Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Escape Plan (2013)


I will admit openly that I am a sucker for any prison escape movie, and, conveniently, as a guy trying to escape from each and every prison he is in, Sylvester Stallone is the near perfect actor for the job. His best scenes are the ones where he doesn't have to talk or interact with any other actor. He has the look of a desperate caged man in every scene. And the parts where he is working out his escapes are the best parts of Escape Plan.

Yes, an usual number of coincidences have to occur before the final credits and successful resolution of the story but frankly, I like watching the machinery of how it all comes together in the end. This movie delivers the goods enough to entertain me but remember, my bar is already set dangerously low for this genre of film.

Stallone plays a guy whose job is testing the security systems of prisons by busting out of them for his corporate clients. But his latest job is different. This time he is the one actually imprisoned in a Supermax rendition prison for the worst of the worst. You can see where this one is going from down the street.

I dug Vincent D'Onofrio as Stallone's germophobe partner in the security company they both run. He recognizes that Stallone has a genius for the kind of work that he does. A genius for figuring the little details that lead to a successful escape. I actually bought Stallone in the role.

Once Stallone has been falsely imprisoned, the show really begins. With the help of aging inmate Arnold Schwarzenegger (who still has his swagger), Stallone tries to beat the unbeatable prison and discover who framed and betrayed him in the first place and why? Both have the chops to pull off this type of tough guy role in their sleep and it was nice to see them give some energy and humor to what could have been a pretty humorless project. Arnold's crazy German rant from the 'hot box' is some of the best lunatic acting I have seen from him in a long time.

I enjoyed seeing how everyone's agenda played either for or against the escape. No grey areas. Just good prisoners and bad prison officials.

The prison set is a pretty forbidding place with no privacy. Each prisoner is secured in a clear plastic boxes, stacked with other clear plastic boxes. More like a human zoo/shopping mall than a prison. The only entertainment is watching each other and the faceless guards that patrol 24/7 and beat the prisoners often to death for even minor infractions. Not to mention the probe droids and the high tech monitoring center.

Get out of there Rocky Balboa! I know you can do it.

The trailer does a great job in setting up the story and nicely keeps some parts of the tale a secret.

Vinnie Jones as a sadistic guard and Jim Caviezel as the corrupt, also sadistic warden are good bad guys. The secret prison profession seems to draw the worst kind of people to the job and I don't think it's because of the union benefits.


Jeremy [Retro] said...

i saw this and we liked it, it was just fun... thought it was a well thought out film with some great one-liners. and vinnie jones of course.

Kal said...

It had that old school 80s feel. The powerless, wrongfully imprisoned good guys vs bad guys in power. Nice comic touches. I was pleasantly surprised.

Jeremy [Retro] said...