The Terminator, Rocky, Total Recall, Rambo, Predator, The Expendables: all of these are legendary action films, that fulfill a lust for gratuitous amounts of violence, blood and death. But they also created two of the most famous action heroes: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Men that have a combined kill count of over 1000.
So needless to say after the exciting combination of many of the greatest action heroes of the last 40 years in The Expendables 2, where we witness Sly and Arnie picking up over sized helicopter door guns together for the first time. I couldn’t wait to go and see the duos next pairing in Escape Plan.
Escape plan appears to be a hard hitting film about a prison escape artist who tests the worlds prisons and expose any potential flaws, who then gets mysteriously thrown into a private super prison that is unbreakable. Unfortunately I would soon find out that I would be wrong, the first sign that I should have avoided Escape Plan came when I couldn’t find a cinema that was actually showing the film at any time! Now this is a phenomenon that I am not use too, as I am quite spoilt in that I live in Central London with 3 of the biggest cinema brands all on my door step!
Thus to actually go hunting for a cinema that was showing Escape Plan only 2 days after release day should have started alarm bells. Nethertheless my friend and I scoured the London cinema scene until we found a small Odeon near Marble Arch that had a showing.
The film starts following Breslin (Stallone), escaping from an unnamed prison, the opening scenes are very exciting thanks to the fast pace created by the angles and cutting
Also his escape method is truly ingenious, with houdini style tricks. Unfortunately from here the film rather stalls with lots of dialogue and conversation which; lets be honest, are not Stallones forte (unless its screaming ADDDDRIAAAANNN!)
After escaping Breslin has a meeting with a CIA rep who wants him to test another prison, Breslin accepts, resulting in his imprisonment in a newly designed inescapable prison! Breslin tries to break out but soon discovers that he can’t, so sets up a meeting with the prison commandant (as that is the best way to describe the sadistic character played by Jim Caviezel) Hobbes, where he reveals his true identity and gives Hobbes code words that should render his release. Instead Breslin gets thrown back into his cell where Breslin is ‘physically and mentally broken’ in order to prevent any escape activity.
Breslin realises that he will have to make friends on the inside if he wants to survive which is where his Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) comes in. He plays a prisoner that knows his way around the barred hell they now reside in. Together they plot their escape and initiate their plan
What follows is a mix of hilarious scenes with Rottmayer and Breslin, systematically working to come by the materials and items they need to make their escape attempt. A stand out scene for me was when Breslin and Rottmayer stage a fight so they can be thrown into isolation, Breslin punches Rottmayer who with true Arnold charm quickly quips “you punch like a vegetarian”. Its a line that certainly won’t replace the infamous “I’ll be back” yet it certainly is delivered in such a way that will bring a laugh.
All in all the film has a nice pace throughout; but I feel mislead by the trailer, to me it hinted at so much more that the film never quite delivered. All in all, I would recommend the film if you are looking for a good thriller, with many laughs, light action scenes and tense moments.
On the other hand if you are looking for a commando style ‘punch ‘em up’ this isn’t your film. What you are looking for is The Expendables 2 and possibly the highly anticipated future release of The Expendables 3. So until that comes out, all my fellow action comrades will just have to be content with the release of the warfare video games Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty Ghost.