Movie Review – Escape Plan (2014)

Escape Plan
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: February 4, 2014

Escape Plan

Ok, I admit it: when I first saw the trailer for ESCAPE PLAN a few months ago, I was one of the skeptics who thought it was another attempt at two aging action icons to simply get screen-time. The story itself sounded interesting…but I wasn’t so sure two actors like Stallone and Schwarzenegger could carry it. Fortunately, I was dead wrong on my assumptions. These two screen veterans help to make ESCAPE PLAN a taut and entertaining thrill-ride.

If you are not familiar with ESCAPE PLAN, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

One of the world’s foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called “The Tomb.” Deceived and wrongfully imprisoned, Ray Breslin must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape the most protected and fortified prison ever built. ESCAPE PLAN is the first pairing of action legends Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in leading roles and co-stars Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones, and Vincent D’Onofrio.

If you decide to watch ESCAPE PLAN, and I recommend that you do, be sure to go into it with the right mindset. You’re not going to get Jason Bourne-like intrigue or see Donnie Yen-like action. But instead, you’ll get bare-knuckles intensity from two legendary action-actors and a slick plot with twists and turns you won’t see coming.

ESCAPE PLAN is shot well and the production value looks very high. The sets look great, particularly The Tomb itself. I am impressed with the lengths to which the production team went to make this set a viable and realistic looking prison. I could definitely see something like this being used already.

The acting is what you would expect from Stallone and Schwarzenegger, although some of their supporting cast (specifically Curtis Jackson) didn’t quite fit for me. Others helped accentuate the authenticity of a prison setting, including Faran Tahir as a foreign prisoner and Vinnie Jones as a barbaric prison guard.

The story itself, however, is the real winner here. I like the concept, right down to its core; and the twists and turns that are strewn throughout the plot only make the movie that much more enjoyable. I enjoyed the way the movie ended and feel like everyone pretty much got what they deserved.

ESCAPE PLAN is a fun and energetic film that fans of either actor or those that enjoy straight-up action flicks will enjoy. Full of wit and intensity, this movie should appeal to a variety of fans. Be sure and snag the Blu-ray if you can; aside from the superior picture and sound quality, you get some great Special Features, including a couple of cool behind-the-scenes featurettes. Give this one a look for sure.

MSB

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