up. Other than that this is one of the favorite films of all time and Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman are good in it.
Gripping...A very convincing nightmare, and if Hackman gives too rounded a performance to approach the omniscient evil of Laughton's original, Patton assumes the mantle as Brice's henchman, while Costner confirms his arrival as a star. Clearly, they can remake 'em like that any more.
Timeliness aside, it's an electrifying and erotic film-noir thriller in
the Hitchcock tradition - James Stewart could have been cast as Tom
Farrell - right up to the final five minutes, which feature a surprise
ending that is a shock primarily because it makes little logical sense;
surprise endings should click satisfyingly into place once the shock has
worn off, but this one stirs up questions that refuse to settle. [14 Aug 1987]
The action is tight and suspenseful, and the plot culminates in the most astounding last-minute switch of the decade. Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman shine as the main characters, and Will Patton leads a solid supporting cast.
The preposterous plot is riddled with holes, and Patton, as the psychotic homosexual aide, badly overplays his hand. Nonetheless, Australian-born director Roger Donaldson does a bangup job tightening the suspense screws inside the Pentagon. Costner, much more vibrant than he was allowed to be in "The Untouchables," brings great dash and conviction to material that probably doesn't deserve it, and Hackman finds pockets of humanity in his badguy role. The result is taut, stylish and, for those willing to suspend about three tons of disbelief, a good deal of fun. [24 Aug 1987, p.60]
Indeed, viewers who arrive at the movie five minutes late and leave five minutes early will avoid the setup and payoff for the preposterous twist that spoils this lively, intelligent remake of 1948's The Big Clock.
One of the strangest movies I've seen in recent memory, and for many reasons. Firstly, it happens to be one of the rare filmic occurrences where a second act can tower largely over its bookending acts in terms of quality. "No Way Out's" central conceit -- once it finally gets going -- is a perfectly engrossing game of cat and mouse, featuring a valued use of dramatic irony and some terrific plotting. Acts one and three, however, are far from perfect, with the former falling into the realm of humdrum 80's cheese and the latter implementing a mindbogglingly unnecessary twist that honestly leaves more questions than answers. Throw in one of the most distractingly dated scores I've ever heard and you've got yourself quite the experience. Was it an experience that I regret? Not at all. But its flaws are just too flagrant to ignore.