Escape Plan Blu-ray Review - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Rated: R
  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Sam Neil, Vincent D'Onofrio
  • Written By: Miles Chapman and Jason Keller
  • Directed By: Mikael Håfström
  • Distributor: Summit Home Entertainment
  • Original Year of Release: 2013
  • Special Features: See Below
  • Series:

Escape Plan Blu-ray Review

80s action icons team-up!

By Tim Janson     February 23, 2014
Source: Mania.com


Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan
© Summit Home Entertainment 2013
While it may come 25 to 30 years too late there is still something inherently warm and fuzzy about seeing 1980s action film icons Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger team-up together and split the screen time.  Escape Plan can best be described as a “safe” film, and perhaps its best that two guys who now qualify for social security benefits should play it safe.  Stallone is Ray Breslin, who runs a Los Angeles–based security firm specializing in testing the reliability of maximum security prisons. He goes undercover as an inmate into prisons to study their designs and the guards' habits to find and exploit their weaknesses.  His firm is hired by the CIA to test a top-secret prison and see if it is escape-proof.  Against the objects of his support team, he and his partner Lester Clark (D’Onofrio) opt to go for the big payday.

A fake kidnapping is staged to get him off the streets and into the prison yet Breslin quickly realizes something as gone terribly wrong when his failsafe code is ignored by Warden Hobbes (Caviezel), leaving Breslin to ponder who set him up.  He soon meets fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) and they quickly form a friendship and begin plotting their escape from the seemingly unescapable prison.

Stallone has been in this situation before in previous films such as Lock Up (1989) and Tango & Cash (1989).  The difference here is a far more complex and often incomprehensible script by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller.  The Warden is trying to get Rottmayer to reveal information about a man named Victor Mannheim and banks crashing in Europe.  Apparently Director Mikael Håfström also found it somewhat ponderous as he seemed to ignore it for huge stretches.  The warden begins to torment Breslin by keeping him awake and tossing him into solitary confinement and then seems to completely forget about him, allowing Breslin to pull a MacGyver routine by building a marine sextant from far-too-easily obtained items in the prison…Oh I forgot to mention the prison turns out to be a freighter deep at sea.

Caviezel is an outstanding actor but in Escape Plan he basically channels the performance of every evil warden in every prison film ever made.  Similarly, Sam Neil is also largely wasted as the sympathetic ship’s doctor.  And yet despite all of these inadequacies it’s still a lot of fun to wind up Stallone and Schwarzenegger and watch them go.  As you’d expect the film is rife with deadpan quips from the pair, an homage to many of their roles from their peak period.  When it comes right down to it, a safe Stallone and Schwarzenegger still manage to be more entertaining than most other modern day action stars. 

Blu-Ray Extras

Audio Commentary with Director Mikael Hafstrom and Co-Writer Miles Chapman

Executing the Plan: The Making of Escape Plan (22:13) - Features interviews with cast and crew and a look at the different aspects of the production.

Maximum Security: The Real-Life Tomb (21:57) – This featurette takes a look at real life U.S. maximum security prisons and how they operate with interviews with actual wardens and prison guards.

Clash of the Titans (15:34) – A look at the teaming of Stallone and Schwarzenegger and how well they worked together

Deleted Scenes (8:13) 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
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doublec 2/23/2014 3:27:55 PM

 This movie tried WAY too hard to be a serious escape movie I was looking for something fun from these guys and this just wasn't it. the one scene that seemed to try go for humor-the extended scene where Schwarznegger speaks German-felt like it was from another movie.

hanso 2/23/2014 3:40:02 PM

I'm the other way, I thought it worked cause it wasn't trying to be fun.  They can do that in the craptastic Expendables.

I enjoyed it more than The Last Stand, both Expendables, and Bullet to the Head.

RobertTrate 2/23/2014 3:57:13 PM

 Yeah I loved this flick. Ir was a ton of fun! 

Mooncrow 2/24/2014 1:16:46 AM

 As noted from his many comments stating so, Hanso dislikes too much humor in his action/hero films. I 'm usually the opposite and like humor mixed in. However I think you nailed it this time. This film took itself more seriously than the other recent films by these two and it is the best of the bunch.

Dazzler 2/24/2014 3:48:28 AM

I saw the premiere! See my profile pic!    Thanks for the heads up last year for Comic con San Diego.  Decided to goto Chicago this year.  Bit more expensive but better guests I have a shot at meeting that I like usually.  I actually missed the regular screening of Escape plan, guess I better buy it to make up for it.  I actually got a duo autography poster from both of them also!  

Wiseguy 2/24/2014 4:51:19 AM

I agree with Bob. Movie was a ton of fun

I also agree with hanso's last statement, much better than those other films

monkeyfoot 2/24/2014 7:10:33 AM

I happened across copies of Escape Plan and Last Stand the same weekend so probably for wrong reasons I compare them to each other. Of the two Last Stand was a far superior movie to me for Arnie. Well executed and Arnie comes across great on it.

This one was still fun though. It felt like an 80s style action movie with the usual Villains With No Redeemable Qualities kind of thing. Robert you got the review right by me: it was Tango & Cash Extended Prison Edition with less humor and MacGyver stirred in.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 2/25/2014 11:15:46 AM

 This is the worst movie I've seen in years and probably one of the worst ever. Even for a dumb, eigties throwback movie like it was trying to be.

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