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“Escape Plan” – Review (POSITIVE)

November 8, 2013

[I know, I know, I know, I’m late with this review, I’m late with quite a few actually. October was a crazy month for me, working on a few film jobs, working part-time at Spirit Halloween (never again), and of course continuing my mundane life at Starbucks. But, I’m back, so lets catch up on some movie reviews. Yes, I did see this movie the week it came out, so I’m not behind on actually viewing the film, just the writing of the review part.]

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 1.59.19 PMOK…Ah-nuld & Stallone, at last, together, side-by-side, for two pain-staking hours of action goodness. And let’s be real, the movies overall story is stupid, not even brilliantly stupid like John Woo’s “Face/Off”, I’m talking STUPID, but not “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” stupid either. It’s just…dumb.

Be that as it may, did I come out of this movie expecting what I was anticipating? Of course, it’s freakin’ Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in an action movie that should’ve been made and released in the mid-90s, or as I like to call it, the Planet Hollywood years. And that’s really what “Escape Plan” is, a long lost 90s action film, from plot to dialogue, everything about screams 90s action film.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He’s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars. Ray teams up with a severely dangerous prisoner, named Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), who also has a bone to pick with the guys running the place.

What makes this movie different, compared to the “Expendables” films, is that it takes itself a bit too seriously, when the “Expendables” doesn’t. The “Expendables” films are more of a self-aware, definitely self-satirizing kind of action movie. It knows it’s audience, and it knows what they like, and will reap the benefits. “Escape Plan” is a movie that knows what the audience wants, and gives it to them in pieces. Things really don’t kick into gear until the 30 min point, when Ray meets Emil, that’s when you hear all the giddy little fanboys in the theater, from there on the movie pretty much plays it by the book.

There are a few twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect a movie this by the book is, but I think that’s one of the benefits of the film from saving it from being a total failure. How was Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s chemistry? It’s fine, seriously, these guys have been pals for ages, it’s not until now they decide to actually star in a movie together? I may have expected a little more from them, but for what it is, it’s good. The last 15 mins has some great action and smooth teamwork by the both of them, so I’m sure you wouldn’t walk out/finish watching the DVD/Bluray disappointed in that respect.

Don’t expect this movie to be a second coming of the action genre, we still have “Expendables 3” next year to do that, but if you’re looking for good ole fashion 90s action fun, and you wanna see your classic action heroes work side-by-side, then yes, see this movie, it is mindless dumb fun.


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