Posted on 10/22/13 02:57 AM
"If i don't get out, i kill you - deal?"
Ah the 80s action flicks, a time when they were simple, guns, terrorist and save the girl a simpler time. It appears Hollywood is intent on bringing them back with the recent 'Expendable' and this years 'The Last Stand' and 'Bullet to the Head'. And now this 'Escape Plan' teaming 'Arnie' and 'Stallone' up in a more meaningful way giving both heavy screen time and letting the fists fly.
Well at least that was the aim, and yes there are fist, guns, and quips galore but it's dull, surprisingly so. 'Stallone' plays 'Ray Breslin' an ex-con and now head of the foremost security companies - making a living by breaking out of prisons and testing their system. After another success he agrees to take on another job, off the grid taking him to 'The Tomb' the most remote and secure prison in the world. Unfortunately he's been set-up (shock) and now all he wants is to get out and find out who did this - easier said than done. The premise is relatively interesting and could have been another success like Arnie's 'The Last Stand'. A plot isn't something that generally matters here but its too vague. Everything about it is skimmed over very thinly. There's keeping the story simple and then there's omitting reason. Something that it promises early on with a little intrigue but does nothing more than reveal it very nonchalantly as if the writer doesn't even believe his own script is worth the effort. I get that it's about the break out but when they dangle promise of a hidden agenda in front of you then just reveal halfway through without making a big deal i feel a little cheated. 'Breslin' and long time resident 'Rottmayer' (Arnie) develop an uneasy friendship and for the most part that's genuinely fun to watch. Finally getting to see these too heavyweight properly rather than one taking huge president over the other. More are roped in as to be expected what would an 80s style action flick be without the guy holds the bad guys at bay?.
The break-out itself flows between exciting and depressingly dull with neither really staying long enough. The action is in the same spirit as 'Stallone' films of old. Bare knuckle fights and heavy weaponry towards the end. The team behind 'Breslin' don't seem to be of any use at all and serve nothing more as extra screen time and a way to take the real bad guy down - who i can't work out why he would do this, money? he's already loaded, baffling. There's another quick and this time unexpected reveal at the end that eased the pain from before. It may again be vague in who this person is and why he's wanted but it manages to be effective none the less.
Award winners they are not but for the most part the acting is great keeping in (again i'm suing this phrase) the 80s action film style. Some over the top stuff and cheesy lines, but nothing too grating. Although Caviezel's 'Warden Hobb' end scene are me rolling my eyes, even so it could have been a lot worse.
Not a total disaster nor did it live up to the potential and promise it carried as a pure action flick. Even for this type of the film the story is far too vague, motives are completely unknown and Breslin's team are beyond pointless. There's some classic 'Arnie' and 'Stallone' dotted about and on occasion there are some flickers of their past successes. I may have left feeling a bit disappointed but on reflection is fairly well entertained - stupid but fun.