Film Title: Escape Plan
Director: Mikael Håfström
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill
Running Time: 116 min
Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Together at last. How did it take so long? Actually, come to think of it, they’ve shared the screen twice over the past few years. The movie theatres are beginning to take on the quality of Shady Meadows Home for Senior Hardasses. Mr Stallone will be with you when he’s finished his afternoon game of Ludo.
The boys’ latest rage, rage against the dying of the light – suck on this, mortality! – is an absurdly overworked, ludicrously convoluted prison drama featuring Sam Neil
as an embarrassed doctor, Jim Caviezel as a deranged governor and Vinnie Jones as six feet of coiled stupidity. The most inspired piece of casting, however, finds 50 Cent playing Mr Stallone’s computerliterate sidekick. If you want to improve the look of your performance then you could do worse than stand next to an actor who, in Get Rich or Die Tryin’, failed spectacularly at playing himself. Suddenly, Stallone and Schwarzenegger come across like F Murray Abraham and Paul Schofield.
The scenario is nifty enough. Stallone plays an independent security operative who, to help the authorities locate breaches, breaks out of prisons for a living. The film finds the CIA approaching our hero to pitch his most difficult challenge yet – he must escape from an ultra-secure government facility housing the dangerous terrorists and seditionists. When he gets there, however, he fast realises
that Jim, Sam and Vinnie all take him for a real villain and that his pre-assigned password opens no doors. Making friends with Schwarzenegger’s mysterious anarchist (or something), he begins to plan an unlikely exit.
For the most part, director Mikael Håfström plays it straight. Schwarzenegger is (all earlier joking aside) actually pretty good and Stallone manages to make at least 70 per cent of his dialogue audible. In the end, however, the temptation to have the chaps offer weary pastiches of their stock personae proves impossible to resist. Stallone swings from the shoulder. Arnie discharges a machine gun twice the size of Florida. How do like these
blue-eyed boys, Mr Death?