Escape Plan review

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are back and this time they team up in an action flick that can’t go the distance.

Ray Breslin, played by Stallone, doesn’t exactly have a typical job in the movie, “Escape Plan.” Breslin tests the security of high security prisons by breaking out of them for a living.

Through the years, he has developed an expertise on how to escape from jails.
When Breslin takes on a new job to test out an experimental prison, he gets set up by someone who never wants him to escape again. This is where the film introduces Emil Rottmayer, played by Schwarzenegger. After a short amount of time, Breslin and Rottmayer develop a respect for each other and decide to come up with an escape plan, and Breslin wants to find out who set him up.

“Escape Plan” has the feel of an ‘80s or early ‘90s action flick. Right from the title sequence, audiences can tell they are in for a film that feels like it was made a couple of decades ago. There is a definite throwback aura to the movie.

The story, pacing, and climax enter familiar territory and doesn’t offer anything new. On the other hand, though, the film delivers fun. The build up to the movie’s climax is handled well.

For the most part, the audience gets to see the planning process take shape, which adds an interesting element to the picture and can hold one’s interest. The problem is it can only hold your interest for a little while. The movie could have used more action scenes. There were more than a few “watch checking moments.”

Both Sly and Arnold seem to be having fun with their roles. The two action stars have always relied heavily rely on their own charisma and personality to play their roles, and it’s no different here. They play themselves in “Escape Plan,” and it almost works.

What didn’t work was a rather poor performance from Jim Caviezel who played a generic villain. Caviezel offers nothing to the role, doesn’t come off as threatening and is just sort of “there.” The rest of the supporting cast isn’t too great, either, particularly 50 Cent, who can’t really act.

Being a callback, the film is of course loaded with one-liners and comes off as tongue-in-cheek. It works, with some of them being humorous and others just make a person roll their eyes.

In terms of action, there is mainly just the film’s climax to look forward to. There are a couple of prison brawls that occur, but they aren’t shot well and it’s hard to tell what’s going on. The climax does live up to the escalating plot, though. It manages to get a person’s adrenaline going and put them at the edge of their seat.

“Escape Plan” is nothing too memorable. It has its moments, there are some fun scenes and it is enjoyable seeing Stallone and Schwarzenegger team up. However, the film doesn’t offer much else, with all of the other issues in the movie just comes off as barely average. Low 3 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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