16
Oct
13

‘escape plan’ review

Last night, FMP and I attended an advanced showing of the new Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger film, “Escape Plan”. Predictably, Stallone started a fight, blew something up and escaped from a prison all in the first ten minutes.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the co-owner of a firm that specializes in testing prisons to see where the weaknesses in security will allow a prisoner to break out. Shortly after the opening scene, Breslin is back in his office with the rest of his team to discuss a new job offer. A young lady from the CIA offers twice the usual fee if Breslin will help test a new type of prison for people so bad that they need to be “disappeared”. At first, Ray is reluctant to take on the assignment, but his business partner, Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio) talks him into it. The only catch is that no one else on the team can know where Ray is being taken.

Ray is “apprehended” in the street and finds himself in a huge room filled with clear box-like cells guarded by men wearing identical black uniforms and masks. He is introduced to the warden, Willard Hobbs (Jim Caviezel). If you have seen Caviezel in ‘Person of Interest”, you will appreciate his versatility in playing Hobbs, who is eeriely creepy. After being processed, Ray is taken to a cell.

Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) soon befriends Breslin and the two begin to plan their escape. At one point, Arnie gives an inspired impersonation of a man driven mad by the torture of solitary confinement. All doubts about his skill as an actor should be laid to rest based on this performance alone.

As expected, Breslin and Rottmayer succeed in the end. On the way, though, there are numerous surprise twists that you do not even suspect are coming.

The only reason this film has an R rating appears to be copious use of the F-word, but no more than you would expect from the type of criminal kept here. The violence and gore level are about equal to what can be seen in some prime-time television shows. A mature 13-year-old would probably be okay with this film.

On a five-star scale, I would give this a 5. There was plenty of action for FMP and enough of a plot to keep me happy.–TSG

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