Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Were this the year 1986, this would've been a great day for everybody.  Stallone and Schwarzenegger in a movie?  Together?  Really?  No way.  Well, it's not 1986 anymore and while the news that Sly and Arnold are in a movie together, 'The Expendables 2' notwithstanding, the movie 'Escape Plan' isn't the big news that it would've been almost thirty years ago, but it's still good news for us at the FCU.  More or less.

The man, Ray Breslin (Stallone), is in prison.  He didn't do anything wrong, though he certainly looks like he belongs there, but he's only there to bust out.  It's what he does.  Ray and his team which consists of smarmy boss Lester (Vincent D'Onofrio), tech thug Hush (Curtis Jackson), and the lady Abigail (Amy Ryan) who does all kinds of stuff, none of which comes to mind at the moment, have a lucrative business busting out of Super Max prisons.  Who knew this could be a viable income option?  Why does Ray get himself incarcerated and break out of prisons?  It's complicated, but it is his gift and it is something he has to do.

Then the CIA comes a calling with a plum, high paying gig.  A Super Duper Max prison where they put the absolute worst of the worst, and blazing hot CIA Agent Jessica Miller (Caitriona Balfe) needs Ray inside to suss out the weaknesses that might be in the system.  Now the Tech Thug and the Chick That Does Stuff know right of the bat that something isn't right with this deal, but the sneaky boss says it's all good and the next thing we know, Ray is tazed, drugged, and wakes up in a big glass box.

It takes Ray all of about two minutes to realize something isn't right about this gig and attempt to use his verbal exit codes to get the hell out of there.  No dice, because Warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel), the wrong warden to begin with, doesn't know what the heck Ray is talking about and
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goes about the business of violating Ray's civil rights.  What Ray needs is a friend, and one inmate in particular, Emil Rottamayer (Schwarzenegger) is trying to help Ray out the best he can.  At first Ray is a little cool towards Rottamayer, but once my man does a few things to prove his value, Emil becomes a friend in need indeed.

Now that Ray has wits about him, it's time to figure out a way to bust out of this joint.  Not so easy because this place is on super lockdown, and plus its very existence is super illegal, and Warden Hobbs is Super Evil and will not hesitate to kill his own mom.  Vinnie Jones is in this movie too.  Just throwing that out there since I haven't seen Vinnie in a movie since, I don't know, eight minutes ago.  Anyway, while you might think two sixty year old dudes with failing eyesight might have an issue against a swarm of heavily armed, super trained, super angry guards, I need you to imagine this was 1986 and then realize how completely silly that thought, with these two, would've been back then.  Nothing has changed. 

Going into this movie 'Escape Plan' and being a child of the 80's and being raised on a steady diet of Arnold and Sly, one rightly has expectations for this movie.  Now these expectations were modest as the modern action movie has fallen on hard times recently, giving way to sparkly vampires and gay pirates, but we had expectations nonetheless.  All that being said, I'm pleased to say that these modest expectations for this action film were largely met.

Directed by Mikael Hafstrom, who also directed a guilty pleasure mine from years back in 'Derailed', seems to have a good feel for the genre.  The movie moves fast, it has an R-rating as any self respecting action movie starring Stallone and Schwarzenegger should have, the action sequences are brisk, violent and well presented, and my aging action heroes handled themselves very well.

We could make that case that one of our action heroes handled himself a little better than the other, this one being Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Maybe spending the last eight years of his life lying to the people of California and countless other years lying to Maria Shriver have helped, but Mr. Schwarzenegger was pretty amazing in this movie, acting wise.  I'm probably still not ready to turn over the role of Iago in Othello to Arnold, but in this movie, and even in 'The Last Stand' to a lesser degree, Arnold Schwarzenegger really knows how to sell a part.

Now we're not sitting here saying this was a great movie, heck, it's barely an okay movie truth be told as it did get a bit repetitive at times as watching faceless, black clad automatons getting mowed down does tend to lose its appeal after a while, and Jim Caviezel's interpretation of a villain was… odd.  Not quite sure what my man was going for there. 

Still, it's good to see Arnold and Sly doing what they do.  The Expendables, Bullet to the Head, The Last Stand… we enjoyed them all.  This one, not quite as much as those, but it was still a pleasant, time wasting diversion.
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