It may be too early to say the erotic thriller is making a comeback, but there has been an increase in recent years. No Way Out is the latest addition to the once over saturated genre. Nick (Joey Bicicchi) is a Los Angeles photographer who meets Tessa (Maia Mitchell), a model with a secret. She soon asks Nick a favor that tests their relationship.
It is a formulaic attempt that does not strive to be anything more. Tessa is the femme fatale whose motivations are never clear. (Though No Way Out is predictable, she does add a layer of mystery.) For his part, Nick also makes odd decisions, but they are more a result of the writing. The lack of character development will have audiences questioning “why?” after many of his choices.
In place of story, No Way Out goes for shock value. The film is heavy on sex and violence. This includes attending raves with hidden sex rooms and questionable photoshoots. It does manage to keep the attention of the audience, but this is due more to its voyeuristic nature than anything else.
Director Azi Rahman tries to style up the story as much as possible. There is some great use of neon lighting and the soundtrack adds to the atmosphere. When the direction and performances come together, No Way Out stands apart from similar entries in the genre. It is unfortunate there are not enough of these moments.
No Way Out ends up being a serviceable thriller. After a rough start, the writing smooths out and the characters become less grating. The plot develops into a standard noir that will not surprise fans, but will keep them watching.
No Way Out comes to theaters & VOD/Digital on August 12
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