FlixChatter Review: Escape Plan



Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the box office throughout the 80s and most of the 90s but have never shared a screen together until they appeared in the two Expendables films. But Arnold’s appearance was more of a cameo in those films, now finally the two action hero icons are together for the first time in a prison set action thriller that reminded me of Lock Up, Tango & Cash and John Woo’s Face/Off.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a structural-security expert, what he does is basically pretends to be an inmate in some of the highly secured federal prisons in the country, he breaks out and tells the warden that his prison has security flaws. So after another successful breakout to start the film, Breslin and teammates which includes his partner Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio), his lover Abigail Ross (Amy Ryan) and a computer hacker expert Hush (Curtis Jack aka 50 Cents), were approached by a CIA lawyer named Jessica Miller (Caitriona Balfe) for another big project. Miller wants Breslin to go into a highly secured prison known as The Tomb, a place so highly secured that not even the US government knows about it. Miller suspects that there are some security flaws and wants Breslin to find them. Breslin and his team were hesitant at first since they fear it might not be safe for him to go there but when Miller offered a payday of $5mil, they all said yes.

Once Breslin arrived at The Tomb, he realized he’s in over head and have to deal with the sinister warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) and his right hand man Drake (Vinnie Jones). Knowing that he might not be able to get out, he decided to partner up with another inmate named Emil Rottmayer (Arnie), it seems Rottmayer has something that Hobbes wants but he refuses to give it to him. Most of the movie took place at the prison and both Breslin and Rottmayer are trying to figure a way to escape the place. I think anyone who have seen prison set action thrillers in the past will know what you’re getting into. Expect to see lots of fist fights, shootouts and big explosions. Originally the film was called The Tomb and was supposed to open back in August but with the box office failures of The Last Stand and Bullets to the Head, the studio decided to push the release date back to the less crowded fall season. I think it’s a good decision to change the title since The Tomb sounded like a movie about super natural or something.


Since this is a film starring two of the biggest action heroes, you don’t expect to see any Oscar caliber performances here. And I thought Sly and Arnold did a great job of playing their roles, Sly did try to be this super smart kind of person but of course he’s still Sly aka Rambo aka Rocky to me. As for The Terminator, he appears to have a great time playing his part, he’s sort of the side kick to Sly’s character. Some people in the crowd at the screening I went to actually started cheering when the two started kicking ass and shooting down bad guys. Caviezel was convincing as the main villain but again he’s the usual one-dimensional character in an action flick so don’t expect much from him. As for the rest of the cast, well they didn’t have much to do, just fillers. Although I think 50 Cents needs to take some more acting classes since he seems to just have one facial reaction throughout the movie.

Swedish director Mikael Håfström did a good job with the pacing, there’s no slow moment in the film that you may have to look at your watch. I did like the way he shot the action scenes, no shaky cam or fast editing which always a big plus for me, as most of you know most action films today seems to go overboard those shaky cam sequences. But I did think he should’ve staged some of the shootout scenes with more creativity, there’s too much standard shootouts that we’ve seen way too many times in the past but they’re still fun to watch. Since this is an R-rated movie, there’s blood, torture and of course lots of f-bombs.

I’m a huge fan of both Sly and Arnold so to finally see them teamed in a big action picture, it’s a real treat. If you’re a fan of both then you’ll likely enjoy this movie too. It’s pure fun and you won’t be disappointed by spending an hour and a half in the theater.

3 out of 5 reels


What do you think of Escape Plan and the pairing of Sly and Arnie?

35 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: Escape Plan

    1. I hated the first Expendable, Michael, didn’t care to see the 2nd one (though I did see the scene w/ Chuck Norris ’cause well, it’s Chuck Norris! :D) Glad this one is better.

    2. Ted S.

      Yeah me too Michael, at least this one they actually tried to tell a descent story instead of just scenes with shoot outs and fights. It’s too bad that the film tanked so bad in theaters, had this one came out in the 80s or early 90s, it would’ve been a smash hit.

    1. Ted S.

      Yeah same here, it took a while to see these two teamed up and the movie delivered. Too bad not many people wanted to see it though.

  1. I love the positive reactions for this film. It didn’t do well at all at the Box Office, but it’s still cool to see two old guys do something worthwhile, even if it’s no masterpiece. Also love seeing Jesus in anything!

    1. Totally agree Nick! I don’t think they intend it to be an Oscar-frontrunner or anything. Glad they still have some juice in them to be entertaining. Ahah, love your last line there! Huge fan of Caviezel, he really needs to be in more films, as he’s convincing as a saint or evil 😀

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah it’s too bad it tanked at the box office but I thought it was quite entertaining. It didn’t take itself too seriously and both Sly and Arnold looked like they had a lot of fun making the movie. Caviezel was good as the one dimensional villain.

  2. I think this is the kind of film where if it was made 20-25 years ago, it would be a massive blockbuster hit. I would probably see it on TV if ti’s on and just want something that isn’t high-brow. Plus, I love those 2 guys.

    1. Ted S.

      Oh yeah, had it opened in the 80s or even 90s, it would’ve been a summer tent pole and make a killing at the box office. It can’t compete with superhero or spy flicks these days.

  3. no matter how crappy (or otherwise) the reviews for this are, I’m still seeing it. I’ve been waiting for a film like this for a long time. Sly and Ahnuhld, headlining a film together? Sells itself.

    1. Ahah they should’ve just said that on the poster ‘Sly and Ahnuhld’ I mean nobody knows how to pronounce Arnie’s name properly anyway! 😀

    2. Ted S.

      You won’t regret it, I don’t get some of the negative reviews. What are they expecting from a movie starring Sly and Arnold? Oscar contender? I never listen to the “professional” critics when it comes to movies like this.

  4. Good review Ted. Gotta admit, it’s a dumb movie no matter what anybody may say. However, it’s also a very fun one and I think that’s what makes it worth a watch.

    1. Ted S.

      At least it tried to be “smart” with all the tech nonsense Stallone talked about in the movie but in the end, it’s just a fun action movie and that’s what people are expecting from it.

  5. First of all…I like this new feature you have. The photo makes it easier for us to spot you wrote the post (I used different email for different writer on my turtle’s post).

    I want to watch this movie too because I really like Arnie. Glad you give 3 stars, so I will definitely watch it when the DVD is out

    1. Ted S.

      Hope you will James, it’s a fun movie that didn’t take itself too seriously. You can’t say that for a lot of action movies these days, most of them tried too hard to be “realistic”, which I still don’t know what that means. It’s a movie, you don’t need to be real or anything.

    1. Ted S.

      I’m a sucker for these kind of movies, LOL. I watched so many cheesy action flicks growing up so it’s a treat seeing Sly and Arnold teamed up for an action flick.

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