Escape Plan

Escape Plan (Summit Entertainment)
Escape Plan (Summit Entertainment)
What it's about:

One of the world’s foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called "The Tomb.”

Deceived and wrongly imprisoned, Ray Breslin must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.

What we thought:

As a reviewer, you know you should reserve judgement before watching a movie, but when the credits include aging action stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone and how they mastermind an escape from a privately-funded prison, you tend to almost start writing the review in your head before the opening scene.

However, I was surprised at how not terrible it was. Not movie of the year, but definitely entertaining enough to keep you watching, despite the fact that the writers placed the two veterans in roles that they’re laughably not suited for – i.e. much younger than they are and apparently geniuses (had to contain my laughter at this point).

The element that saved this movie from running down the 1-star toilet was its directing and script. Although clearly aimed at facilitating Schwarzenegger and Stallone’s current comeback fight, and peppered with clichés and predictable plot twists, there were still a few surprises in the plot to keep you interested long enough to figure out everyone’s end game. As well as a few chuckles from the Terminator himself.

Also, if you’re into the whole prison-break plot this is not a bad one to add to your collection. The elaborate prison, which is privately funded to house special criminals from around the world, is a sort of genius in itself, albeit quite a cruel, human-rights-nightmare of a system. Faceless gaurds, zero windows, see-through cells and the isolation chambers are a simple terror.

And all of this headed by a new breed of villain – the bureaucratic one. The warden of the hi-tech prison, played by Jim Caviezel (who interestingly played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ), is an administrator to the core who puts the value of a man in dollars. It’s a calculating evil and although this is a movie you should not be expecting amazing acting, Caviezel definitely stood out. 

The idea of privately funded prisons is an interesting one in the least, especially when it comes to who funds them exactly in the first place, because in this scenario not only governments but drug cartels and corporations pay to keep ‘criminals’ in there, who they don’t necessarily want to kill straight off but need certain information from. A scary thought indeed.

This seemed to be the real star of the movie however. The characters' motivations and backstories are flimsy, to say the least. Stallone's Ray's justification for why he breaks out of prisons is very 'out there' (and the fact that he was a lawyer before is also silly to say the least. I mean, does Stallone look like a court room shark?) and his accomplice Schwarzenegger is a Robin Hood figure, a way to make it okay for a criminal to escape. It would have been a lot grittier had Schwarzenegger been some hardcore murderer/mobster/serial killer that would have given the lead more moral quandaries about whether or not to help him escape.

Although rudimentary in its plot, I won’t bash this one completely into the ground as it’s surprisingly enjoyable and something I would recommend for a fun movie night for entertainment without having to grasp with morals or emotions, just like Stallone’s botoxed face.