Friday, 18 April 2014

Escape Plan

Lowdown: An prison escape specialist is challenged to escape the most secure prison ever.
Most of Escape Plan fails to make sense, and it starts when the movie introducing us to its main character, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone). Ray is an escape artist, but not your average Houdini; Ray escapes from prisons. He is not a criminal either; he's a paid contractor who pretends to be a criminal so as to get access to a prison from the inside, study the way it works, and then escape from it to prove his point. Ray is so good at his job he even wrote the book on the ultimate jail design.
As Ray learns the hard way, someone did read his book. When he receives a request from the CIA to study a jail and earn 5 million in the process he hesitates at first, but then goes for the mega job. Upon arrival, however, he learns this particular prison is different to everything else he had encountered before: it is very loyally designed as per Ray's own outlines, it is managed by a nasty warden (Jim Caviezel), and for some elusive reason they won't let Ray out when he gives up and tells the guards who he really is. Ray has no choice: no matter how hard escaping out of this prison may seem, he has to do it; otherwise he would spend the rest of his life in this hellhole. Lucky for Ray, some of his co-prisoners are "friendly". Like Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
There are two core problems with Escape Plan. The first is Stallone, who seems set on proving just how bad an actor he can be. He does so by failing to provide any kind of subtlety, by portraying a very unlikely and not well explained character (who would willingly want to spend the majority of their life in jail?), and by slurring his lines to the point of being quite unintelligible.
The other problem, which I have already alluded to, is that Escape Plan doesn't make sense from its very core. The whole escape artist idea is silly; the mega prison idea, as implemented in the movie (to a way that more than brings back a memory of the Mass Effect 2 jail Commander Shepard rescues Jack from), seems way unrealistic.
But Escape Plan has an ace up its sleeve, and it's called Schwarzenegger. Sure, he's not a good actor either; but he sure knows how to bring the fun into a movie. Everything Arnie does seemed to remind me of things he did in previous movies of his. Since I'm a fan - a big fan - I became happy.
It's just a pity Schwarzenegger's role is a supporting one.
Best scene: Schwarzenegger does not settle for firing a chain gun out of its helicopter mount; he picks it up by hand instead. Because, as everyone who watched Terminator 2 knows, that's the way cool dudes fire their chain guns.
Overall: Escape Plan is an average to bad movie that's saved by its second in command actor. I like that second in command actor, so I'm giving Escape Plan 3 out of 5 stars.

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