- X 2019
Robbie Brenner, Mark Canton, Remington Chase, Randall Emmett, Kevin King Templeton, Brandt Andersen (executive), Alexander Boies (executive), George Furla (executive), Jason Gandhi (executive), Stepan Martirosyan (executive), Jeff Rice (executive), Zack Schiller (executive), Nicolas Stern (executive), Mark Stewart (executive) for Summit Entertainment, Mark Canton Productions, EFO Films, Envision Entertainment, Boies Schiller Film Group, Atmosphere Entertainment, Knightsbridge Entertainment
directed by Mikael Håfström
starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, 50 Cent, Caitriona Balfe, David Joseph Martinez, Alec Rayme, Christian Stokes, Graham Beckel, Rodney Feaster, David Leitch, Lydia Hull, Eric R Salas, Brian Oerly, Jeff Chase, Christopher Matthew Cook (voice), Michael Papajohn, Jaylen Moore, Stephen Livaudais
story by Miles Chapman, screenplay by Miles Chapman, Jason Keller (as Arnell Jesko), music by Alex Heffes
Available on DVD !
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Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is an expert in breaking out of prisons -
professionally, he and his partner Lester (Vincent D'Onofrio) run a
business testing prisons regarding their escability, with Lester being the
numbers man, Breslin the escape artist. Their routine is, Breslin gets
locked up under an assumed identity as nothing but a normal prisoner, then
tries to break out - and he succeeds every time. So he's asked by the CIA
to test a maximum security prison that's located at an unknown location
and is pretty much built for prisoners the gouvernment wants out of the
picture without a trial, and always for life.
Once in prison, Breslin is
quick to learn this prison is not what even he's used to, it's actually
built according to his specifications as to what a maximum security prison
is supposed to look like, only that the guards are brutal here and don't
shy away from torture or even murder. And the warden, Hobbs (Jim
Caviezel), is nothing but a cold and calculating asshole. But Breslin
finds an unexpected friend in Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who seems
to know more about Breslin than he lets on, and who helps him in planning
his escape, but in return he of course wants to tag along. Rottmayer you
see is of special interest to Hobbs, as he's said to know the whereabouts
of an international "financier" the CIA wants to get rid of. So
basically, Hobbs won't let him be killed before Rottmayer hasn't given up
the location - but that doesn't mean he can't be tortured ...
Breslin arranges to be locked in solitary, has Rottmayer create a
diversion, and makes a first escape attempt through the air ducts - only
to realise they're on a giant ship in the middle of the Ocean, and who
knows in which Ocean. Now that's of course a set-back, but Breslin isn't
one to give up, so he builds a sextant, then has a fellow inmate, Javed
(Faran Tahir), tell on him in return for being allowed to pray under the
stars - so that gives them the a rough idea where they are. And Breslin
has also found out that the prison doctor (Sam Neill) is actually a
sympathetic man - so he has him send a message to Rottmayer's outside
contact - and then by creating a prison riot and Breslin's accumulated
knowledge of the outline of the place, he, Rottmayer and Javed try to make
an escape. But the cards are stacked against them pretty much from the
Rapper 50 Cent plays one of Breslin's outside contacts,
English football star Vinnie Jones the warden's most sadistic guard.
in the 1980s, when both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were
at the height of their action superstardom, the news about a team-up
between the two would probably have blown up the internet (had it existed
back then). In the 2010s, the audience response to the film was rather
lukewarm - sure, it eventually made its money back and has a good
afterlife on DVD, Blu-ray and digital, but an opening weekend of less than
$10 million doesn't sound too exciting, nor does the fact that the two
sequels went straight to video in most regions, including the US.
that said, Escape Plan isn't at all a bad movie, it's story is well
thought-through and structured, and its heroes use more brainds than
brawns and are presented as anything but invincible and infallible, which
makes them more believable and relatable. And the direction puts an
emphasis on atmosphere rather than action - at least until the third act
which turns into a somewhat disappointing (if well-staged) shoot-out that
takes the film back into macho action flick territory.
Still, a rather
decent movie that's not half as testosterone-driven as one would have
expected from a Schwarzenegger-Stallone team-up but turns out to be a
rather tense prison thriller.