One Way Out

on July 23, 1996 by Susan Lambert
   Someone, at some point, had an good idea during the making of this movie. This is known only because during the occasional moments of clarity hidden in this muddled, low-budget effort, you can sense the idea is dying a slow death somewhere just off-screen. The rest of this movie is mediocre at best, mind-numbingly bad at worst.
   The ingrediants are standard: There's the crazy bad-boy with the big bank robbery plan, convincingly played by Jeff Monahan. Then, of course, he's got a stripper girlfriend ("This is My Life's" Annie Golden, who gives the best performance of the bunch). Jack Gwaltney ("Casualties of War") plays the good-looking, "nice guy" ex-con with no spine, a heart of gold and a face as blank as the Kansas countryside. He has a likable, retarded brother (Robert Turano).
   Because they live in Cormanland, they have to kill the bad man who foreclosed on the brothers' farm and then must kidnap the beautiful, uptight girl (Isabel Gillies) eng ged to the (oops!) county Sheriff. Finally they are all piled together in a picturesque car heading ever-so-slowly for the border. And nothing else happens for the next hour or so. Nothing. Dramatic structure is extinct throughout this hapless world. The film approaches a state of surrealism, almost as if the movie was cut together with just the outtakes from a regular, old-fashioned, bad B-movie. Amazingly still, it's not all bad. The music is enjoyable and thankfully covers most of a very weak sound design. The actors manage to create characters of suprising depth without any help from newcomer director, Kevin Lynn. But whatever sympathies they manage to evoke are worthless because, quite literally and figuratively, they have nowhere to go.    Starring Isabel Gillies, Jack Gwaltney, Jeff Monahan and Michael Ironside. Written by Jeff Monahan. Directed by Kevin Lynn. Produced by Kevin Lynn and Thomas Gallo. An Arrow release. Drama. Unrated. 105 min.
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