"You hit like a vegetarian."
I was surprised that I actually ended up enjoying this film so much considering I was expecting this to be another Expendables 2 fiasco. Directed by Mikael Hafstrom (1408, The Rite), Escape Plan had an interesting premise, but the truth of the matter is I was drawn to it because I wanted to see the Italian Stalion and the Governator sharing leading roles for the first time. If this film would've taken place in the 80's or early 90's it would've been a box office hit and an instant classic. I'm sure that I at least would've given this film a much higher rating considering I was a huge fan of these cheesy and brainless shoot-em-up films during the 90's, but now my taste for this genre has cooled down and I found several flaws within the story. Despite those flaws, I still had a great time watching these two legends play off each other sharing some great chemistry and charisma together. My enjoyment of Escape Plan might be influenced by a high degree of nostalgia, but I'd still recommend this film.
The screenplay written by Miles Chapman centers on an eminent authority on structural security, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone), who enters hundreds of prisons as an undercover prisoner and uses his skills to escape from it unveiling its flaws in the process. After accepting his next assignment he's framed and sent to a maximum security prison run by the warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) which has been designed based on Ray's own recommendations. Ray teams up with another prisoner named Emit Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and together they begin searching for flaws in the system in order to escape, but Hobbes keeps a close watch on them once he realizes who Ray really is. It won't be an easy task, but Ray has managed to find flaws in every system and he will need to do it once more if he wants to leave this place.
In general prison break movies appeal to me (I was a huge fan of the first two seasons of Prison Break) so this film presented an interesting premise. There were several flaws and twists that didn't work, but in general I had a good time with this suspenseful thriller (and when I say suspenseful I don't mean it in the way Paul Greengrass delivers tension, but in a much lighter but enjoyable way). The film does reach a point where it begins to feel overlong and a bit ridiculous (mostly around the third act), but I still thought it was worth it and that Arnie stole the show with his usual gags and one liners. The villains were underdeveloped and a bit over the top, but I was still glad to see Caviezel back in an important role. Escape Plan is an entertaining film that will quickly be forgotten, but works as an escapism from a dull and boring day.