Written By Asia Martin
There are three rules for a successful breakout: 1) Know the layout. 2) Know the routine 3) Get help.
Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) gets hired by governments from all over to go undercover as a prisoner, escape out of their facilities and report to his clients what part of their security needs improvement. His legendary breakouts attracts a job that he takes on for the challenge but unfortunately discovers is a set up. To plan his escape and get payback he becomes friends with the very people he tries to keep locked up. Will his three guiding principles hold up in the end?
Don’t expect Stallone to be in his usual role as a bulky killing machine, his portrayal of Breslin was a bit reminiscent of Jackie Chan in Island of Fire in that he is slimmed down, climbing up walls and escaping out of situations with a lesser amount of blood and explosions.
The majority of Stallone’s co-stars were all out of their usual elements as well, except for Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand) as the sadistic security guard dressed as a Jabbawockee (yes, the hip-hop dance group) and Cobra Trooper hybrid; and Schwarzenegger, who plays Breslins accomplice Rottmayer — Arnold reminded his seasoned fans of Commando in all of 10 seconds of a scene. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson played Stallone’s quirky apprentice who was hard to understand at times. But 50’s savior was Vincent D’Onofrio (Law and Order: Criminal Intent) as Breslin’s slick salesman, Lester Clark, who helped deliver supportive scenes.
The plot is intricate and entertaining. It may not have you on the edge of your seat, but it will have you wondering how can a man escape a prison that is off the grid and being managed by Hobbes (Jim Caviezel-Person of Interest) who is ambivalent to Breslin’s work?
Swedish Director Mikael Håfstrӧm (Shanghai) gives audiences the basic action and humor package, which is what Schwarzenegger and Stallone are legendary for supplying, but the enemy isn’t foreign terrorists or religious radicals. Håfstrӧm gave the title to the privately-owned for-profit prison. The radical Muslim prisoner, Javed (Faran Tahir – Elysium) was conveyed in a good light, despite being in a maximum security prison, and Tahir looked like an action star — sexy, bald and buff!
Escape Plan is worth seeing. It will have you in the loop and right back out of it as if you are a pawn in the grand scheme things. You will squirm in your seat at the beatings and then quickly turn back to not miss a detail.