No Way Out

No Way Out (1987)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Will Patton, Sean Young
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

’No Way Out’ is an engaging politic thriller that features a great cast with Kevn Costner and Gene Hackman in the leads. It nicely portrays the power play in Washington’s political circles, where a young commander becomes the target of a witch hunt for a murder he did not commit, only to cover up the real murderer, a man of high rank. Taut, suspenseful and gripping, ’No Way Out’ is a superbly written and directed film that keeps viewers on the edge as the story unfolds.

MGM Home Entertainment has included a widescreen version of the movie ion this disc as well as an open matte full frame transfer that adds picture information at the top and bottom of the screen. The 1.85:1 widescreen presentation is not enhanced for 16×9 television sets and sadly, as it turns out to be the case with most catalog titles from MGM Home Entertainment these days, the quality of the video transfer is average at best. Without clean-up, the transfer contains signs of wear and tear, as well as a number of grainy scenes. Slight Pixelation is evident almost throughout the film and the application of edge-enhancement leaves visible ringing artifacts in the image. Color reproduction is generally good without over-saturation or noticeable bleeding. Skin tones are naturally rendered, while blacks are restored faithfully without losing detail in the shadows.

The audio on the release is presented as a Dolby Surround track in English and monaural Dolby Digital tracks in French and Spanish, with optional subtitles in French and Spanish. The audio is clean and without major background noise, but the dialogues sound overly compressed and thin. While the music has less of a harsh quality, the limited frequency response of the production is quite noticeable.

’No Way Out’ is a superb thriller with plenty of plot twists that keep the viewer surprised and on the edge. A newly remastered video and audio transfer would have gone a long way, and would have given this film the ability to really stand out. The way it is now, it has unfortunately been turned into a B-class release that most people will pass on without giving it a second look.