Movie Review: ‘Escape Plan’

Jarrett Quick

Escape Plan” was fun but not great. The biggest thing this film did for me was make me want to revisit the films that made lead actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone stars in the first place. All the elements of a good action movie are there, but without the star power behind it, it would just be another forgotten action movie.

“Escape Plan” begins with professional prison escapee Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone), you guessed it, escaping from prison. He works for a company that tests prison security by pretending to be a prisoner and finding out each prisons weak points. Soon after his escape, he is offered 5 million dollars by the CIA to test a top-secret prison. Once inside, Ray finds himself without an escape, eventually teaming up with fellow prisoner Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to try to escape.

I love ’80s action movies, so seeing Schwarzenegger and Stallone throwing cheesy one-liners back and forth was a lot of fun. The two leads seem to have no idea that 30 years have gone by since they were in their prime, but you still believe these guys could take a hit. The fight scenes in the film do not pull any punches, so both stars get plenty of opportunities to show why they are synonymous with the over the top action.

The supporting actors are essentially wasted in this film with the exception of Jim Caviezel as Warden Hobbes. Caviezel does walk the line between cheesy and menacing at times, but I thought he still managed to pull of a pretty menacing performance. Vincent D’Onofrio and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson could have easily been replaced with anybody and the film would not really change.

One big complaint I have with the film is that, even for an action movie, a lot of the escape plan is left to chance. Too many things just happen to work out perfectly in a place that supposedly in inescapable. There are some solid twists in the film, and some creative aspects of the plan, but overall the plot gets a little lazy toward the end of the film.

As a prison escape movie, “Escape Plan” works well enough. I would not recommend it over “The Great Escape” or even “Toy Story 3,” but there are enough creatively used plot devices to make it worth watching.

As a whole, the film entertains, but does not bring a lot of new things to the table. Most of the movie is pretty predictable, but fans of action movies should be able to find something to enjoy in “Escape Plan.”