|Index||9 reviews in total|
For all the countless cheap thrillers to come out of the 1980s (and
I've probably seen a few too many myself), this film has some things
that make it stand out. First of all, good acting. Amy Madigan is
convincing, engaging, and doesn't embarrass herself. She's the main
reason this film works. Second, the direction. Mario Azzopardi made a
career out of B-movies, but he doesn't go too over the top. There's
certain lapses in logic, but the staging of the scenes and overall
structure really brings you in. Finally, the plot. For an action film,
"Nowhere to Hide" is neither particularly overblown nor utterly
non-plausible. Despite later events that feel a bit untrue, the set-up
is believable. And that's what matters. I also enjoyed Vic Sarin's
cinematography, full of deep, warm tones.
It's the breathing space that matters in this film. The quiet scenes in a hotel room, or the long build-up centering around the Daniel Hugh Kelly character. Michael Ironside adds a certain touch to the third act the grounds the story in a way few action flicks are even concerned with. It's not as if "Nowhere to Run" is a masterpiece, but I think it qualifies for a much better position than it holds. It's almost unseen, and by those who've seen it, mostly forgotten. With countless action films of less than a tenth of this quality being constantly churned out, you could do worse than a film as compelling as this one.
In this exciting action thriller, an artistic widow fights to stay alive after her husband, a Marine who had discovered that the military was well aware that it was placing defective parts in its helicopters, is mysteriously murdered. Believing that the widow, a metal sculptress, has the damning evidence, the killers take off after her and her little son. None of them realizes that she too was a Marine and is more than capable of defending herself. The film is also known as Fatal Chase. -- Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide
I not only have seen this movie, I have seen it numerous times and I
think I'm going to have a heart attack or something even though I know
what's going to happen. I think the other reviewer -- "anonymous from
california" -- is jealous. The fact that a woman is the focus of this
only enhances the thrills. Anyone who thinks stuff like this doesn't
in the U.S. Defense Dept. is a moron. I have been collecting newspaper
clippings about military helicopter crashes ever since I saw this movie
I file them with the video and I have 11 separate clippings now and I
probably missed a few along the way. Military helicopters crash all the
time killing their crews -- that's what makes this movie so damned
compelling. I watch it and it seems like it's over almost before it began
-- it's so fast-moving. And the cast is outstanding -- including the
natural performance by the unaffected kid, which is a rarity in itself.
Madigan should have had an Oscar for this but it wasn't one of the
megabucks formula flicks, so of course she was overlooked. This is a
perfect movie -- it will cause the hair on your arms to stand on end. It
makes you want to jump up on the TV screen and do something. It moves so
fast your heart will race. I recommend this to anyone who likes a
completely realistic, well-made, outstandingly acted and directed action
movie unlike any you have ever seen before or likely will see again. This
movie deserves all the praise it received and more and should be on
everyone's "must see" list. It is pure escapism of the highest order.
Oh, and guess what? You can watch it with your kids or anybody else because this movie doesn't depend on artificial "shock" factors to grab your attention. All of the the thrills are authentic and there are few, if any, f-words, no nudity, and no gratuitous sex. Run, don't walk, to the video store. And for God's sake, watch it if it comes on Cable -- that's where I saw it first and taped it. If I hadn't, I'd be sick about it because I love watching it. It's as satisfying as a movie could be.
(In Hollywood, if you can't write or lack imagination, throw in a few f-words for the juveniles and your fortune is made.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Amy Madigan is one of my all-time favorite unsung actresses: She's
pretty in a modest, corn-fed sort of way, has one of those dry,
throaty, worn-out alto voices which I personally find to be very
sultry, and her often short, faded blonde hair ain't nothing to sneeze
about, either. Furthermore, Amy also possesses a forceful, dynamic,
wholly arresting screen presence, a goodly amount of fortitude, and has
flair to spare. In short, Amy's my kind of girl, a gutsy, brassy and
even sexy little spitfire who rarely (if ever) is given the full credit
and attention she deserves.
Fortunately, this bang-up action thriller features the terrific Ms. Madigan in peak plucky'n'punchy form as Barbara Cutter, the tough, but tender wife of marine helicopter pilot Rob (winningly played by Daniel Hugh Kelly). Rob discovers that faulty helicopter parts have caused two fatal chopper "accidents." Rob gets rubbed out by a pair of deadly thugs (one is nicely essayed by great, prolific, underrated fat guy character actor Maury Chaykin) who are in the employ of a ruthless, penny-pinching, cornering-cutting evil general (a perfectly detestable John Colicos; Balter on "Battlestar Galactica") who in turn is in cahoots with a bunch of illegal black market whirlybird thieves. Barbara and her son Johnny (a surprisingly strong and tolerable turn by child actor Robin MacEachern), the latter of whom has some incriminating evidence of the below-par helicopters hidden in his toy robot (!), survive the hit and hightail it into the woods, seeking refuge and protection from Rob's reclusive, tight-lipped Vietnam veteran survivalist buddy Ben (the always outstanding Michael Ironside).
This surprisingly involving and exciting action thriller pip benefits substantially from Mario Azzopardi's proficient and energetic direction, a constant snappy pace, exceptionally stirring and well-staged action sequences (Barbara's climactic showdown with Colicos is especially rousing), top-notch acting from a sound cast, and a zesty, hard-driving score by the tireless Brad ("Just Before Dawn," "Fright Night") Fiedel. However, the glorious Amy Madigan clearly dominates -- scratch that, completely owns -- this film: Her gritty, explosive and thoroughly sympathetic portrayal of a courageous, take-charge, no-nonsense action heroine really hits the socko spot and makes this movie worth seeing for her superlative performance alone.
Let's start with the kid. He is really unnecessary to the plot, what little there is. I mean it seems his only purpose was to hang onto a piece of evidence, which just as easily could have been found by Amy Madigan, thus sparing the audience this kid in a catatonic state throughout the film. I could also do without the General being involved, since his motivation is never explained. Why not just have a big nasty corporation cheating on the quality of their helicopters? I also could do without the numerous ridiculous moments, such as changing a tire in the middle of a car chase, simply so it could continue. What I wouldn't do without is Michael Ironside, since he is by far the best thing I noticed in "Nowhere to Run". - MERK
This movie is listed as a noir by John Grant. The story is indeed noir
in that it involves a defense business making defective helicopters
that has corrupted a general (John Colicos). When Amy Madigan's husband
(Daniel Hugh Kelly), a Marine and an engineer, discovers the defective
part, the conspiracy swings into action killing him and sending Madigan
fleeing with her son, Robin MacEachern. As intelligent and capable as
she is, responding to those after her by using her wits and skills,
they keep coming.
Although the story slows down periodically to bring out the human side, the tension remains in every such sequence. This film is strongly oriented toward action. The stunts, pacing, camera work and staging of the action scenes are top-tier. They kept me glued to the set. When Madigan teams up with recluse Michael Ironside, a former pal of her husband, a new dimension to her battle begins. His scene with the near shell-shocked boy (MacEachern) is a real human touch.
There are two widely differing opinions expressed in the IMDb reviews so far. I'm way on the plus side of the ledger. The stunt work alone is riveting, and there are no computer-generated effects.
This isn't "Rambo: First Blood" (1982) which I regard very highly, but it can be kept beside it on the shelf and enjoyed more frequently than one might think.
Somebody wrote in a comment on this film, that it offers real suspense ("a real heart-thumper"). I didn't experience anything like that. The plot is so full of wrong clichés it almost hurts. The film really managed to lose it's believability right from the start. A married couple doing war games in an official marine training where everybody acts like in kindergarten and finally being "shot" while kissing each other - come on. The acting of the main characters is also awkward. though one must admit for their defense that they couldn't have done much better with such a script. Please don't let your kids watch this film, like recommended elsewhere. It's full of unnecessary scenes of brutal violence. I watched this film on TV (luckily i didn't pay for it) and it did a good job in bringing me to sleep. The only thrill I had was the hope the flick would get better to the end (where do the 5/10 stars come from?). Well, it didn't...
I read a few different reviews praising this movie as the thinking-persons action movie with a strong female hero. It did have a strong woman in the leading role, but it also had atrociously bad writing and a believability factor of zero. Stick to Ripley or even Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight to see women kicking butt with the best of them.
My one line summary of compelling was done tongue in cheek. The only compelling aspect of this movie was waiting for it to get better! Which it doesn't. Unfortunately this movie set low standards, then failed to achieve them. The concept is poor, the acting poor, the directing poor. Watch it at your peril.
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