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Review: Escape Plan

Oct. 18, 2013by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is a master escape artist, who gets paid millions to make sure the country's maximum security prisons are escape-proof by spending time in each as an inmate. He meets his match when he's sent to a black ops-funded prison called “The Tomb”, only to be disavowed by the people who hired him. With the sadistic warden (James Caviezel) of The Tomb having studied Breslin's work, it seems like escape is impossible, until he meets a fellow prisoner, Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with secrets of his own.

REVIEW: Action fans rejoice! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have finally made a full-on buddy action movie together with ESCAPE PLAN. While they've appeared side-by-side in the EXPENDABLES series, they only briefly shared the screen in each. Here, the two icons get a whole film to themselves. But was it worth the wait?

For the most part yes. Despite a few slow patches- mostly confined to the first act- ESCAPE PLAN is an affectionate and fun-filled throwback to the type of movie that made the both of them superstars. It's noteworthy that the movie really only comes to life when the two men finally meet-up- about a half-hour in- when Stallone finds himself trapped in “The Tomb”. From here on, all the exposition is out of the way, and ESCAPE PLAN becomes your prototypical buddy-action movie, more than a little reminiscent of the classic Stallone vehicle TANGO & CASH (Sly's actually been to prison numerous times on film- with LOCK UP, DEMOLITION MAN, and the WW2 P.O.W movie VICTORY).

While it's a shame it took the two icons so long to finally make a movie together, despite being older (Stallone is 67, Schwarzenegger is 66) both men are as spry as ever. Schwarzenegger in particular is at the top of his game here. Sporting a stylish salt & pepper goatee, Arnold is clearly having the time of his life playing the eccentric Rottmayer. He's the wildcard to Stallone's tortured hero, and seems to be relishing his big-screen comeback. He's given a number of fun scenes, including a funny interrogation by the villainous Caviezel (snarlingly effective as the hiss-worthy baddie) and a great bit where he rants and raves in Austrian German. He hasn't been this much fun since TRUE LIES.

It helps that director Mikael Hafstrom seems fully aware of the type of movie Sly and Arnie fans are expecting, and he keeps it chugging along at a relatively fast pace. The story is fairly basic, but the design of “The Tomb” itself (also the film's original and far better title) is neat, as are the tactics Stallone uses to plan his escape. Hafstrom throws in lots of nods to the duo's friendly off-screen rivalry, including a great- if brief- fight scene, and some funny banter. There's also a full-on “icon” action moment with Schwarzenegger that brought down the house, although Stallone gets the film's best action scene in a knock-down brawl with one of the main baddies.

Obviously ESCAPE PLAN isn't a perfect film. It pretty much grinds to a halt whenever they cut away to Stallone's support team outside the prison (Amy Ryan and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson). Luckily, this only happens briefly, and the focus stays where it belongs. Throughout, it's a fun action ride that's sure to please hardcore fans of both actors. It's unapologetically R-rated, with lots of corny one-liners, and over-the-top action. But really, would you expect anything else? As a fun action throwback, it can't be denied that ESCAPE PLAN delivers. Hopefully the big-screen chemistry between these two icons will translate to a good box-office take, as it would be a lot of fun to see these guys headline another movie together.

Source: JoBlo.com

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-3
1:31PM on 10/20/2013
Well it did get mildly good reviews and I like Both Stallone and Arnold, but that it bombed as it did is a good sign for movie going in general. Today this genre is better suited for the 80's and direct to dvd than the big screen.
Well it did get mildly good reviews and I like Both Stallone and Arnold, but that it bombed as it did is a good sign for movie going in general. Today this genre is better suited for the 80's and direct to dvd than the big screen.
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12:28PM on 10/19/2013
i hope this does well love these guys
i hope this does well love these guys
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+2
7:16AM on 10/19/2013

Nice! I really want them to be succesfull

Cant stop thinking how cool it would have been if they started working together 10 years ago,
Caviezel should have been cast as the new batman though
Cant stop thinking how cool it would have been if they started working together 10 years ago,
Caviezel should have been cast as the new batman though
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7:34AM on 10/19/2013
Good call, Caviezel would have been perfect.
Good call, Caviezel would have been perfect.
2:05PM on 10/18/2013
I've been game for this since day 1. This is awesome.
I've been game for this since day 1. This is awesome.
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2:00PM on 10/18/2013
I just paid to see this at the ridiculously over-priced cinema in my hometown. Why? Because I want these guys to keep making movies. The film itself is nothing special, but I'm happy to say Arnold has rediscovered how to act again. The clunky line readings from his other comeback films have gone - he's hilarious in this.
I just paid to see this at the ridiculously over-priced cinema in my hometown. Why? Because I want these guys to keep making movies. The film itself is nothing special, but I'm happy to say Arnold has rediscovered how to act again. The clunky line readings from his other comeback films have gone - he's hilarious in this.
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+10
1:25PM on 10/18/2013
Support this! God knows action films need a big boost!
Support this! God knows action films need a big boost!
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+7
12:57PM on 10/18/2013

wanna see it

Can't wait to see this one!
Can't wait to see this one!
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+7
12:45PM on 10/18/2013
Definitely seeing this this weekend. Been waiting for this one a long time. Glad it's liked here.
Definitely seeing this this weekend. Been waiting for this one a long time. Glad it's liked here.
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11:52AM on 10/18/2013
I'm all over it.
I'm all over it.
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11:46AM on 10/18/2013
Going to see it tomorrow, I really hope it performs well
Going to see it tomorrow, I really hope it performs well
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11:35AM on 10/18/2013
Most reviews coming in now have this film above average so I'm going to see this film with a lot of excitement. People take films way too seriously which is why both of these actors last two films didn't do that well at the box office. This is a throwback to the 80s and 90s type action films these guys did and I absolutely loved those films.
Most reviews coming in now have this film above average so I'm going to see this film with a lot of excitement. People take films way too seriously which is why both of these actors last two films didn't do that well at the box office. This is a throwback to the 80s and 90s type action films these guys did and I absolutely loved those films.
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11:29AM on 10/18/2013
7/10 is good enough for me.
7/10 is good enough for me.
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+11
11:10AM on 10/18/2013
I don't think their recent films have done too well...box office wise. Perhaps there's simply not enough of us 80/90 action fans left these days. Personally, I really enjoyed The Last Stand...and hoping for more of the same.
I don't think their recent films have done too well...box office wise. Perhaps there's simply not enough of us 80/90 action fans left these days. Personally, I really enjoyed The Last Stand...and hoping for more of the same.
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-104
10:56AM on 10/18/2013
I really hopes this bombs. This is a cornball genre the epitomizes the very worst in film, one that really needs to die. The sooner the better.
I really hopes this bombs. This is a cornball genre the epitomizes the very worst in film, one that really needs to die. The sooner the better.
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11:05AM on 10/18/2013
“You post like a vegetarian.” I really hopes this is a hit and that movies like this keep happening! Can't wait to see it!
“You post like a vegetarian.” I really hopes this is a hit and that movies like this keep happening! Can't wait to see it!
12:33PM on 10/18/2013
Go and watch a Nicolas Sparks movie or some pretentious Marc Forster film
Go and watch a Nicolas Sparks movie or some pretentious Marc Forster film
12:45PM on 10/18/2013
Care to explain why you feel this way ?
I mean, I disagree with you, but if you have valid points, I MIGHT understand your opinion...
Care to explain why you feel this way ?
I mean, I disagree with you, but if you have valid points, I MIGHT understand your opinion...
1:57PM on 10/18/2013
@cathelotte it's rude to ask a woman why she has her period... Have some manners
@cathelotte it's rude to ask a woman why she has her period... Have some manners
1:57PM on 10/18/2013
@cathelotte it's rude to ask a woman why she has her period... Have some manners
@cathelotte it's rude to ask a woman why she has her period... Have some manners
7:59PM on 10/18/2013
obvious troll is obvious.
obvious troll is obvious.
10:54AM on 10/18/2013
I'm looking forward to it, this sounds like the team-up these two living legends of action cinema deserve. I have a feeling Jim Caviezel might just steal the show and I'm glad it sounds like there isn't a 50 cent overload. I was worried he'd be in this too much.
I'm looking forward to it, this sounds like the team-up these two living legends of action cinema deserve. I have a feeling Jim Caviezel might just steal the show and I'm glad it sounds like there isn't a 50 cent overload. I was worried he'd be in this too much.
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10:52AM on 10/18/2013
Definitely looks like a really great time at the movies. Arnold looks terrific in this.
Definitely looks like a really great time at the movies. Arnold looks terrific in this.
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