Top critical review
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
on 15 September 2016
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the ultimate action team up, but why wait so long to put the two action legends on screen together? They could have been in Face Off together after all. But to be fair, having the two of them busting up the screen back then may have been too much as both were and still are massive icons. As much as I loveTravolta and Cage in Face Off I do think that it would have been a perfect project for Arnie and Sly.
However what we get if you don't count the little encounter Arnie and Sly have in the first Expendales film is a fairy decent 90's feel action romp, Escape Plan. The movie is a lot of fun to watch and I do really enjoy it bit it's just that it feels a bit late and a bit rushed. It's like the movie makers realised that they had waited far too long to team up The Terminator and Rambo and reached for the nearest script from the vault and quickly threw it together. Overall though it works and it's very watchable despite being utter nonsense and totally ridiculas.
Now, I do consider Stallone to be a better actor than Schwarzenegger which is pretty obvious when you think about it. All you need to do is look back at Rocky, First Blood, Cop Land, even parts of the fairly unknown D-Tox and now with the likes of Creed, Sly is entering a whole new chapter. Arnie on the other hand was quite limited but I do consider his acting in Predator, The Terminator and T2 to be A1. But he is now on a level with Sly with the recent excellence of Maggie. I love both of these actors and will give anything they do the time of day. Keep up the good work boys!
Taking into account that Escape Plan is predominantly a Stallone film with Arnold getting second billing it is Arnold who shines through here with Sly on auto pilot. Arnie is funny, still hard as nails and plays his part with a real sense of enjoyment. His acting is particularly good when he's trapped in solitary and starts to go mad, spouting off in fully spoken German rant. Arnie has all the best lines with "you hit like a vegetarian" and steals the action scenes, especially when he shoots a huge machine gun from a chopper and the camera pans around in slow motion on a close up of his eyes before he let's rip the bullets. It's a classic moment!
The baddie in Escape Planis played by the guy who was Jesus in Mel Gibson's Passion Of The Christ, Jim someone or another. Anyway who cares, he diabolical in this and has no sense of presence or poses any threat of danger being the warden of the prison. All he does is talk with no expression somehow making us think he is scary while brushing imaginary bits of dust off his jacket or checking his nails. And for some reason he collects dead butterflies? He is a crap actor playing a crap role that would have Hans Gruber turning in his grave. Truly awful.
But Vinnie Jones does a pretty good job at, well, being Vinnie Jones as one of the prison officers. They should have had him playing the main baddie.
To conclude, Escape Plan is far from perfect but if you like no brainer big budget action and the sight of Arine and Sly blowing s**t up then as Rocky says, "GO FOR IT".
I'm awarding the film a three star review based on the actual movie itself and not how much I enjoy it. That would be a four star all the way.