Mania Grade: B-
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- 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
Escape Plan Blu-ray Review
80s action icons team-up!
By Tim Janson
February 23, 2014
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.
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)