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Written by / 10/18/2013 / No comments / , , , , ,

SLY & ARNOLD BREAKOUT IN ESCAPE PLAN

year: 2013 cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D'Onofrio rating: ** 
Sylvester Stallone is Ray Breslin… When Ray goes to prison, which happens quite a lot, he doesn’t sit around playing solitaire. Upon perpetual scrutiny, everything about the interior turns mathematical… His job is to find the weak points and escape…

Stallone
There’s an old Tim Conway flick where he and his buddy are imprisoned, part of a secret mission for the governor... When the governor dies, the boys become actual inmates: Same thing happens here, kind of. Breslin is given a classified, high-paying gig from the CIA to test a prison that doesn’t register on the map... Where the inmates aren’t even listed… They’ve been “disappeared” from the earth…

He winds up in a mysterious location called The Tomb (the film’s original title) where an abundance of cubicle, glass-structured cells are leveled throughout a cold, mazy warehouse (imagine Hannibal Lecter in a giant version of a Star Trek multi-layered chess set)… There’s simply no way of escape and, worse yet, the warden knows nothing of Ray's agenda.

Arnold S.
The main device of ESCAPE PLAN is the pairing of Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead of an EXPENDABLES style cameo, Arnold plays second-fiddle, a graying-gruff inmate named Rottmayer, who, like James Garner in THE GREAT ESCAPE and Morgan Freeman in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, is the go-to guy providing “favors.” He also spouts a limited amount of exposition about this strange, impenetrable purgatory. Leading to several twists along the way… the biggest one revealed much too soon.

In the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE fashion there’s an abundance of intricate dialogue – mostly Ray’s narration, centering on the prison routine and vulnerability. This also becomes a hindrance to the story. With so much explanation it never feels like the characters are actually stuck in a dire circumstance. Meanwhile, Arnold’s lackluster performance and an embarrassingly overboard Jim Caviezel, who makes Donald Sutherland’s hissing LOCK-UP warden seem tame, doesn’t help matters.

Take away the science-fiction aspect of a modernized, futuristic detention center and you’re left with a below-average prison flick that a few gut-wrenching mess hall brawls can’t save… The overblown, over-explained PLAN exceeds the rushed, anticlimactic ESCAPE...  
"Hell, we should have teamed up in the early 90's... Damn our giant egos."
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