NO WAY OUT (1987) 

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Kevin Costner
Gene Hackman
Sean Young
Will Patton
Howard Duff
George Dzundza
Jason Bernard
Fred Thompson

Roger Donaldson



Time: 114 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Political Thriller/Romance

SYNOPSIS: A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

BOTTOM LINE: Costner sizzles in this sexy and suspenseful political thriller. His first role after THE UNTOUCHABLES gives him the chance to really strut his stuff as a leading man with intelligence, passion and depth. In this complicated tale, he plays a Navy officer charged by his boss, a powerful senator (played perfectly by Hackman), to find the man responsible for the death of his mistress (Young). This creates several problems for our hero: 1) He was also having an affair with Young; 2) He knows who killed her; and 3) the Russian spy being blamed for her death is him. While the spy story is concocted by the Senator's right-hand man (Patton) in order to get the government involved in the search, Costner, while not a spy, IS the other man. As everyone pulls out all the stops to "find" him, he desperately tries to place the blame squarely where it belongs – at the senator's doorstep. Don't worry, I haven't really given anything away. This cat and mouse game is far too convoluted to go into here.

What makes this work so well is Costner's multi-faceted performance as an innocent man who's lost the woman of his dreams and is determined to bring her killer to justice regardless of the consequences. We are led to believe that he's an honorable man, but nobody's perfect and he does whatever it takes to clear his name. He is truly entrancing, especially as the noose gets tighter and tighter. Hackman really delivers as the jealous senator who goes along with the charade in order to save his own reputation. Patton also gets a nod for his turn as one of the most loyal political aide's to ever grace the screen. The lengths he goes to to protect the senator border on the insane and eventually exact an extremely final price. Young is good enough as the woman they both must have, but her part requires little more of her than looking good. Once the film is over, her death doesn't really seem worth all the trauma and bloodshed that follows, but I guess the filmmakers' needed something to trigger all the intrigue. NO WAY OUT certainly wasn't one of the best films of the 80s, but if you like thrillers, you won't be disappointed. Without a doubt, one of Costner's best performances and the reason he became such a big star.

"You have no idea what men of power can do!"

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