Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Movies: Escape Plan (2013)

It doesn't seem like there is much to expect from Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but last year they made a movie entertaining enough for fans and not fans alike. They actually get some characters that are well written enough to help us forget their popular identities. The movie though is very long for the content though, and somehow in the middle I did feel my interest begin to waver. The movie gets off to a strong enough start to keep you curious about the income though.

Summary: Ray Breslin is so good at figuring out how to break out of prisons that he started a business where prisons pay him to test out their prisons, and see if they are easy to break out of. He is hired to try to break out of a state of the art, and secret facility that even his crew isn't allowed to know about. Once arriving there though he feels he has been tricked and teams up with someone on the inside, Rottmayer, to try to escape. What he will discover is that it may be impossible to leave.

Acting: Sylvester Stallone is Ray Breslin, the guy who is good at breaking out of prison. I think I've seen very few roles where Stallone interested me, and I haven't seen Rocky yet, but I did find him very suiting as Ray, and the back story they provide for the character helps. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also in a role that is suited for him, and for a guy it's hard not to imagine as Arnold I felt that he was working well in this one, and he becomes a likable guy. The film also stars Jim Caviezel as a guy who is running the private and high security prison, and he plays a bad guy. For Caviezel this seems like a departure from his usual roles, and while he isn't bad in it, his parts do feel less interesting than anyone else's. Amy Ryan is Abigail, a person who partly runs it with Ray, and while we don't see much of her in the movie, she is a good character. Sam Neill also plays a doctor at the prison, and gives one of the better debates of "what will he do?" of the movie. You'll recognize other faces like Vinnie Jones, and 50 Cent as well, who doesn't go by another stage name.

Filming: I like how the movie looks. Even for the dreary vibe of the prison the movie drops the bleak vibe, and gives lots of color and sharpness. The CGI isn't too bad done either, but definitely not astounding. Michael Hafstrom directs this movie, and takes this action movie above many of the past releases in the past year, and makes this one more entertaining, and even gives the characters some development.

Plot: I know the plot sounds completely silly, but this movie just feels like a classic action movie from beginning to end. For some reason action movies really aren't as good nowadays, and this just feels like pure entertainment, which works. There is even a nice little twist thrown in at the end of the movie for laughs and for interest. The movie is really long for the story though, and about midway in I could feel a lull start to hit especially as I'm not someone who enjoys a lot of technical detail.

Escape Plan is a good action movie to check out if you're into action movies, and even if you're just looking from some quick entertainment. I like the maze vibe of a guy trying to figure out how to get out of top max security prison, and felt it was entertaining straight from the beginning even if the story tires a little. It's also a better movie of recent from these two lead actors. Not anything new, but entertaining enough.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

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