Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Escape Plan

I really like The Expendables movies and I can't wait for the third one to come out. The reason I like the movies so much is because they really go all out with bringing all of the action stars together. Yeah, the plots are kinda... eh, whatever, but when you get to watch Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sly kicking ass in the same movie you just can't beat that. 

That is, unless you count Escape Plan. I thought at first that Escape Plan was going to be kind of like The Expendables-lite. Instead of having everybody and their brother in the movie it will just be the two big names in the same film as the lead stars for the first time ever. The plot would probably be just as brainless, but it'd be cool to see the film anyway and I'd probably like it. At the very least it would be something to tide me over until The Expendables 3

While the plot of this movie sounds like your typical action fair and is to a point (a guy who breaks out of prisons for a living being sent to a prison that is supposedly unbreakable, etc.), the pacing, the writing, and the supporting ensemble (boasting of Vincent D'Onofrio, Sam Neill, and a very good Jim Caviezel) really bring this flick to a higher level. And, I swear, there are times when it seems like the Governator is actually acting. 

This is not your typical junk food Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. This movie is more in the vein of maybe Face/Off meets Escape from Alcatraz than, say, Rambo meets Commando

This is a prison-break movie (well, duh) and Stallone is definitely the thinking leading man while Schwarzenegger is the favor sidekick man. It's a pretty good dynamic and while it seems a little bit forced at first it soon begins to feel pretty natural. Later on you even discover why their relationship felt forced (it wasn't exactly bad acting or writing), but I won't talk about that unless you want to be spoiled. 

Mikael Håfström is a director that has been fairly spotty the past. Most folks know him for 1408 (not too bad) or The Rite (not too good). He also directed a film called Evil that got pretty high ratings on IMDB, but I haven't seen that one. I'd bet most people haven't, either. Håfström certainly wouldn't have been my first choice as a director for a film like this, but I'll be damned if he didn't surprise me. 

One thing that initially put me off seeing this movie was Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. I remembered Righteous Kill and how he helped bring mediocrity to the second on-screen pairing of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Thankfully, Mr. Curtis Jackson is relegated to the sidelines and kept to a very simple role. 

If there's anything I can really knock this film for is that the dialog doesn't have the snappy one-liners we'd all like to hear, but that's okay because the rest of the film makes up for it. I certainly won't say this movie will change your life, but as far as action movies go you can't go wrong with this one. 

It's good. Really good. 

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen the movie but there is something in the trailer that made me laugh. Stallone says, "I'm going to burn this place to the ground." and of course the entire place is steel & concrete.

    I was actually avoiding this one but now that you gave it the thumbs up, I'll give it a shot.