No Escape (1994)

Genres - Action, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Escape Film, Prison Film, Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 118 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Nick Sambides, Jr.

When you've committed horrible crimes, how do you live with yourself? How do you make amends? No Escape sticks these soul-wrenching questions in the center of a gooey, soft, sci-fi action treat. It's not a movie that aspires to greatness, which is probably a good thing: like the original Planet of the Apes, it exists to be marveled at by sci-fi buffs for its deep questions and giggled at by the rest of us. The film works best when its humor is engaged. Star Ray Liotta plays a berserk ex-soldier who harbors a dark secret: he murdered a superior officer to get a chance to tell the world about a My Lai-type massacre he led. He shares his secret with Father Lance Henriksen, who has another dark secret -- he killed his wife. The movie's real fun is in the action sequences, which prefigure the individualized combat of The 13th Warrior and The Patriot, and the performance of bad guy Stuart Wilson. With blazing sociopathic eyes and an engagingly chipper approach to megalomania, Wilson makes his every scene fun. "I want to apologize to you all," he explains brightly after decapitating an underling with a machete. "I've been under a great deal of stress lately. You see, I really, really want to be in charge." It's about time somebody wrote a villain who put it as plainly as that.