‘No Way Back‘ is an action thriller from 1995 directed by Frank A. Cappello. It was made by Overseas Filmgroup, originally premiering in Japan through Columbia Pictures. It would later be shown in the United States in 1996.
LA-based FBI Agent Zack Grant (Russell Crowe) is shocked when rookie undercover agent Seiko Kobayashi (Kelly Hu) goes rogue, killing a gang of white supremacists, their leader Victor (Ian Ziering), and then herself. He discovers that she had a connection with Yakuza gangster Yuji (Etsushi Toyokawa), whom Zack arrests in New York. As he transports him away, Victor’s father Frank Serlano (Michael Lerner) takes Zack’s son Eric (Andrew J. Ferchland) hostage. He demands Zack turn over Yuji, who takes a flight attendant Mary (Helen Slater) hostage and escapes in the Arizona desert. With his son’s life hanging in the balance, Zack must get Yuji back with the Yakuza, FBI, and a skinhead gang all in pursuit.
Russell Crowe definitely plays the sort of ‘road weary’ bad lawman that is rude and sarcastic but wants to see justice done. He is good in those rough roles and that was true in this case. Helen Slater just kind of appears in the second act and gets mixed in, but she does good with the material. Etsushi Toyokawa was excellent in the role as a Yakuza enforcer and brings that seriousness to the role that was needed. My only complaint about the cast is that I wish Kelly Hu had been better utilized. She is a phenomenal actress and I wished she had not been relegated to a small role.
Now, the movie itself is a bit bloated as far as the action. The story is interesting enough, but the characters jump from a circumstance so fast that you find yourself going, “wow, that was quick.” However, it is a fun time and you can easily watch it for entertainment value. There is nothing quite like a film about a lawman who has to cross lines in order to save the one person he loves the most. Now, the antagonist was a bit off in the wild for most of the film, but the climax was definitely worth it.
Bottom line, No Way Back is definitely one of those that you can enjoy for fun. It has all of the gunfire, the action sequences, car chases, and cheesy humor to keep you hooked. Sure, it is not the deepest action thriller, but it definitely keeps you entertained.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul language, Crimes of a racial nature
FAVORITE QUOTE: You’re right. I am stressed out.
Check out the trailer below:
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