Bullet Points: No Escape
There are two different movies titled “No Escape” that I know of. There is the 2015 No Escape starring Lake Bell, Owen Wilson, and Pierce Brosnan. I have never seen this version but it’s been on my list since it came out. The film we’ll be talking about today is the 1994 picture titled No Escape, starring Ray Liotta, Stuart Wilson, and Lance Henriksen. It’s a movie that I’ve seen dozens of times and I would number it among my favorites of all time. The fact that it’s not as widely known as many others from that era makes me like it even more. I guess, for all you readers out there, you’ll want to check it out after reading about just how amazing it truly is.
Synopsis: A soldier who is convicted of murdering his commanding officer is sent to a penal colony where the inhabitants have split off into two different groups; one is a small group of peaceful men attempting to lead a civilized life. The other group is a cannibalistic, warlike group who is constantly trying to take over the village of the peaceful men.
- Hello Future: Much like pretty much every movie ever made about a futuristic world, this one sucks. Well, I can’t say that it is as bad as Escape from New York or Mad Max, but there are definitely issues. For instance, Ray Liotta’s character assassinates his commanding officer after he executes an order to kill hundreds of innocent civilians. Take into account that the American prison system has been privatized and essentially run like a business and you can safely assume that this future isn’t the best.
- Life imitating Art: What can only be considered a weird and sort of funny coincidence, one that I’ve never noticed before in all of my viewings, is when the warden for the prison is talking about Robbins’ (Liotta) crimes he mentions that he committed them in Benghazi, Libya. Considering this was all to have taken place in 2011, I wonder if the Hillary and Obama covered this up?!?
- First Impressions: The very first meeting between Robbins and Marek (Stuart Wilson) is absolutely amazing. Like all the prisoners, Robbins is dropped by helicopter onto the island and is almost immediately hunted down by some savage looking dudes who you can tell are pretty excited about the idea of eating his dead body. Marek, one of the most charismatic and polite of all the cannibal gang leaders, has a great conversation with Robbins that ends with him essentially stealing Marek’s rocket-launching gun and escaping out of the camp. I know the film is called “No Escape” so maybe they should have put a disclaimer in there somewhere. Or how about calling it Escape*?
- Stunt Hard: The most memorable stunt from the film followed the chase of Robbins by the bad guys leading to a massive waterfall. Of course Robbins gets show with a tranquilizer and falls into the water below. It’s hard to watch the stunt and not have your butthole puckered. That’s the sign of a good stunt, folks.
- Baseball: The great Kevin O’Connor has a supporting role in the civilized encampment as the guy who acquires things for the others. At one point, as he tries to sell Robbins some trash that had washed up onshore, he asks “Are you a ball player? You look like a ballplayer.” It’s almost as if he knew that Ray Liotta had played Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1989’s Field of Dreams.
- The Attack: The Outsiders plan a big attack on Lance Henriksen and his crew during their Christmas party. The scene is a really great attack scene. It reminds me so much of a battle scene from a movie that takes place in medieval times and I think that’s what they were going for. You see guys wielding swords and smoking fools with crossbows. The Outsiders use some cool stuff to knock the towers down and get over the walls as well. My only problem with the attack is that they do it during the party instead of the middle of the night when they were all asleep.
- Get Me Out of Here: From the moment that the good guys from the camp save Robbins from the cannibal crew, he is pretty much plotting his escape. He must not have known that the title of the film was “No Escape”. Maybe he thought that if he could do it once, he could do it again. What we do know is that Lance Henriksen and his boys were working on ways to sail off of the island without being spotted and turned to ash by the warden’s helicopters. In order to get a V8 engine (that they somehow magically have in their village) running Robbins sneaks back into the camp led by Marek and steals a part that will get the speedboat zooming around the sea. It gives us another opportunity to see Stuart Wilson’s genius at work and it also gives us a chance to see the always annoying Kevin Dillon bleeding till he dies.
I don’t have much time but here are a couple more of those Bullet Points that you kids love.
- There are no female characters in this movie. A total sausage fest.
- No Escape was directed by veteran awesome guy Martin Campbell. The same Campbell who did the Zorro and a few of the good Bond movies.
- This movie has so many good supporting actors that I didn’t even mention that Ernie Hudson was in it! What an idiot I am! Ernie Hudson is the man and he never lets us down.
The Verdict: No Escape is an absolutely amazing action movie. Ray Liotta only smiles four times in the entire film! You would have thought that Liotta would have made a bunch of other flicks following this one but I don’t really remember him lighting up the screen in any other action roles. The 1990’s had a whole bunch of great action movies, hell, it had a whole bunch of great action stars. The biggest problem with the 90’s is that it never had the superstars that we saw in the 70’s and 80’s. Arnie and Sly have never stopped making action movies but other than maybe Wesley Snipes, I can’t think of too many full-on action stars that originated in the 90’s. If you haven’t seen No Escape then strap yourself in for a good lead, a great villain, and an amazing supporting cast. Stuart Wilson deserves all the awards in all of the shows. The End.