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Escape Plan Review

Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, 50 Cent, Amy Ryan
Release Date: 18th October

When it comes to ‘80s action movies, you usually have to take them with a grain of salt. Everything on display is ridiculous, but that can be forgiven if you’re along for the ride. Still, these kinds of films have to toe the line between being stupid and being stupidly fun.

Escape Plan realises this distinction and at times it figures out to how to stay on the correct side. Take the setup for instance. We have a structural engineer (Stallone) who is employed to try break out of maximum security prisons, due to his incredible talent for escapology.

Following a call from a CIA agent, he and his motley crew of helpers, one of whom is played by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, are assigned to aid him in breaking out of the most fortified prison ever built that is based upon an engineering book written by Stallone’s own character. Yes, it sure is silly.

This is all before we even meet Schwarzenegger’s character (Rottmayer), as well as Jim Cazviezel as the evil prison warden. It’s hardly the work of Lars Von Trier, but it is actually fun.

Schwarzenegger is in fine form, pumping out his trademark one-liners like nobody’s business. The film itself has a decent sense of humour, particularly with some near-satirical sequences by the end. On top of that, the opening prison break is an interesting sequence and the action ranges from solid to enjoyable throughout.

However, Escape Plan does keep up this feeling throughout the two hour running time. Some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious, with some real indecipherable dialogue mumbled from the mouth of Stallone.

The characters may be cut from the comic book cloth, but anything involving Stallone’s work mates, particularly the nonsense from 50 Cent’s character, is pretty bad.

It’s clear that director Håfström set out to re-create the action movies pumped out in the prime of Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s career, especially when the film essentially turns into a remake of the Steven Seagal classic Under Siege.

Nevertheless, it never quite reaches the height set by action gems such as Commando or First Blood, but depending on your view of the genre, it puts in an admirable effort.

If you’re happy to revel in the stupidity and bravado, you’ll have fun. There are many things wrong with the movie; poor dialogue and nonsensical plot points, for example. However, if you are willing to buy into crazy antics, like Stallone being a structural engineer, you may just have a good time.

In A Nutshell: A silly homage to the golden age of camp action, Escape Plan’s ridiculousness can be fun if you leave reason at the door