Ever since I saw the trailers for Escape Plan, I knew this was one for me. Two action legends breaking out of a high security prison, honestly they were gonna have to do something massive to muck that up, thankfully this did not happen and it delivered, and in fact maybe a bit more than was expected!
Escape Plan starts with Stallone’s character (Breslin) in a prison clearly planning some sort of breakout, the film cleverly strings you along and I found myself trying to work out how he was going to do it, but I gave up on this as soon as the breakout actually happened. I was momentarily annoyed as you weren’t shown how Breslin escaped in real time but it was eventually explained – much to my relief as it would have been the ultimate cop out to leave the escape unexplained. The escape itself was intelligent and believe it or not set the scene for the rest of the film.
Things really picked up when Schwarzenegger appeared and there wasn’t a dull moment from there onwards. Arnie had his usual one liners and humorous input however I think Escape Plan could have benefited from slightly more comedy but the absence of this was made up by far with the action and the plot. The characters worked well together and it was exciting to see how they would even begin to fight their way out. It was a stroke of genius to have the prison based on a boat and this was a great twist to the first main action scene when the film moves to ‘The Tomb’. The action was good, it did mainly consist of prison fights but the finale provided some variety and I really enjoyed the scene on the deck of the boat. There was some compulsory slow motion, as there should be in all action films and it was refreshing to see more space being used and I was glad to see the action move to a bigger scale. Now at times Escape plan was pretty predictable but the action was good enough to combat this and there were still plenty of twists and revelations to keep me amused!
The rest of the cast did a good job too, 50 Cent’s small role was amusing and he did well to support the larger roles. The team of villains were good too, Hobbes played by Jim Caviezel was convincing and quite sinister however I felt his character could have been pusher slightly further. As for Vinnie Jones, well he was Vinnie Jones. I was really surprised at how clever Escape Plan was and really underestimated what I was going to watch. I expected to leave my brain at the door but this is an action film that you could actually bring it in with you! Now that is not to say that you are going to have to concentrate but it did have elements that you could interact with on an intelligent level – much like elements of a heist style movie.
Fans of Arnie and Stallone are sure to enjoy this, and its a must see for any action fans – a strong contender in this category for this year. Great job.
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Intelligent plot
BIGGEST FLAW – Some elements fall slightly short (some characters & humour)
Rating – 8.5/10