Title: Escape Plan. Released: October 18, 2013. Directed by: Mikael Håfström. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent. Runtime: 115 min. Time took to write review/Date written: 36 min/Nov. 17, 2013. Times seen: Once.
For a Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, this has a low amount of action. But for a movie with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, it has a surprisingly low amount of non-stop action. Yet, oddly enough, the movie focuses so much on escaping out of the inescapable prison, that the film can’t slow down for one minute to complete a compelling aspect of Stallone’s character. It almost did, but not quite – so the film just leaves us in the dark too often.
It does have its fair share of action, but it’s a bit far between. It would be better pitched as an action drama, not as a action, mystery, thriller like it is on IMDb. It’s a solid experience either way, even if it can’t fully develop its story. The warden Hobbes (Jim Caziezel) is looking for a prisoner that designed the prison where only Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzengger) knows where the person is. Or something like that, it’s never crystal clear.
Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is the main protagonist and mastermind of breaking out of prisons. It’s actually his profession, and he writes books about how to make an inescapable prison – and Hobbes uses it as a guidebook. His main purpose, though, is to report back to the Warden of the prison and tell them what they need to work on. When he is sent into Hobbes’ prison, however, there are no escape codes that he can use to get out of the prison. While he studies the guards’ habits, it is more difficult since they are faceless.
He has to resort to nicknaming their habits. Enough about the story because it doesn’t really go any thicker than that; what is important is this is a decent movie to see in theatres. It might be a bit overlong, but it’s never dull. Do not expect too much action, because it comes in sporadic doses. When it does come, it’s exciting. It has some funny lines to fill out parts that try to develop the story; but as with most of Sly’s starring vehicles, there are more than a few pointless lines.
The movie’s weakest aspect is mostly just its character development, and certain aspects of the story. The filmmakers try to develop all of that, but they don’t succeed with flying colours. It’s nice to see an action movie at least attempting to develop at least one character, and that’s a better courtesy than some do. I really don’t like having to strain my brain to remember a simple character trait.
Anyway, the creativity of the film is great. The premise gets points for originality. The only way to tell the guards apart is the way they walk. Their creepy masks and similar British accents are nearly impossible to differentiate. Vinnie Jones is nice to see; his role seems to be the director of security or something, the only one who doesn’t wear a mask. The guards with masks would be excellent for a horror movie, I’m telling you. It’s nice to see Amy Ryan in a supporting role. The cast is fine, but everybody knows Stallone nor Schwarzenegger are the greatest actors. My favourite part of the movie is probably the design of the prison. It reminds me of the elevator cube layout of “The Cabin in the Woods.”