And yet here they are, sharing a cell in what the tagline claims is “the most secure prison ever built.” Stallone is Ray Breslin, the co-owner of a company that specializes in testing the fallibilities of maximum security prisons by getting arrested and then busting out. He’s as good as they come, which is why he’s offered a large sum of money to test the walls of a Louisianan penitentiary. Or so he thinks.
He’s taken to The Tomb, a high-tech prison that Breslin immediately suspects is more dangerous than any other on land or in sea (probably something to do with the inmate being tossed out of a plane on the way there). It’s there that he’s bunked with Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), who quickly takes to Breslin.
There’s more to the plot than that—far too much more, really, and the overly elaborate plot and twists are only there because the screenwriters (Miles Chapman and Jason Keller) want to pretend the movie is smarter than it really is. But those paying for a ticket won’t care much about it; they just want to see Marion Cobretti and John Matrix toss around some bad guys and make good use of some firearms.
And they do; but it doesn’t come nearly as rapidly as viewers might hope. The stars have a terrific chemistry, get a chance to have a few solid back-and-forths (“You don’t look that smart.” “You don’t either.”) and can still move without needing a doctor on standby (although behind-the-scenes footage could reveal the opposite), but they’re not given enough action to partake in.
As a result, this first major pairing of Stallone and Schwarzenegger (outside of Planet Hollywood) isn’t nearly as fun and entertaining as it would have been had it been made three decades ago. We know the men can still kick butt (despite a combined age of over 130), so why withhold most of the action until the final act? The movie should be showing off, not wasting its running time with a bloated plot and a supporting cast that includes Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, and Sam Neill
Escape Plan exists not because Stallone and Schwarzenegger are box office draws, but because of the nostalgia factor. It was funded for the same reason The Expendables movies are—but at least those put their faded action heroes to good use.
Executing the Plan: The Making of Escape Plan (22:13): This standard featurette uses clips, on-set footage and interviews (with Håfström, Stallone, Schwarzenegger more) to give a general overview of the cast, plot, working relationships, and more.
Maximum Security: The Real-Life Tomb (21:57) looks at some of the inspirations for The Tomb in Escape Plan.
Clash of the Titans (15:34): Here, Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s involvement and personas are spotlighted.
Deleted Scenes (8:13): There are 11 here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “See You Monday,” “You Don’t Eat Animals?” “I Found Him,” “Have a Lovely Day,” “First Day of School,” “I Think I Broke My Finger,” “Maybe He’ll Sign My Book,” “You Mean Break Into Their Files?” “Warden’s New Best Friend,” “The Prisoners Are Planning a Break,” and “Beach Scene (Extended).”