Dave’s 3-Word Review:
I love prison break movies. Heck, one of my all-time favorite television shows was Prison Break. There’s just a lot of smart writing, even if it is a bit over-the-top and unrealistic. If it can sound smart enough for an audience to believe and enjoy, they have done their job. Prison Break was so popular because they had the same idea ranged over 20-some full hour episodes. Lots of great writing went into that, so in comparison, everything is just going to seem dull. Escape Plan might have skimmed by unnoticed if it weren’t for Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s team up. That being said, I still had a blast, if only for nostalgia.
Now, Escape Plan is about Ray Breslin, which is basically our “Michael Scofield” of the day. Working for a security company, Breslin is hired to find flaws in maximum security prisons that allow him to escape. He’s an escape artist that can escape from ANY prison…that is…until the CIA nabs him and throws him into a prison of his creation. For years he has been telling prisons how to upgrade their security measures, and now he was thrown into what appears to be an escape-proof facility. The only problem is, they know who he is and anticipate his every move…they want to keep him there forever.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room for a second. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together. Yes, they’ve played in the same film before, but their own movie? Well, this is more of a rarity, and an explosion of awesome-sauce for those of us with action hero nostalgia. We would watch them together in any movie, and Escape Plan is a pretty decent movie in general. I like prison break movies, so it fit. It’s almost appears to be a sci-fi film because of the appearance of the new prison, but it’s not. Anyways – if you’re a fan of either or both, this would probably be a good choice for you.
Now I want to talk about my main issue with the film. A big fat why? What exactly has this guy done to deserve this fate? Who is so dead set against him to really want to lock him up? Even though Stallone’s character saw this opportunity as a challenge, I didn’t, because the movie itself was really about wanting to keep this character locked away for good. Okay, but WHY? The guy is literally risking his life for his job, in order to do some good and keep guilty criminals locked away…I just don’t get why someone would want him locked away. It just seemed like really bad plot direction just to get this character in this prison.
Anyways, as far as issues go, that was my main concern. Others might be…yeah the acting is a bit bleh. The filmmakers clearly worked off of the simple idea that people would watch this film for the actors, not the acting or characters. That may be true, but now we’re left with the fact that the film transforms into something tacky and forgettable instead of something worthwhile and memorable. I can’t see anyone actually wanting to buy this when it comes out. You can rent it and enjoy it while you watch, just for pure nostalgia and for a good time, but in the long run…it just won’t stay on your radar.
Schwarzenegger and Stallone together is action-film magic and nostalgia-worthy, while also having a workable premise.
In the long run, you won’t care enough to watch more than once because the characters and acting weren’t ever the best it could be.
Swan Rottmayer: Heh heh. You hit like a vegetarian!