Long-time big screen action stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up and share top billing in the prison break thriller “Escape Plan” now available on DVD. The result is the best movie from either of them in some time with a smarter script than you might expect from one of their movies.
Stallone plays prison security authority Ray Breslin. He’s devoted nearly a decade of his life to entering federal penitentiary populations and escaping from them in order to point out their weaknesses. His latest job inside a top secret facility at an unknown location finds him betrayed and intended to stay there for keeps. It is there he meets Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), an inmate with acquisition skills who is overly eager to be a friend. Together they must plot an escape to save themselves and put the hurt on whoever is behind Breslin’s permanent lock-up.
The offered assignment screams with red flags and smells rife with double cross, but there wouldn’t be a movie if Breslin turned it down. There’s some convoluted business involving private security firms and a mystery man seeking to throw the world into financial chaos that may leave you scratching your head a bit. But for the most part, the script answers the questions it raises and plugs most of its holes. It’s better to excuse the remaining few bits than quibble over them and enjoy these aging box office icons doing their thing in a suspenseful and intriguing entertainment that offers some fresh surprises.
Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio and 50 Cent give the supporting cast a lift. However, Jim Caviezel lifelessly plays the crooked warden brushing lint from his suit vest without generating any menace or interest and Sam Neill is wasted in the brief and disposable role of the facility doctor. Fortunately, the high tech mystery facility and the creepy black masked and storm trooper outfitted guards give the stars plenty to work with.