WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
After security expert Ray Breslin is hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul from a formidable Latvian prison, Breslin’s girlfriend is also captured. Now, he and his team, must pull off a deadly rescue mission to confront their sadistic foe and save the hostages before time runs out.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Feel like numbing your brain to the point where you might laugh at a Sylvester Stallone joke? Then Escape Plan: The Extractors is for you. While most of the world managed to avoid this boring monstrosity at the cinemas with a straight-to-DVD release, South Africa somehow managed to be blessed to see Stallone and Dave Bautista grunt at each other with their muscles as they attempt to save some damsels in distress.
While I was pleasantly surprised with the first Escape Plan - which somehow convinced you that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a criminal mastermind - The Extractors is less of a prison-break film and more a C-grade action movie that’s more likely to make you take a nap in your seat than pump you with adrenaline.
While covering up their tracks the prison-break-team cross paths with a head of security whose charge - the daughter of the billionaire who built the prisons they’ve escaped - is kidnapped by a poor man’s Gerard Butler with revenge on his mind.
For such a stupid movie, they expect their audience to have seen both previous films in a franchise that most people probably never have heard of - unless they’re a hardcore Stallone fan. The plot is as thin as Jacob Zuma’s credibility, sprinkled with an unhealthy dose of masochism and difficult-to-hear dialogue.
In the first film the intricacy of the supermax prison and the carefully laid out plans to escape made it interesting to watch - in this one, they’ve stripped the high-end gadgets and alarm systems out with some dirty hole that takes a mean Bautista with a rocket-launcher to take out.
But what do you expect from a washed-out action star and a director that somehow last saw the awards scene in the 90s? While the writer stayed the same throughout the trilogy, the director changed and the only one not phoning it in for the whole movie is Bautista, who always looks like he’s super excited to be in any film.
The rest of the cast includes stalwarts like 50 Cent (with glasses), the beautiful Harry Shum Jr (Crazy Rich Asians) and martial arts master Jin Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The only two speaking women in the movie - Jaime King and Malese Jow - only exist in the film to be damsels in need of rescuing, with very little agency.
Going to the cinema in South Africa is just way too expensive to waste it on garbage like Escape Plan: The Extractors, designed purely to eke out a fading action star’s career and pop up as a background movie suggestion on Netflix.