Unlike many of my contemporaries, I don’t have any real nostalgia attached to Arnold Schwarzenegger nor Sylvester Stallone. I don’t have as much of a soft-spot for the clichéd actions films of old and actually find many of those clichés kind of grating. As such, I wasn’t really expecting much from this film.
Review Score: 3.5/5
However, coming out of it, I found it to be moderately entertaining but not without its fair share of flaws.
Sylvester Stallone stars as Ray Breslin, a security expert who breaks out of prisons in order to test their security systems. Things go south when finds himself locked up in the most secret and secure prison in the world with little to no hope for escape. It’s up to him to use his skills to bust out, forcing him to rely on the mysterious inmate named Rottmayer, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On paper, the story comes across as equal parts “Shawshank Redemption,” “Prison Break” and “The Bourne Identity.”
In execution, the film comes across as the earlier two examples combined with your typical generic action from the 80’s.
While that would be fine stylistically, what hurts it is the writing and how it tries to play it completely straight, with some plot details not making sense in hindsight. On top of that, it tries to layer a few mysteries throughout the film, but then hastily wraps everything up at the end as if the screenwriters forgot that there were loose ends until the last minute.
Another thing that bothered me was that the film, while played seriously, suddenly devolved into an 80’s action flick, complete with clichéd lines that are obvious references to previous films of both actors.
From a technical standpoint, the film holds up fairly well. Its cinematography is pretty slick, but the editing was a little too fast-paced in moments where the film could have slowed down. When it comes to the visual effects, they’re pretty much standard in this case, nothing too memorable but, at very least, presentable.
While the film was entertaining, it’s not very memorable and will probably only appeal to audiences who were already fans of both Stallone and Schwarzenegger. The story had potential, but I feel this was a case where it was limited because of the fact that the film was centered around the two teaming up, and not in the fun, send-up fashion as seen in “The Expendables.” If you’re into those kinds of action movies, you’ll enjoy it, but wait for the film to come to the dollar theaters so that you can actually afford the popcorn for this popcorn film.
I give the “Escape Plan” a 3.5/5.