The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Escape Plan | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Escape Plan

A security expert is doublecrossed and imprisoned in the world's most secure prison.

Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio, Amy Ryan, Caitriona Balfe, Faran Tahir

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a security expert who takes his job to its extreme, imprisoning himself in America's prisons in order to escape, thus exposing their vulnerabilities and winning a lucrative security contract. When the CIA approach him with his toughest task yet, (breaking out of the world's most secure facility, the whereabouts of which will not be disclosed), Ray immediately accepts. To his surprise, he is snatched from the street and flown to the prison. Once there, Ray surmises his chances of escape as practically impossible and so informs the warden (Caviezel) of his true identity. The warden, however, refuses to listen, leaving Ray no option but to attempt the impossible and escape. With the aid of a mysterious fellow inmate, Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), he sets about his toughest breakout yet.
Two decades ago, the concept of teaming Stallone and Schwarzenegger was no more than the pipedream of many Hollywood execs; the two stars maintaining a friendly rival that, along with their egos, made such an onscreen pairing impossible. Now that neither man is getting any younger, that rivalry has been put to bed and the two have already appeared together onscreen in both installments of Stallone's 'Expendables' franchise, (a series that has so far failed to live up to its fantasy casting pitch). 'Escape Plan' is a much bigger deal, however, as it's the first time the two have shared anything approaching substantial screen time, although Stallone has the significantly larger role of the two.
The recent films the pair, along with their Planet Hollywood cohort Bruce Willis, have appeared in have tended towards a postmodern, ironic approach, making countless bad puns at the expense of the age of the stars. This movie's greatest strength lies in eschewing such a nudge-wink-nudge manner, instead playing out with no reference to its stars' pension eligibility. As a result, 'Escape Plan' resembles a lost action film from 1987. The script may have its tongue rammed firmly in its cheek but it never patronizes the material and we actually find ourselves involved in the, admittedly preposterous, er...escape plan that our heroes set in motion.
The credits employ the name 50 Cent rather than Curtis Jackson, the moniker the rapper has been using in his acting career, which tells you exactly the unpretentious spirit this fun old school romp possesses.

Eric Hillis