Action Thriller ‘Escape Plan’ Doesn’t Live Up To Its Potential

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Photo By Screen Crush

Arnold Swarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone flop in action movie ‘Escape Plan’. Photo courtesy of Screen Crush

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone had similar careers, they were eventually cast as muscle-man competitors, despite their apparent mutual respect. After all, while Stallone’s career was based on Rocky, Rambo, and crime dramas, Schwarzenegger’s was built on The Terminator, Predator, and self-skewering comedic roles. While they’ve shared the screen a few times in recent years, Escape Plan was the first time they worked together through an entire film. 

Unfortunately, Schwarzengegger offers the best performance of the two, despite the fact that he is only in a supporting capacity. With a sparkle in his smile and a slew of tricks up his sleeve, the actor’s performance as Emil Rottmayer is the charming engine that propels the film forward, speeding up the momentum when Stallone seems to be falling asleep. 

Despite Stallone’s aloofness, Rottymayer’s long-confined deception plan insists on befriending Ray Breslin. The character is best known as the world’s greatest escape artist, and goes along with Breslin’s wilder plots with a cherry zeal that only lightly hides his underlying intellect. 

For the first time since his return to acting, the Governator drives himself, launching into a German tirade and raving like a lunatic to aid their infiltrations. Maybe he enjoys the flexibility of playing such a role more than Stallone, who grimly ventures through an unnecessarily drawn-out storyline. 

And it’s here that the film stumbles, with each ordinary line sounding overly repetitive. Jim Caviezel, Vinne Jones’ thuggish guard, is a mean warden, traitor, and antagonist-turned-ally. While an early effort to escape the super-prison is surprising, they utilize more innovative methods such as heat expansion mechanics.  As the architecture presents pleasantly difficult obstacles, it quickly collapses into the same old cliches, and dissipates  into a dreadfully acted final scene. 

If this is the outcome of the pair’s first genuine fight, Stallone should demand a rematch. In the movie, it is told as if Stallone’s character, Ray Breslin, actually wrote the novel about maximum-security prisons, and he spends all of his time there getting out to test security mechanisms. However, after he is transferred to a different jail, he discovers that he has been double-crossed and is now truly imprisoned. He decides it is essential to team up with fellow inmate, Schwarzenegger’s Swan Rottmayer to escape. The simple plot of Escape Plan can also be considered a plus. While the jail-beak buddy story isn’t original, it does have a few twists hidden away in its prison uniform pockets to make the end satisfying. 

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