Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Escape Plan (2013)

AKA: The Tomb

Director: Mikael Hafstrom

Writers: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller

Composer: Alex Heffes

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: No one breaks out alone

Plot: When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably

Fun, fun, fun!  Stallone's performance is great and just what you'd expect but it's wonderful seeing Stallone and Schwarzenegger together in a picture with a substantially larger role for Arnold than he had in THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2012).  Arnold is charismatic (and without that 'badass' chip that he carries on his shoulder, you know, like he's a tough guy who can get things done), he's very funny, smart and clever.  I haven't seen him like this before and I love it. He also speaks A LOT of German, his native language, which is fantastic to finally hear.

There are some nice surprises.  The biggest is when when Ray (Stallone) discovers where the prison is located.  It's one of those 'holy fuck!' moments and it's a beaut.  I felt defeat at that point but I knew this would pan out well despite that setback.  It's nice seeing Sam Neill (as Dr. Kyrie) in a small supporting but crucial role.  I dig that guy.  He needs to be in more pictures.  Vinnie Jones (as Drake) plays your cookie cutter lead enforcer to Jim Caviezel's warden (Hobbes).  I almost didn't recognize him.  Caviezel does fine I suppose, considering he's playing a one dimensional character.  I would have liked more personality from him.  D'Onofrio (Lester Clark, Ray's business partner) is fun but his character wraps up too quickly in the end.  Amy Ryan (Abigail, Ray's gal and one of the team) is great. It's good to see her in an action picture. 50 Cent (Hush, the tech member of Ray's team) is good but he's not given much to do.

The movie is five minutes shy of two hours which feels a tad too long but it's also very satisfying.  There's a great moment during the escape when Arnold (Emil Rottmayer) makes the decision to pick up a large caliber machine gun.  It's one of those 'punch the air' scenes where he starts mowing down the resistance like in the old days.  It reminded me of the similar 'FUCK, YEAH!' moment in RAMBO (2008) when Rambo jumped on that jeep near the end and started painting the jungle with blood and brains.  Don't avoid this because the Rotten Tomatoes score is 48%.  Go see it in the theater before it disappears in the next couple of weeks.  It's a great time and you're going to be pleasantly surprised by Arnold who delivers a delightfully intelligent and charismatic performance. 

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