Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Escape Plan (2013)

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Director: Mikael Håfström
Rated: R
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Batman vs. Superman can wait a little while longer.  Escape Plan offers the real team-up any action fan deserves; Arnold & Stallone.  Believe it or not, this is the first time they’ve starred together in a film.  It delivers all the elements of a classic 80’s action flick, blended with a prison-break story led by the iconic Sly and the Governator.

Escape Plan follows Ray Breslin (Stallone), a man whose job is to test the security and reliability of maximum security prisons, by breaking out of them.  He does so by studying everything from routines, designs, habits and materials.  When Breslin is offered a large amount of money to test a new, state of the art facility, he agrees to do the job.  However, the hired captors remove the tracking chip from Breslin’s arm, disabling contact with the team he works with on the outside.  He is taken to a prison in an unknown location, where he meets Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), who decides to help Breslin escape by teaming up and bringing down the facility together.

I really enjoyed watching this movie.  Like I said, what it delivers is an action thriller similar to the 80’s classics Stallone and Schwarzenegger are famous for.  It is extremely entertaining to watch both stars finally kick some ass together, and it works.  I think the key with Escape Plan is its prison theme; a genre that is timeless and somehow rarely fails to entertain.

ESCAPE PLAN

I have to say that Arnold has the more favorable role in the movie.  His character is witty, delivers a lot of one-liners, and just as great as you’d expect or want to see him.  Stallone on the other hand, gives a more serious and stern performance, trying a bit too hard to prove his adept character.  But when both are on-screen at once, it’s hard not to geek out over.

The action sequences were very well constructed and shot well.  Håfström clearly takes advantage of the close-quarters and confined areas a prison should feel like to viewers, and was cleverly utilized.

The problem that I found Escape Plan was its supporting cast, but more than anyone Jim Caviezel.  His one-sided, egotistical role as the film’s bad guy felt way too forced.  His performance was pretty poor, and dragged some of the film’s scenes down a bit.  The rest of the cast which included Amy Ryan, 50 Cent and Faran Tahir, who ended up having very little screen time.  Like I mentioned though, it’s a privilege to finally see both Stallone and Schwarzenegger star opposite each other, so I have no problem with the two getting the most focus.  

Escape Plan is a movie whose casting should tell you right away who its intended audience is.  If you’re looking for a thrilling action flick, give it a watch.  Arnie and Sly really make a this film work, and I look forward to seeing if they team up again on a future project.

Reel Review: 6.5/10

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