Escape Plan (2013) Directed by Mikael Håfström. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent. IMDB says: “When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world’s most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.”
Arnold Schawzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, same old same old, right? Nope, not this time. Escape Plan is a surprisingly well thought out, well made, film.
Escape Plan is the latest film from Mikael Håfström starring the two former A-listers Schwarzenegger and Stallone as well as Jim Caviezel and 50 cent. The premise is simple. Stallone is an expert escape artist capable of breaking out of any of the world’s most secure prisons. Through a series of events, he winds up betrayed and stuck in a prison unlike any other he has ever experienced and he is forced to make an unlikely ally out of Schwarzenegger. The premise may seem shallow but there is more to the story.
This is a lot more than a mindless action flick full of silly one-liners and flying fists. The plot is actually really smart. The development of the story works very well and plays to the strengths of the actors. The script is able to further the story in convincing ways and features some better than expected dialogue. All of the actors turn in convincing performances. Make no mistake, this isn’t some Rambo-style action flick, it’s a serious film, and the actors treat it as such. Particularly of note is Jim Caviezel’s performance as the take-no-prisoners warden of what becomes known as “the tomb.” Something about his persona is deeply sinister while at the same time congenial and level-headed.
For being shot primarily in a prison setting, the scenes are staged really well and the director manages to add a certain degree of depth and realism to something that could have easily seemed cheap. There are also some creative visuals and uses of digital effects to make some of the scenes more visually striking.
All in all, this film was better than expected. The trailers don’t do it justice, and a lot of people will pan it purely because of the casting. At the end of the day I have very few complaints and it’s a film I look forward to reaching once it comes out on Blu Ray.