Thankfully, Escape Plan is not one of those shows.
Backed by a cast of familiar faces such as Sam Neill and Vinnie Jones, Escape Plan works the prison breakout genre in a way that is predictable but yet leaves plenty of interesting moments for the movie buff to look towards.
Having the right mix of tense and light hearted moments keeps the breakout plan smooth sailing. If you are hoping to find sequences that are stereotypical of classic Schwarzenegger and Stallone flicks, you will not be disappointed. These devices are used at opportune times and not excessively milked.
“You don’t look smart.” -Rottmayer to Breslin.
Stallone tries to pull off an intellectual personality but his reputation as a tough guy works against him. That’s what years of playing Rocky does to you; just one too many blows to the head. Your fans expect punches not brain juice.
Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, performs his character flawlessly. It probably has to do with him having taken on more light-hearted roles in Kindergarten Cop and Last Action Hero that makes his character of Rottmayer in Escape Plan more likeable and believable.
I’m sorry Stallone, while you might be the main hero of the show, Arnie just breaks out in this instance. It feels almost as though the screenwriters gave him the better lines.
This has to be my favourite prison break movie next to The Shawshank Redemption. While you won’t find many feel-good moments in Escape Plan, the movie gets away with enough to leave you satisfied. It was thoroughly enjoyable to witness how Stallone’s best laid plans are executed as he escapes from The Tomb. However, it does get a fair bit unbelievable as the plans works out too smoothly. Stallone’s character really does come off as an Einstein when it comes to breaking out of prisons given how the movie explains takes the time to illustrate how his escape plans come to fruition. The backstory of Breslin could have been developed with more depth and it would be interesting to see how exactly a lawyer becomes a modern day Houdini.
The only anti-climax in the show is the lack of an equal in terms of the villain, Jim Caviezel (Hobbes). He tries to be an equal opponent against Stallone in an attempt to portray the apprentice surpassing his master. Good attempt but the script needs to make him look more menacing. But who cares when we’re rooting for Schwarzenegger and Stallone?
Age has not slowed these stars and Escape Plan demonstrates sufficiently that they wouldn’t really need a marquee cast to escape with success.
Special thanks to Shaw Organisation for the preview screening!