Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. As a former prosecutor, he (after a life-changing experience) dedicated himself to making sure that the nation’s maximum security prisons were truly escape proof. So he has spent the last several years getting locked up in, and escaping from these facilities. As it turns out, he is quite good at it, and has even written a book about it (including has made millions for himself and his firm). After his most recently successfully-completed assignment, he agrees to take on one more job, this time for the CIA, breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called “The Tomb” where undesirables are sent to be “disappeared.”
According to the Agency contact, this job is so tough, that they are offering Breslin double his usual fee — which, needless to say, causes Breslin’s partner Lester Clark (D’Onofrio) who is something of a Dandy, eye’s to light up. As he is the money partner, he really is the only one in the room who is all hot to get Breslin to take the job, which he does. Needless to say, only moments after the assignment begins, things start to go array as the team that abducts Breslin immediately removes the GPS Tracking device that has been implanted in him. Shortly after that, the check that the firm received seems to have been canceled, only even though Breslin’s escape team is worried, Clark remains calm.
During transport a drugged Breslin seems to witness a mutrder as the team leader apparently kills one of the abduction team, and tosses him from a flying helicopter. So once Breslin arrives at the prison, and learns that the warden is not who he was told he immediately concludes that the mission has been compromised, and uses his “safe” word which is supposed to trigger extraction. Only the new Warden doesn’t seem to grasp the significance of it and simply tosses Breslin back into the general population. Once he realizes that he has been wrongly imprisoned, Breslin must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.
This (in spite of the two Expendables flicks) is truly the first time that Schwarzenegger and Stallone have co-starred in a film (In those two flick s Stallone was really the star, and Schwarzenegger was more of cameo). Here though, they are on equal footing, and it shows. The two do play well off each other, and the whole film — while entirely preposterous — is fun to watch, and entertaining throughout. Back in the ‘80s we always felt that a teaming up of these two action heaTop of Form
vyweights would have been very cool, it is nice to know that we weren’t entirely wrong about that.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.