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Escape Plan

By JAY HORTON
Escape Plan is the sort of film they don't make anymore. Every single element, from choice of fonts to riff-dappled score to blithe racism, has been curated to ass-end-of-the-’80s specifications. Forget about the story, which is just the latest iteration of an evergreen crowd pleaser. The central conceit—prison security specialist Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) finds himself mysteriously shunted to a privately operated detention facility housing a hulking graybeard with a thick accent (Arnold Schwarzenegger)—isn't especially ludicrous. No more or less suspension of disbelief is demanded than from the average popcorn flick, but the reliance on rightfully abandoned modes of storytelling proves torturous. Why suffer through ham-fisted elaboration of blatantly ridiculous circumstances when nobody involved cares one whit? Why continue to introduce characters given nothing whatsoever to do? Stallone and Schwarzenegger are in their comfort zone, to be sure. Even as the film plays out with all the verve and tension of a John Deere catalog, our heroes do their damnedest to distract. But these sorts of films, these immobile actioners, feel so cramped after a while, especially compared to the hyperkinetic restlessness of modern shoot-’em-ups. And yet. In the final, oddly rousing battle, when Schwarzenegger finally grabs a machine gun, the viewer feels momentary awe. Within the simplest possible staging, the filmmakers insert a close-up of his deadened gaze. It's an old trick, equal parts Man With No Name and Dick Tracy, and, in the instant, timeless.
 
  • Genres: Action, Thriller
  • Running Time: 116 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, October 18, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Language Throughout, Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: C+
  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone [Ray Breslin], Arnold Schwarzenegger [Emil Rottmayer], Jim Caviezel [Willard Hobbes], Curtis ``50 Cent'' Jackson [Hush], Sam Neill [Dr. Emil Kaikev], Vinnie Jones [Drake], Faran Tahir [], Vincent D'Onofrio [], Amy Ryan []
  • Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom [Director], Miles Chapman [Screenwriter], Arnell Jesko [Screenwriter], Mark Canton [Producer], Randall Emmett [Producer], Remington Chase [Producer], Robbie Brenner [Producer], Kevin Templeton [Producer]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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