Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for violence and language throughout
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom (1408) “Escape Plan” sees Stallone playing a genius with a body builder’s physique (essentially a roided out version of the character from “A Beautiful Mind”). World renowned as someone who can escape from any prison known to man, he finds himself double crossed and locked up in a super top secret prison deemed escape proof, where the guards are all Jabbawockeez and the warden is the son of God. Oh and I almost forgot, his only friend inside is a former Mr. Olympia… OK, so maybe I made this movie sound more interesting than it is, but that’s not to say “Escape Plan” isn’t without merit. And since everything about it is so self-aware in terms of its overall tone, as bad as the trailers looked, on an entertainment level, “Escape Plan” works.
Arnold does take a backseat to Stallone (playing a sidekick of sorts) but gets to recite most of the laugh out loud one liners, which is fine by me. But it’s Jim Caviezel (better known as Jesus Christ) who steals the show as the sadistic and comically serious warden. He is the best thing in this movie, giving a performance as if gunning for an Academy Award nomination, but playing a character that, in other hands, would be up for a Razzie. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s unbelievably entertaining to watch.
While my proclamation that “Escape Plan” holds entertainment value may astound you, it won’t surprise anyone to hear that there are also flaws within this film; flaws that are all centered around the story. During the countless times “Escape Plan” stops to give exposition, I wish I had access to a fast forward button. And unfortunately, the first half is filled with boring plot nonsense. But the laughs and action 80’s throwback sequences (especially near the end) are totally worth the journey. In short, don’t pay attention to the storyline and you’ll be fine.
Final Thought: There are some critics I know who STILL believe that if a movie doesn’t have a strong storyline then it can’t possibly be entertaining. And once again those critics are wrong! Yes, if you’re looking for a serious drama about a white guy whose ship gets highjacked by Somali pirates, then “Escape Plan” may not be up your alley. And while not as brilliantly nostalgic as “The Expendables”, “Escape Plan” is still a generally fun B movie, if what your day has been missing is a movie with twenty minute action sequences where millions of rounds are fired and the hero miraculously escapes without a scratch.
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