When I tuned into the 2013 movie, Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger, I never thought I’d come away from it saying, “Wow, that was a good movie!” But I did.
Escape Plan is about a man named Ray Breslin (Stallone) who makes a living out of breaking out of prisons and reporting his findings to the prison wardens or systems who hire him. He’s not cheap, but it is worth it to know what holes there are in your security system.
The film opens with Breslin breaking out of a prison and later, finding himself being hired by the feds to check out a new prison of theirs, offering him double his usual salary, half up front. But they insist on a few slightly different operating parameters than he’s used to. Parameters or procedures that Breslin and his team never do.
But Breslin takes the job regardless.
But as he gets deposited into his new task, things start going horribly wrong immediately, starting with the wrong prison warden, Hobbes (Jim Caveizel), being in charge and it goes from there, as Breslin starts to realize that he may have just been set up.
Once inside we see this is a prison like no other and is looking nearly impossible to break out of.
Along the way he encounters several inmates in the usual fashions of attempted hazing, the introductions to the go-to inside man who can get you things and what not. One of those inmates includes Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).
All the while, the warden himself is on his own mission of a sorts, but I’ll leave that up to you to see.
When you see two action heroes like Sylvester and Arnie together, you instantly start expecting some kind of crazy popcorn action film that has almost zero substance, like The Expendables film franchise. Instead you start noticing almost immediately there are stories and substance within this screenplay that comes out of nowhere and you start caring about the characters.
Because we bring a preconceived notion of who Stallone and Schwarzenegger tend to play, it takes a bit to realize how well written this plot is, but once you embrace that, this action flick is more of a great movie to get yourself immersed in as you try to figure out various aspects of the story.
Each of the three acts is well coordinated within themselves and each other, each actor cast pulls off a great role, including Stallone and the goal driven Caveizel. Arnie, well, he ends up surprising the viewer too. Considering how much later in the movie that he shows up.
BTW: Other cast includes Vinnie Jones, Sam Neill, and 50 Cent.
Best Quote or Line in the Movie: Sylvester punches Arnold, Arnold barely flinches and says, “You hit like a vegetarian.” (No disrespect to vegetarians… I live with one.)
I think part of the success of this film comes from director Mikael Håfström, who comes up for air every few years to direct a film. His past directorial efforts include The Rite, Derailed, and Vendetta. Also one of the screenplay writers, Jason Keller, has a few movies in his resume that probably helped lend to a great story, those being Mirror Mirror, Machine Gun Preacher and A Good Day to Die Hard. (I find these to be a good mix of action and story.)
All in all, I think this is a fun film worth catching if you’re a fan of any of the primary cast and I’m actually giving this movie a Brusimm popcorn-8 score. In fact I liked this movie so much I’d love to see a sequel or even a prequel. (Having learned Breslin’s motivation for doing what he does, I think it would make a good story.)
Sure, there was your usual prison violence and what not, but there was a means to an end with each scene and I can’t really say it was overdone. In other words, the action is slightly less baseless than many action flicks.
If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, hunt this movie down or rent it from Amazon or what have you. I think you will enjoy it.