INTRODUCTION. Don’t ever let it be said that I only review movies I enjoy. That would mean that I enjoyed Escape Plan and I really, really, really did not. At any rate, here is a quick review to see if you might feel the same.
CHARACTERS. In a recent interview (Empire, November 2013) Stallone and Schwarzenegger remarked on the regularity of receiving scripts that were never written with them in mind. With Escape Plan, it shows. Mind you, it’s an extremely weak script to begin with, from transitioning to characterization. These personalities aren’t interesting. Sly/Breslin is escapist extraordinaire with a poorly constructed tragic past. Caviezel is a highly anal, malicious prison warden. Arnie is… a question mark, with an unhidden man crush on his co-stars. We know these archetypes and they aren’t even composed very well: so if you’re going in, go in for the actors. Don’t expect an inch more.
On a side-note, I had mixed feelings about the portrayal of Javed (Faran Tahir), the Muslim prisoner and fellow conspirator. In some ways he was better handled than the protagonists.
STORY. Escape Plan. The title says it all, but here: Sly and Arnie are prisoners in a maximum security, private lockup. We’re talking about some Dystopian shit; glass walls, dehumanization, Gitmo insanity. They want to escape, duh. One of ’em has the brains and the other has… uh… guts. It’s a mediocre plot with an obvious outcome. I did appreciate a certain reveal- the prison location. Other ‘positive’ points include some fairly interesting prison construction theory and the general sense of humour that the story seemed to have about itself. I wish they had concentrated on that instead of the exposition on Breslin or Rottmayer’s histories, which were unnecessary.
CONCLUSION. Personally I didn’t think Escape Plan was worth the ticket price. Even Arnie’s stint in German (supposedly his first time speaking the native language on the silver screen) doesn’t make the novelty any better. Still, if you like this sort of thing…
CHARACTERS: 3/10 STORY: 3.5/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 1/10 OVERALL: 3/10