No Way Out is a perfectly ’80s neo-noir thriller

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Roger Donaldson (“Cocktail”, “Species”, “The Recruit”) directed this sexy, engaging and expertly paced thriller, which establishes itself as one of the best neo-noir of the 1980s. It’s a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, immediately falls into the right groove, clearly establishes the central relationship and dramatic stakes involved, and wonderfully increases the action and suspense as the walls slowly tighten around its protagonist.

Costner looks great in Farrell. This is one of those instances where an actor’s actual age improves his performance: he’s 32 here, still young enough to read like a hotshot on screen, but just old enough to represent in a way. credible the type of ambitious go-getter who wants to be handpicked by a powerful government official. This is arguably Costner’s best time as a performer, long before he settled into the type of grizzled mentor who defined the later stages of his career. This movie is sandwiched in the middle of its series of “The Untouchables”, “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams”, and in terms of quality, “No Way Out” can compete with all of that.

As the film’s femme fatale, Sean Young brings surprising depth to a relatively understated role. But she’s more than the typical icy, emotionally distant sexpot that often populates movies like this: she adds real warmth to her character, and her chemistry with Costner is undeniable. (Note: It’s absolutely crazy to realize that the two of them had only been professionally acting onscreen for about seven years when this movie was released.)

Hackman isn’t in the movie as much as I would prefer, but he’s reliable and excellent as the Secretary of Defense, an imposing and ruthless presence who tries to use Farrell’s impeccable image to gain an advantage against his political rivals. Brice’s right-hand man, fiercely loyal and accomplice Scott Pritchard, is played by Will Patton (“Remember the Titans”), and Patton brings an air of quiet threat to the proceedings as he does whatever is necessary. to protect his boss – even murder.

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