Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Escape Plan (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about Sylvester and Arnold's new prison break movie "Escape Plan" in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.



Remember in the 90s when we were all like, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger did a movie together?” Yeah, can we take that back?
“Escape Plan” stars Sylvester Stallone as a security specialist whose main gift is in escaping from prisons to expose their flaws and what happens when he finds himself in a prison specifically designed to keep him in. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an inmate he befriends with Jim Caviezel as the sadistic warden bent on making their lives miserable. So… can I tell you a secret? I actually kinda liked this movie. I mean I had a really good time!
I think that’s mostly because it’s a surprisingly engaging and fun plot. The premise is really pretty genius and watching this character plot these escapes is intellectually stimulating and genuinely interesting. I’d even say the escapes themselves are the best thing about the movie, the first one especially. They give you just enough detail that you can figure out the pieces but it’s still a beautiful revelation when all the specifics are revealed. I also enjoyed the scenery chewing performance of Caviezel as the warden with just enough shlock to be fun but not so much that I found myself constantly rolling my eyes. If only I could say the same about Sly and Arnie...
Yeah, the old guys are the worst thing about the movie. I feel bad because it’s not as if it wasn’t fun to see them together it’s just that their delivery, dialogue, and action made me wonder what decade this movie was made in. The one liners, the gun play, the resolution, all of it felt straight out of an 80s action flick, which is fine if that’s what you are going for, I’m not beyond nostalgia, but it seemed at odds with the clever and compelling storyline and sharp premise. The point is I feel like with different actors, like maybe Damon or Dicaprio or even Cruise or Tatum, and a different overall feel this could have been a movie I loved instead of just liked. There’s also the issue of the second escape developing slower than I would have liked, but it certainly wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying it.
In the end, “Escape Plan” is a decent watch. The solid premise and clever escapes make it enjoyable even if the older actors and genre feel steals a bit of that joy. Even so, it still surprised me as a B-.
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