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August 14, 2011

Movie Review: Nowhere To Run (1993, Blu-ray)

During the late 80's Jean Claude Van Damme gradually rose to fame with the popular martial arts films, Bloodsport and Kickboxer. It wasn't too long after both these titles hit that the "Muscles from Brussels" became one of the most sought after action film commodities in Hollywood. Van Damme would maintain a steady stream of hit films (Double Impact,Death Warrant and Lionheart), never really smashing box-office records but filling his pockets up enough to have the action star mantra. Nowhere to Run, while it is an action film, was somewhat of a departure to his straight forward beat-em ups.

Buy Nowhere To Run on Blu-ray and DVD

Directed by The Hitcher director Robert Harmon and penned by Basic Instinct and Sliver writer, Joe Eszterhas, Nowhere To Hide not only packs the action with Van Damme's martial arts heroics but includes the carnal touch of Eszterhas in the storyline. Sam Gillen (Jean Claude Van Damme) takes the fall for his pal’s misdeeds and has to do time in the klink. What's the best way to make it up to him? Break him out of prison, causing a bus holding dozens of convicts to flip over and crash. Sam gets his freedom but his pal takes a bullet in the process so now he's on the run.

Sam soon finds shelter by a lake near a lovely single mom, Clydie Anderson (Rosanna Arquette). Before getting a nice lecherous view of Clydie, buck-naked in the shower (thank you Joe!!) Sam and Clydie begin to hit it off. She's not without her issues though. A determined real estate developer, Franklin Hale (Joss Ackland, Lethal Weapon II) and his merciless henchman Mr. Dunston (played by the brilliant Ted Levine, Silence of the Lambs) give poor Clydie everything she can handle by forcing her to sell her land.

Nowhere to Run is rarely boring but it's also not completely captivating for fans high-adrenaline action or Van Damme's previous output.It is fun at times though. The opening scene with Sam escaping the prison bus and his heroics in putting out a barn fire (courtesy of Hales goons) are the best action set-pieces in the film. I'll also venture back to Ted Levine, this guy is just fun to watch, period. He's as nasty a bastard Van Damme's had opposite him in one of his movies.

Image has done a nice job on the transfer of the film. Nothing glaring to report as it looks just fine on Blu-ray. No extras are available for the film. Nowhere to Run isn't premium Van Damme but it's still better than anything he's done in the past 15 years.

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