Sylvester Stallone is Ray Breslin, a professional escape artist who exposes prisons’ weaknesses by breaking out of them, then offering the services of his security firm. When he’s offered the chance to test a secret CIA facility that is supposed to be escape proof, he jumps at the challenge – and the lucrative pay day. Problem is, once he’s in, it’s quickly obvious that he’s in for real – someone has set him up.
Not one to be discouraged, Ray puts his years of experience to good use in formulating a way out. First step is to make a friend inside. That friend happens to be Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who is of particular interest to the evil warden (Jim Caviezel). Vinnie Jones, 50 Cent, and Faran Tahir are in supporting roles and “that guy from Jurassic Park” Sam Neill makes an appearance as well.
The plot is pretty straight forward. Sly and Ahnold have to work together using their plentiful brains (?) and brawn to formulate and execute a complicated escape plan (see what they did there?) to break out of an unbreakable prison. The whole thing is terribly unlikely and mostly relies on the two of them being much smarter than the genius who built and runs the facility – a fact that even the film admits is ludicrous.
It’s a film reminiscent of the 80’s action films with a sci-fi flare that the two stars are most well known for but it fails to recapture the innocent naivety and “so bad it’s good” spirit of that period of cinema. Likewise it doesn’t reach the campy fun heights of The Expendables 2 that knew exactly what it wanted to be and went above and beyond that goal.
The plot exists only to the degree it absolutely must in order to move things forward, with every point hanging onto a crumbling cliff that under the pressure of any reasonable reality would fall away. But what did you expect? As a mindless evening of action fun, it’s perhaps worth a rental, but this film will soon be forgotten. The premise is decent, and the set pieces appropriate. With better writing and more believable stars (Jason Statham anyone?) this could have been a lot of fun. There is, actually, a half decent twist at the end, but it’s not enough to be worth the price of a movie ticket. You won’t quite be formulating an escape plan of your own, but you will probably regret entering this particular prison.
Mrs. Hamster did not attend this screening
My Rating – Two out of five hats
Escape Plan breaks
out of in to 2,883 theaters, October 18