Film Review – Escape Plan (2013)

Escape Plan - post

Title – Escape Plan (2013)

Director – Mikael Hafstrom (Derailed)

Cast – Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Vinnie Jones, Sam Neill, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vincent D’Onofrio

Plot – Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a man who makes a living from being incarcerated into prisons and escaping, finding flaws in security where no one else can. When Ray is put into a new futuristic prison system where warden Hobbes (Caviezel) reigns things take a turn for the worse and with communication to the outside world cut off he must team up with grizzled yet intelligent inmate Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).

“Sometimes favours hurt”

Review by Eddie on 24/03/2014

Whilst we action aficionados and children of the 80’s have had a taste of Sly and Arnie together in the first two Expendables outings it wasn’t until the announcement of Escape Plan (previously known as The Tomb, which is a much cooler title) that we could start salivating proper at the thought of the elder statesman joining forces for everyone’s favourite type of break in the form of a prison escape. With 1408’s Mikael Hafstrom attached as director it surely meant a good popcorn munching time at the movies right? To answer that now you can only answer yes and also sadly at times no.

Escape Plan is a movie that would have benefited from a more streamlined plot, at the centre of the story we have all the elements for a ripping yarn yet the film throws in far too many side plots for a story that didn’t need them. Escape Plan works best when the pure adrenaline rush of the excitement of an escape or even the planning of escape is allowed to play out in old school entertaining fashion. The basic idea of a high tech futuristic prison is also an element that whilst extremely cool isn’t really allowed to flourish within the movie, you get the sense there is a whole world within the confinements that are just waiting to be explored. All this while meaning something isn’t the crux of the film for what you pay money to see is Arnie and Sly teaming up and on this front the film delivers.

Sylvester Stallone has for a long while now been muttering his way through mediocre movies with not much charm and Escape Plan doesn’t do much to change this The Governator however shows us all that he still hasn’t lost an ounce of his charm after sitting in office for all those years. Looking fit and with a whip smart attitude still at the forefront once Arnie makes his way on screen about 30 minutes in the film really gets going and suffers when the focus goes back to Sly. Other actors in the piece from Amy Ryan through to Sam Neill all suffer with underwritten roles while Jim Caviezel hams it up more than a bacon convention therefore not adding anything memorable to proceedings.

With enough scenes of interplay between Sly and Arnie and with a core story that possess the B grade goodness we at times desire Escape Plan is a good entertaining piece of filmmaking and a throwback to the 80’s that is easy on the mind and easy to enjoy. You get the sense that the movie could have been a whole lot more had its story remained less complicated and slightly less predictable but you get to see Arnie dismount and shoot an LMG machine gun so who really cares about such things?

3 makeshift sextants out of 5

15 responses to “Film Review – Escape Plan (2013)

  1. I will give it a shot, it’s on my to-see list. Great review, you went right to my concerns about this film. Those guys were the action champs at one time. When I moved to San Diego, quite some years ago, I saw Arnie at the Planet Hollywood, and his Terminator outfit was on display along with many other artifacts from films. Holy relics from action movies.

  2. Your review falls in line with the general consensus. There are movies that people want to see for the story, others for the special effects, and even some just for the actors. Most likely this film appealed primarily to those who wanted to see these iconic actors work together. Ultimately, of course, that’s not enough.

  3. Good review Eddie. It’s so undeniably dumb, but it’s a movie starring BOTH Arnie and Sly. So, you pretty much get what you expect, right?

  4. Agreed. Fans of sly and arnie will be happy just to see them on the screen together. But there was a lot of wasted potential trying to make things deeper than they were ever capable of.

    Just show us some clever escape plotting mixed with a few good action scenes and plenty of one liners.

    Sti enjoyed it though!

  5. I agree it had its ups and downs. Arnold and Sly together = Cool. Caviezel = Always cool. Plot= So and so. Faran Tahir and Sam Neill are also good actors worth mentioning.
    It started of smart and interesting, but it quickly became pretty predictable. Even such a skilled cast couldn’t life it up. Sadly the Escape plan was in it self filled with Hollywood physics and I remember thinking that Escape from Alcatraz is so much better the whole movie through. But it was entertaining, sure.

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