Arnie and Sly need to hatch an escape plan to get out of prison. We bet it involves punching.

Arnie and Sly need to hatch an escape plan to get out of prison. We bet it involves punching.

Reel Reviews: Action icons offer an escape

It's like a blast from the past when Stallone and Schwarzenegger team up for Escape Plan.

  • Oct. 25, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Ray Breslin, (Sylvester Stallone) makes a living testing the security of state penitentiaries. Breslin does this by entering the prison under the guise of a prisoner and then finding a way to escape. When he does, he files a report with the prison system and cashes his cheque.

When the CIA shows up at Breslin’s offices, they offer him five million dollars to attempt to break out of a futuristic super-prison that is meant to house the terrorists and criminals that the government wants to keep off the books. Unfortunately for Breslin’s team (50 Cent and Amy Ryan), no one will be allowed to know the location of the prison. So for this job, Breslin is on his own.

By way of a basic black bag abduction, Breslin is imprisoned in a maze of glass cubes, surrounded by the worst of the worst. There is one friendly face amongst all the bad guys, a mysterious and respected figure in the prison, Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who seems very interested in befriending Breslin and finding a way out.

However, nothing in this story is what it seems to be, including why Breslin is there in the first place.

We say, “It’s like a blast from the past.”

TAYLOR: I feel no shame in announcing that I was dreading this movie. Sly (67) and Arnie (66) have been shelling out the same stuff since I was kid. However, the differences between the movies that were made then compared to now, although many and varied, can be boiled down to the difference in me: I grew up. However, as both a film critic and testosterone vessel, I’ve got to admit, Escape Plan wasn’t that bad, for what it is.

HOWE: There is so much cheddar in Escape Plan you will end up with the cheese sweats. For the first 20 or so minutes I thought that Stallone had made a pretty normal movie, nothing too ridiculous, well ridiculous for a Sly movie anyway, then enters Mr. Schwarzenegger and the chuckles start. Saying that, I will agree with you, it wasn’t bad.

TAYLOR: Stallone manages to be understood for the 47 words he says. He spends most of the movie looking around for the plan he needs to develop. Arnie tries to appear likable and does a fair job of it, but what really surprised me was one scene where I actually believed he could act. His character finds himself wigging out in an isolation chamber and he starts speaking in German (or is it Austrian?) I suggest someone put Arnie in an emotionally charged movie with a flawed German character for him to portray and wait for the accolades.

HOWE: If you’re missing your action fix then this will at least fill the void for the time being. It has buckets full of fighting, some sort of plot and a couple of decent actors (Sam Neill and Jim Caviezel) to keep it ticking over. So saying that, put your brain in neutral and enjoy.

– Howe gives it 3 popped up bicep veins out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 2.5 bad one-liners out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Brian Taylor and Peter Howe appears in the Vernon Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.