Movie Review: Escape Plan (2013)

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Escape Plan is the newest action/thriller that teams up Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger….and it’s the first movie that made me wish Schwarzenegger would run for president. It’s not that I agree with his politics or think he would make a good leader. I really just want him to stop making movies. It’s starting to get sad.

Escape Plan is yet another prison escape caper. In it, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) must escape from the most escape proof prison in the world, otherwise known as The Tomb. As an added twist, he’s the one who built the prison in the first place, being one of the foremost security experts in the world. He gets fellow inmate, Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to help devise an escape plan, so he can break out of prison and figure out who framed him. [more…]

Not a bad premise, really. The problem isn’t with the story itself. The problem is with the execution. The producers could have just had fun with the premise and accepted the fact that it is an action movie aimed at people who like action movies. There’s nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, in order to squeeze in some intelligence, they chose to cram several convoluted and completely unnecessary side plots as well. There’s a terrorist named Manheim (yes that’s really his name). In a flop back and forth between in the prison and out, Breslin’s buddies Hush (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) Abigail (Amy Ryan) and Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio) attempt to find and help Breslin. Well, Hush and Abigail do. Lester mainly stands around, exhibiting shifty eyes, acting suspiciously and wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m the one who framed Breslin!”

So, ok, I made the t-shirt up, but he might as well have. The bad guy is pretty obvious from his first scene.

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Here’s the thing. I think we all know that Stallone and Schwarzenegger can’t act. Hell, they can’t even elocute. That’s just fine when I’m watching them blow stuff up and beat the crap out of people. However, when I’m forced to try and decipher what they’re saying while they have thick accented conversations, I just get frustrated.

Also, for a prison that is supposed to be a fortress, it has more holes than the plot. Most people watching will wonder why the prison officials didn’t just choose to store their inmates in a drafty barn, with a door that doesn’t close all the way.Escape From Escape Plan 3

Finally, producers, stop trying to convince me that Schwarzenegger and Stallone are still in their forties. I think we all know better. These are two men that are clearly showing their ages. “Space Cowboys” rolled with their aging cast and it worked. Why couldn’t Escape Plan?

For die hard fans of action, there’s plenty of that. Escape Plan is still fun, as long as you don’t try to think too much or decipher what Schwarzenegger and Stallone are saying. Instead, shut off your brain, tune out the noise, and watch for explosions. If you try to follow the plot, you’re just going to get dizzy…and bored.