escapeplanCon Game
Escape Plan
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, 50 Cent, Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Orofino, Sam Neill and Vinnie Jones
Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Scriptwriters: Arnell Jesko and Miles Chapman
Rating: R
Running Time: 110 minutes
Sylvester Stallone is making one action film after another, “The Expendables 1 & 2,” and now, “Escape Plan” about escaping from…guess what…a prison. Co-starring is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who does his best acting job in years. With a grizzled chin and not taking his shirt off, he looks like a tired man who just wants to sit down. Trouble is, he is in the same prison as Stallone. Jim Caviezel (“Person of Interest”) gives his best don‘t-crack-a-smile look, which is as deadly as they come, and his right-hand-man is Vinnie Jones, the former sports figure, who always  looks as though he could crack heads on the screen.  Here are the components for an action film that takes a bit from “Prison Break.” There is a lot riding on this special prison, especially money for those who can make it work and escape-proof.
Stallone plays Ray Breslin, who makes a living breaking out of maximum security prisons so they can beef up security. He’s even written a book on this subject. The film opens with a prison break and there is Ray, who got inside and outside faster than you can say "Sylvester Stallone." After this job, Ray and his team want time off, but here comes an offer to break out of the, worst, deadliest prison ever put together for prisoners from many countries. Actually, this idea has been remade through the years with prisons in jungles, underground and outer space, but scriptwriters have a few things up their sleeves to hold your interest. When Ray gets placed in the prison (unexpectedly and basically unprepared) he finds glass cages, a warden who collects butterflies, masked guards and no friends. It’s beatings, beatings and more beatings. Sam Neill is the compassionate doctor who patches everyone up (no pain medicine) only to send them out to be beaten again. In the meantime, Ray's team on the outside, is trying to find him. First thing the guards took out was his microchip. Ray meets Arnold Schwarzenegger and eventually they find a mutual understanding…both want to get out. From here on, it is forming a plan, who to include in the plan, who to trust, and how to survive the beatings. This prison seems escape-proof, but if you pay attention to detail, well, things happen. Twists in the plot, too, plus good special effects. 
Sylvester Stallone carries the role of Ray Breslin well and you can believe he is one step ahead of everyone. His team works well, too, with their gentle jibes. It is Arnold Schwarzenegger who steals his scenes. With a gentle approach to this role, grizzled face and a what-am-I-doing-here attitude, he presents a new Arnold to the audience. Vinnie Jones plays the nasty guy very good. You just know who he is going to tangle with and the question is when. Jim Caviezel, after success in “Person of Interest,” doesn't have to do anything but face the camera, and you expect trouble. Sam Neill has a tender look and does the part of the doctor, nicely. Women (Amy Ryan) are there just for a few lines, and then it is back to action. Vincent D’Orofino ("Law and Order"), as part of Stallone’s team, purposely achieves a way-out-of-place look to good effect.
All in all, “Escape Plan” has enough action for fans of this genre, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a pleasant surprise, especially when he speaks German in this role. There are one-liners, timed just right. “You hit like a vegetarian” is one of them.
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner
For more action film reviews, see the following;
The Expendables
The Italian Job