Schwarzenegger and Stallone getting almost equal footing in a single movie, if only this concoction had come out during the 80s, what we get instead is a largely plodding effort by two over-the-hill action stars in trying to regain some sense of pride perhaps. While it’s far from a bad movie, it’s by no stretch a good one either.
Stallone’s a ‘break-out’ specialist who looks for chinks in prisons by actually breaking out of them to showcase them. A black-ops assignment sends him to an off the grid isolation centre run by the efficient but ruthless Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) but someone actually wants him to rot behind those walls and never get out. So his outside support is blanked away completely and he has to rely only on his escape skills to get out; even if it means pairing up with the various assortment of scum that fills up this Guantanamo bay like hell hole.
The movie starts off interestingly but soon slows down with prison movie clichés abounding every scene. You’ve seen this stuff a million times over in the past and Mikael Hallstrom’s aloof directing style doesn’t help matters either. All of it is pretty straightforward and what little twists and turns there are, can be seen coming a mile away. The thing that does astound is imagining someone as bulky and beefy as Stallone being a break-out specialist. What if he gets stuck in an air vent or something? He’d surely never be able to pull off a Andy Dufraene. Plus it has so many echoes of his 1989 prison movie, ‘Lock-Up’. As for the big deal of the movie, the pairing of Sly and Arnie, well it fizzles out before it even fires up, so that’s a damp squib right there. Jim Caviezel seems to be the only one having some real fun, while the rest of the starcast seems to be on hand to pick up a paycheck.
‘The Escape Plan’ was originally called ‘The Tomb’ perhaps that’s a more suitable word to describe where Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s careers are currently and probably headed.view less