Plot: Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is a master of escape, a man who can enter any prison and use the smallest design flaws to engineer a way out, no matter how secure the facility is believed to be. This skill is valuable, as prisons hire him to infiltrate the jail and expose these design issues, so that security leaks can be sealed up and make the prisons more foolproof. His latest assignment is scarier than normal, but Breslin is confident he can make it work, as a CIA operative hires him to go inside a prison designed for the worst of the worst. After he is detained and arrested, his hidden tracking chip is removed and the extraction code he negotiated is ignored, meaning he is now an actual prisoner inside this mysterious institution. He begins to look for flaws, but struggles to push on alone and winds up enlisting a fellow prisoner to help him, a boisterous chap named Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Even with the added help, can Breslin find an escape and if so, can he uncover what went wrong with this mission and how he ended up betrayed?
Entertainment Value: Escape Plan’s main draw is that Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger finally share the screen as leads, a premise that holds up, as the story centers on their characters. This isn’t the insane, over the top action masterpiece that could have happened back in the 80s, but the movie is a fun watch and has some terrific set pieces. I love the visuals of the prison itself, with such sleek, high end design traits that add to the atmosphere, not to mention start off Breslin’s arrival as rather hopeless, given the prison’s design elements. The narrative is passable, with a lot of the usual prison movie tropes in play, but Escape Plan has some fresh twists on breaking out and of course, the cast helps elevate the material. As with most elaborate escapes or heists, you need to suspend your disbelief, but it all works well here and the suspense/cool factor compensates for the plot holes. Stallone is the true lead here, but Arnold has a prominent part as well and of course, the two duke it out at one point and share a lot of screen time. So for fans of these action titans, prison cinema, or suspense/thrillers, Escape Plan is recommended.
No nakedness. So if you hoped for a tense, but tender shower romance between our iconic action kings, you’re out of luck here. The movie avoids the sexual violence of the prison world, so aside from a sketch of someone’s ass, there’s no sexual content in this one whatsoever. The movie has a consistent flow of violence, but this is action style violence and as such, has minimal bloodshed involved. But we get to see plenty of beat downs, brawls, and other fight related fun, as well as finger trauma, taser hijinks, some gun based violence, a pipe fight (!), a literal burning man, and of course, Arnold at the helm of a massive chain gun, just unleashing hell. So again, not much gore to soak in, but a lot of action and violence. The dialogue is loaded with tough guy talk of course, as well as a good amount of one liners and an absolute diamond level zinger from Arnold toward the finale. As for craziness, the movie never goes off the deep end, but a point is in order for the one liners and Arnold’s enthusiastic performance.
Overall Insanity: 1/10