Friday, 4 September 2009

Nowhere to Hide


Directed by
: Mario Azzopardi
Screenplay: Alex Rebar & George Goldsmith
Starring: Amy Madigan, Michael Ironside & Maury Chakin

A forgotten but rollicking 1980s action thriller with a strong female lead, Nowhere to Hide has car chases, explosions, firepower galore and even the great Michael Ironside. Barbara and Rob Cutter (Madigan and Daniel Hugh Kelly) are a happily married couple with a young son. Having both served military time, Rob stumbles across a cover up involving faulty helicopters that have killed some of his men. Swiftly executed, Barbara and her son Johnny (Rob Macaheran) must go on the run as they are hunted by some nasty government assassins. With nowhere to turn to, they flee to the woods where they seek shelter with mountain man Ben (Ironside) and fight back against an onslaught of military professionals.

Sleek, well engineered and featuring some corking action, Nowhere to Hide rockets along as Barbara must use all her wits to evade the killers. A strong female character is always a refreshing notion in an action picture and Madigan infuses her character with enough grit and substance without resorting to too much of a gung-ho Ripley type figure. At first she is scared and makes mistakes, putting her and her son in danger, but becomes more resourceful before taking up arms against the bad guys. The bad guys are the best, not least two merciless and seemingly unstoppable assassins. Despite looking very ordinary in appearance (adding to their ruthlessness), these robot like bad dudes (played by Maury Chakin and Geza Kovacs) bring real menace to the momentum of the film, gunning down people left, right and centre and not even quitting their mission despite being set on fire!

The action is excitingly staged and encompasses all manner of vehicles and buildings going boom. The initial raid on the Cutter’s house is a ruthlessly intense and efficient set piece. Likewise, the stalk sequences involving the two assassins and then a huge fire-fight at Ironside’s woodland retreat. Admittedly the action does go a little silly come the end. Obviously trying to cram in as much they can, the filmmakers go overboard with a ridiculous helicopter set piece that almost unravels all the tension and character driven action that has gone before. Being an 80s flick the absurd levels are pushed more than once, not least the insane amount of violence that little Johnny Cutter witnesses and high risk situations he constantly finds himself in. Despite surviving the whole ordeal the kid is gonna need a whole load of therapy to get over what he’s been through!

However, the moments of ridiculousness don’t spoil Nowhere to Hide from being an entertaining and charged up action film and if you are in the mood for some 80s styled survivilist action, then this flick is just the ticket.

1 comment:

Steve Skafte said...

Glad to see someone noticing this film. I saw it for the first time this evening on an old video copy I've had lying around for months. Didn't have any expectations, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. I agree with what you said about the failure to produce a quality ending. That bothered me quite a bit. But the direction and acting was convincing throughout in a way that I really appreciated. It's the quiet moments that keep this film together. I can't imagine why it's almost totally forgotten.