Escape Plan is a movie that promises both action and intrigue. Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is the leading expert in breaking out of prisons. He works for an independent company who promises to find flaws in high-security prisons in order to allow the prison’s management to try to make their facility as escape-proof as possible.
Ray agrees to test a prison intended for the most undesirable prisoners in the world. The prison itself is in a location unknown to him or his colleagues. Once inside, he learns that he is set up and the people that put him there do not intend for him to escape. Not only that, but any safety net options he had are quickly removed from him. Because this is an action movie and this is “Sly” we’re talking about, the natural response is:
The following is the trailer for Escape Plan. I will warn you, however, that it does spoil a lot of the best parts of the movie. If you are the type of person that is even the slightest bit sensitive to spoilers and you wish to watch the movie, skip over the trailer. One of the best characters of this movie is the mystery shrouded over it.
Escape Plan has all the usual elements that make up a typical action movie:
- A sinister antagonist that you can’t wait to see die
- Protagonists who despite a glorious introduction has the odds stacked against him
- A supporting character that seems a little too cowardly to be a good thing
- Cheesy one-liners
- Camera shake during action scenes
- A plot that is just convincing enough to give the protagonist reason to push forward
It’s the plot that may have bugged me the most about this movie. The stage is set during the opening scene. Ray is in prison and is obviously scoping the place out. We already know that he plans to escape but the mystery is how. When he escapes, he explains the how and also reveals his formula for discovering his escape plan. He has escaping down to a science so naturally he wrote a book on it.
When placed into the next prison, he immediately tries to back out of the deal. Why? It is because the trip there raised some red flags with him?
Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) also quickly tries to befriend Ray Breslin for reasons we don’t find out until much later in the movie. After a few attempts, they decide to work together.
There are other points in the movie where the story seemed to be forced along, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises along the way. This is an action movie after all. Did we really expect a complex plot or a story that makes us reflect upon the lives we live? Nah.
We watch action movies for the action scenes. While you will have to sit through half the movie to see any action beyond a few fists flying, it does reward you with guns and explosions as the movie reaches its climax.
I’m also not sure why they chose to omit dollar amounts whenever they mentioned money in the movie. Is there an industry for prison breaking that they are trying to protect the value of? The way they work around mentioning actual numbers is like censoring a “curse word” on TV or in a song. It draws more attention to it than if it was left in.
In conclusion, Escape Plan would not make a top ten list for best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, Sylvester Stallone movies, or prison break movies. It has its moments which most of it you can see in the trailer or wait until the last 30 minutes of the movie. Watch this one without high expectations.
Escape Plan premieres on HBO November 29 and plays into December.