After The Expendables with Arnold Schwarzenegger insisting his boot was bigger than the getaway car, expectations were high for Escape Plan which brought Schwarzenegger and the other he-man of the Eighties, Sylvester Stallone together. While the movie directed by Mikael Håfström (Shanghai) is a fairly serviceable thriller, it doesn’t have the chutzpah to pay proper respect to its leads.
Sly plays Ray Breslin, a structural security expert (a fine job description I say what!) who studies maximum security prisons to check for any weaknesses. He is offered a load of money to check a secret prison. Once he is there, Breslin realises he has been set up and there is no way out. He befriends another prisoner, Emil Rottmayer, and sets about trying to break out and get revenge.
Escape movies have to have an evil warden and here the warden, Willard Hobbs, does the requisite sneering and fastidious dusting of his coat while biting off despicable orders from a rattrap of a mouth. Jim Caviezel does the honours as Willard Hobbs — a 360 degree turn after playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. 50 Cents plays the hacker Hush who like all cinematic hackers can find out anything by just clicking a mouse. Why can’t we have someone like that to predict the next power cut or petrol price hike?
Sly and Schwarzenegger at 67 and 66 respectively still have the star power and it is not difficult to believe these men carried movies effortlessly on their brawny shoulders in the Eighties and Nineties. Just wish the movie had been smarter and sassier instead of being merely functional.
Director: Mikael Håfström
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill, 50 Cent
Storyline: A security expert is wrongly incarcerated and needs to get out
Bottomline: Sly and Arnie deserve better