||Emotions overrule good sense in Roger Donaldson's No Way Out. The film makes such good use of Washington and builds suspense so well that it transcends a plot bordering on ridiculous. The Pentagon is the arena. Kevin Costner, in his best performance so far, plays Lt. Cdr. Tom Farrell, a naval officer assigned to newly appointed Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman). It's a dream assignment -- a high-profile job within commuting distance of a steamy Washington affair he has just started. But he gets caught up in a double-edged mission that threatens everything. Screenwriter Robert Garland marries detective pulp with the sophisticated high intrigue of such Washington-based dramas as All The President's Men and Three Days of the Condor. There's a mysterious woman (Sean Young), a man in love with her (Kevin Costner), and a murder. Then Donaldson lays in all the local landmarks -- unseen forces behind bureaucratic walls; ambitious, unscrupulous officials; and, of course, clandestine sex... The strength of No Way Out is in the way it continually ups the ante, Hitchcock-style. Complications beget complications. People stand to lose something all the time. And just about everyone's got a dark side... The acting roles are limited; the characters are pawns in [Roger] Donaldson's and Garland's game of intrigue and deceit (Deceit was actually the film's original title). Nevertheless, Costner is forceful and energetic as Farrell, with a steely-eyed intensity that gives dimension to his football-captain good looks. Sean Young, who was the replicant object of Harrison Ford's affections in Blade Runner, plays Atwell with a lithe, spacey sex appeal. Hackman, possibly Hollywood's most consistent performer, does what he can. And Will Patton plays Hackman's sidekick, Scott Pritchard, with one-note but memorable maliciousness.