If there ever was a great idea in 1997, Escape Plan would be it. What wouldn’t be more badass than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone teaming up for an action film, right? Well … in 2013 that idea seemed fairly silly for the sheer size of it and the film that Escape Plan wound up feeling about two decades too late for both men. It’s perfunctory, nothing more, as this would’ve felt closer to The Towering Inferno in 1996 and winds up feeling closer to Righteous Kill in terms of historical legacy.
It stands as more of an opportunity taken by two fading stars trying to relive their glory days instead of the interesting character piece masquerading as an action film it could’ve been.
The film has a simple premise. Breslin (Stallone) is a prison escape artist who does so professionally; he gets hired by prisons to see how difficult it would be to escape from them. He’s apparently pretty good at it, as well, as he’s made a tremendous living doing so. He and his partner (Vincent D‘Onofrio) are presented with a ridiculous offer by the CIA: escape from a prison meant for the worst of the worst. Brought into “The Tomb,” Breslin is given a fake identity and dropped into a prison with the worst of the worst.
He quickly makes a friend (Schwarzenegger), a man who’s been in the prison for not giving up his boss. Things don’t go as planned, as Breslin is left there to rot. It’s up to the ultimate in ‘80s action film team ups to break out of the prison and take down its evil warden (Jim Caviezel).
The problem is that the film feels more like Righteous Kill, which had the combination of two icons (Al Pacino and Robert De Niro), than the sort of epic film the two should’ve starred in. It’s solid and perfectly acceptable entertainment but it’s not the sort of amazing, epic film that you’d expect from two guys who were exceptionally large film stars at one point.
A handful of EPK pieces are included as well as a commentary from director Mikael Håfström.
Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment present Escape Plan. Directed by Mikael Håfström. Written by Miles Chapman, Jason Keller. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Running time: 115 minutes. Rated R. Released: February 4, 2014.
Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone