Nowhere to Run is a 1993 action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin, Ted Levine and Joss Ackland. It followed the very successful “Universal Soldier” and Van Damme was very popular at that point. This film wasn’t as popular as “Universal Soldier” and was a disappointment to many critics, the film grossed $60 million so it wasn’t necessarily a flop and did make a nice profit on the original $15 million budget.
Sam Gillen is a convict who gets sprung from Federal custody somewhere in the Midwest by his bank-robbing partner. In their last heist, Sam’s partner killed a bank guard, and Sam took the rap for it. Sam’s partner gets killed in the break, forcing Sam to go it alone in search of the loot, which is buried on the property of a farm inhabited by Clydie Anderson, the widowed mother of two kids named Mike “Mookie” Anderson and Bree Anderson. Attempting to sneak into Clydie’s house and “borrow” some salt for a campfire-broiled steak, Sam catches sight of Clydie taking a shower. Sam is spotted by Mookie.
After saving Clydie, Mookie, and Bree from a trio of intruding thugs, Sam discovers that Clydie is holding out from selling her place to property developer Franklin Hale, who fears that he will be put out of business if he doesn’t get Clydie’s land so he can develop on it. Sam decides to hang around, sleeping first in Clydie’s barn and then in her bed, while repairing her late husband’s Triumph motorcycle. And Hale hires an intimidation expert named Dunston, to force Clydie into selling her land.
Nowhere To Run is in all honesty quite mediocre. Even for an action film. Van Damme is just a wooden (albeit muscular) actor and brings nothing of interest to his role. There’s only so far being “tough” can take you when you’re the hero, and if you don’t get the audience on your side you may as well not be there. At least Stallone and Schwarzenegger were successful, unlike Van Damme and Steven Segal who have made nothing more than a string of terrible flops that give the action genre a bad name.
Having had that necessary rant, Nowhere to Run did have some great fight scenes and some very impressive explosions. If you want to watch an action film that will give you some cheap thrills while you’re cleaning, then this one is for you, if you want to watch an actual film with a structure and a plot, then I wouldn’t recommend this one.