At the Movies - Escape Plan - Review

Sylvester Stallone (right) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Escape Plan'.
Sylvester Stallone (right) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Escape Plan'.

The script is so bad that it should be sentenced to life without parole but ‘Escape Plan’ works.

As a child of the eighties I was raised on a staple diet of rusks, milk and action movies.

Vinny Jones in 'Escape Plan'.

Vinny Jones in 'Escape Plan'.

Films like ‘Predator’, ‘Commando’, ‘Rambo’ and ‘Cobra’ were like manna from heaven when I was younger but I never thought at the age of 31 a film made in 2013 could make me feel the way I did 20 years ago.

‘Escape Plan’ is the first time Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have headlined a movie together. ‘The Expendables’ doesn’t really count as Arnie’s appearance made some toy with the idea of redefining the word of ‘cameo’.

Sly is 67 and Arnie 66 but it’s a case of better late than never. It’s similar to what would happen if Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo played for the same Saturday Morning League team in 20 years time - fans would still turn up in their droves to cheer them on.

Sly and Arnie have both attempted to resurrect their solo careers in recent months but ‘Bullet to the Head’ and ‘The Last Stand’ failed to make any impact at the Box Office, despite the latter being an entertaining, enjoyable and über tongue in cheek action flick.

Strength in numbers has served Sly well in recent years. His ‘Expendables’ franchise, which stars action movie names such as Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, has been surprisingly successful and with crowd pullers like Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Mel Gibson already signed up for ‘Expendables 3’ it’s easy to see why.

‘Escape Plan’ is about a man who makes his money by escaping from prisons. Ray Breslin (Stallone) assumes a made up identity, is imprisoned and then proceeds to use his expertise to escape from said prison and as soon as he is out he furnishes the appropriate authorities with low down on how he did it.

A visit is made to Ray’s office by a women claiming to be from the CIA. She wants Ray to agree to be incarcerated in a classified facility which has been reserved for the world’s baddest baddies. Ray agrees and quicker than you can say ‘get into the choppa’ he’s scooped up and put in the slammer.

The prison Ray finds himself in is like something you’d expect to see in Grand Designs only there’s no Kevin McCloud. Instead there’s a very angry warden by the name of Hobbes (Jim Caviezel - ‘The Passion of the Christ’).

After realising people have conspired to keep him inside the prison Ray decides his only way of escaping is by befriending Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).

The next hour of the film is littered with infinite plot holes, inconsistencies and conveniences but still I was hooked. It’s just a big dollop of stupid fun.

It’s utterly nonsensical but it’s something I believe Stallone and Schwarzenegger are acutely aware of. What’s not to like about watching Sly punch Arnie in the face only for the latter to reply ‘you hit like a vegetarian’.

It’s more of a leave your brain at the house as opposed to the door kind of movie and some of the lines are so cheesy I could could have sworn I smelled St. Auger inside the Brunswick Moviebowl but when you’re in the mood for a bit of cheese it can be as nourishing and as satisfying as Haute Cuisine.

Will they be back? Who knows. But it’s refreshing to see two men in their sixties behave like two playground scallywags. It’ll leave you feeling like a big wain and I defy you not to be smiling when er... escaping, I mean, I mean, exiting the cinema.

‘Escape Plan’ is currently screening at the Brunswick Moviebowl; for full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 0287 137 1999.

VERDICT: 3/5 - It most certainly will not challenge any of the big hitters ahead of this year’s awards ceremonies but ‘Escape Plan’ is an enjoyable and solid action movie. Movie fans have had to wait a long time for a film starring both Sly and Arnie and despite the age of the two men, it’s been worth the wait. Stallone still has skill for the action movie genre and there’s just something right about Arnie wielding a machine gun. If you like action this one is for you.