Overlooked And Underrated Liotta Vehicle
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 10/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What is it with guys like Ray Liotta and Lance Henriksen? They are great character actors, but once they take the lead, their films seem to be forgotten or ridiculed. "No Escape" is a particularly interesting flick considering that both Liotta and Henriksen appear in it. Not to mention Ernie Hudson and Stuart Wilson, who are two other top-notch actors who seem to be stuck in ruts.
This film didn't get much recognition in its day. I caught it at the movies years ago and loved it. Sure, it borrows from flicks like "Escape From New York" and I even see a little "Island of Dr. Moreau" in there, but it is an excellent film on its own merit. It has a stock story of a man who has committed a crime in order to right a wrong. He is banished to an island prison where no one escapes. On this island there are two factions: Insiders and Outsiders. One group is peaceful and lives in a semi-Utopian society whereas the other lives primarily under the rule of one man, Wilson. Henriksen plays the "Father," who quietly leads the Insiders. When Robbins, played by Liotta, falls into the game, he is sought out by Wilson's Marek, but ends up with the Insiders.
Naturally, Liotta decides he has to escape the island to prove his case and to seek out freedom. What follows is raid after raid and the eventual final battle, full of deception and action. But don't let this simplistic and borrowed tale deceive you. This is a fun film to watch and the primary characters are solidly developed.
Ernie Hudson heads up a strong supporting cast that features Kevin Dillon as a hard-luck innocent and Michael Lerner takes a nasty turn as the Warden. You'll recognize Hudson from "Ghostbusters I & II." He played Winston. Dillon was in the remake of "The Blob" and Lerner played the mayor of NYC in "Godzilla" with Matthew Broderick. There are other recognizable faces in the crowd as well.
If you're looking for a solid film with good production and a wonderful plot(though not very original), you're sure to enjoy "No Escape." Check it out and add it to your Ray Liotta library. He's an oft-overlooked actor who deserves better accolades."
Road Warrior Meets Fortress
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 09/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No Escape seems to bear a similar resemblance in story or plot to another sci-fi futuristic prison movie entitled Fortress (starring Christopher Lambert). However, Fortress was an underground system and No Escape involves,for the most part, an island filled with banished hardcore prisoners from another corporation owned system. Yet, in Fortress the Mentel corporation also runs the show.Ray Liotta is convincing as the main character with a "non-criminal" past who committed an act out of despair which lands him in a futuristic/hight-tech security facility for life. Then, he's banished out of this system for committing another act. The true punishment is survival of the fittest on a mysterious island caught in turmoil between two tribes (the CBS t.v. series "Survivor" has nothing over these guys)! The bad side,known as the Outsiders, and the good side (term loosely used since they are also hardcore criminals). The Outsiders are led by actor Stuart Wilson; he's a comedically nasty, yet obnoxiously gracious and witty villain. Lance Henricksen plays "Father" to the civilized clan. Without getting into too much detail of the summary, suffice it to say that Liotta's character wants off the island bad... The most impressive premise of the movie is that it all takes place on earth on an island which is a stark contrast to most films of this nature taking place in outerspace or some ridiculously named and imaginary planet. While the film may be a bit too long for some, it never stalls. Also,the dvd features are very entertaining and amusing with the animated graphics. Pay attention to the robotic vocoder/synthesizer reading the actors' filmographies and bios (this was an unexpected treat since most dvds w/bios force the viewer to read the tiny words unless the viewer hits zoom). Color, sound, and picture quality are all super sharp;not a bad flick for a great bargain price through most retailers. The cast of characters were well chosen for the parts ! And, no, it is not too gimmicky or high tech enough to lose the viewer..."
Good apdation of "The penal colony" starring Ray Liotta
Paladin08 | 07/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Penal Colony" By Richard Herley, was apdapted into a 1994 prison movie set in the future by Martin Campbell (The director of GoldenEye) and Gale Ann Hurd (The producer of the terminator and aliens), this movie shows us a futuristic alcatraz where convicted prisoners are dumped and left to die. The story starts in the future, (Year 2022) When prison colonies are over powered by corporations from all over the world. Marine captain John Robbins, is convicted of a one manned homicide, by assassinating his commanding officer. Robbins (Ray Liotta) is transported to a Maximum security prison, after escaping from two prisons, The prison is for Prisoners who have failed to be Re-habed. Robbins is shortly banished, by trying to assault the prison's warden, who decides to dump him on a Prison island called "Absolom" which has two seperate society's of criminals. Robbins joins the insiders, (A civilized peaceful society of criminals) after fleeing from the outsiders (A society of savage criminals). Robbins finds himself helping the insiders fight the outsiders. the only thing that Robbins wants: is to escape. But it's impossible to escape, with gunship's as security, and being detected by a spy sattelight. Michael Lerner is good at playing the warden. you may have seen him "Godzilla" as the mayor) The good thing about the film is the special effects and costumes. And the story is good. I reccomend "No escape" a Sci-fi prison action film with no escape from the TV set."
Paladin08 | Folsom, CA | 06/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few action movies have the plot and characterization as this one does. You actually get a great story, likeable good guys, and plausible twists and turns that makes this one of the best action movies I've ever seen. It definately is in my top 5 movies of all time (Aliens and T2 being tie for first)"