Saturday, December 6, 2014

Quck Cut Review - "Escape Plan"


Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Caviezel 
Rated: R
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes  
Release Date: October 18, 2013

This is the most ridiculous prison since Face-Off.
Hollywood's attempt at resurrecting the careers of aging 80's action stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger has been one of the biggest mishaps in recent history. Apparently it is much easier to reboot the franchises they were a part of than it is rebooting their careers. It's not for a lack of trying though, as both Stallone (Expendables 1-3, Bullet to the Head, Grudge Match) and Schwarzenegger (Last Stand, Expendables 1-3, Sabotage) have released a number of films that just haven't caught on with modern day movie goers. It doesn't help that most of their recent efforts have been slightly lacking in the quality department either.

Outside the Expendables franchise however, neither actor has ever worked together and even in that particular group of films their time on screen together is extremely limited. So when Escape Plan came around it was going to be the first time both actors would share starring credits and an ample amount of screen time together. For their fans it was a far more interesting and enticing opportunity to see them working together than anything we had see them do before, regardless of the actual film itself.

This should have happened 20 years ago.
There are then two questions that need to be answered. First is whether the wait was worth it with the second being is the film any good? Well, aside for the inability to understand most of anything coming out of Stallone's mouth anymore (which ironically Schwarzenegger has become easier to understand), the film works in most respects as both a modern day throwback of the type of films both stars used to make every other week back in their heyday and as fun action thriller that should please fans of either actor and even those who could care less of the film's pedigree star power.

There isn't much originality going on though with most of the film's point A to point B plotline playing out like a blueprint for dozens of other similar action/heist flicks. In short, you know where things will end up well before it reaches it conclusion, but that doesn't make the journey there any less fun. Aside from the perfunctory cliche-ridden script and perhaps disliking either or its two stars, there isn't much wrong with Escape Plan other than its lack of financial success sealing the fate of any future team-ups featuring Stallone and Schwarzenegger. Still, anyone curious to see the duo kick-ass together should come away moderately entertained, if not a bit indifferent at the same time.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

Escape Plan is a fun, if somewhat derivative, action thrill ride that fans of its two stars will likely find as a pleasant nostalgia-fueled bit of entertainment. However, anyone looking for something a little more original or don't really care for either of its stars unique acting qualities will not be impressed and probably wonder why these kind of movies are even made anymore. Judging from the reception these films have been receiving lately though, it is more than a legitimate concern.

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