Escape Plan

01 h 55 m

Ray Breslin is the world`s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He`s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars.

Mikael Håfström
Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel
"Outsmarting the Inescapable: `Escape Plan` Pits Brawn and Brains Against Bars"

Posted Sunday, Nov 26, 2023 69

In the 2013 film `Escape Plan`, director Mikael Håfström assembles action titans Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a high-octane thriller that echoes the glory days of 80s action cinema. Stallone portrays Ray Breslin, a structural-security authority who finds himself wrongfully imprisoned in The Tomb, an escape-proof high-tech prison of his own design. To regain his freedom, Breslin must devise a meticulous plan and partner with fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to outwit the sadistic warden and his corrupt system.

The film delves into themes of entrapment, resilience, and the human will to seek freedom, juxtaposed with the intricacies of elaborate escape artistry. The tone is gritty and serious, steeped in the tension and mystery inherent to escape narratives, while seasoned with the occasional quip that harks back to Stallone`s and Schwarzenegger`s action movie roots.

Stallone`s performance as Breslin is focused and intense, encapsulating a man whose intellect is as sharp as his physicality. Schwarzenegger enjoys a charismatic turn as Rottmayer, providing the film with a dose of affability. Their chemistry is palpable, a nod to their shared cinematic histories, and a highlight amidst the film’s darker tones.

Håfström directs with a competent hand, maneuvering through the film`s layers of suspense and action. While not groundbreaking, his straightforward direction services the plot and maintains consistency, allowing for the film`s ensemble to shine.

Escape Plan movie review

Alex Heffes` score is tight and suspenseful, complementing the film`s narrative thrust. It leverages orchestral surges to heighten moments of action and tension, serving the film`s scale and escapism.

Brendan Galvin`s cinematography uses the claustrophobic interiors of The Tomb to create a visual struggle between light and shadow, aligning the audience with Breslin`s tactical viewpoint.

The production design is one of the film`s strong suits, mapping out a prison setting that is convincingly daunting and intricate. The Tomb is a character in itself, a labyrinth of cold steel and surveillance, setting the stage for the puzzle Breslin and Rottmayer must solve.

Modest by contemporary standards, the film`s special effects provide sufficient punch during its action set pieces without delving into extravagance. They effectively establish The Tomb`s formidable presence as well as the film`s necessary spectacle moments.

Escape Plan movie review

The narrative is tightly woven by editor Elliot Greenberg, who skillfully maintains a pace that supports the plot’s twisting track and holds audience engagement through to the breakout climax.

`Escape Plan` moves with the precise tempo of a heist film, balancing moments of contemplative strategizing with bursts of action and combat, ensuring the story remains dynamic while progressively revealing layers of the escape plot.

The dialogue sports an expected bravado, flavoured with technical jargon relevant to Breslin’s profession. The script occasionally indulges in the protagonists’ cheeky banter, offering reprieve from tension with one-liners that nostalgically echo the lead actors’ filmographies.

One could argue that `Escape Plan` strains credibility at times; its plot conveniences and dues ex machina resolutions lack the finesse of a fully-formed escape caper. Additionally, the film occasionally struggles to fully utilize its supporting cast beyond their archetypal roles within the story`s confines.

As an action aficionado and critic, `Escape Plan` delivers an adrenaline rush with smarts, a tribute to the action era that birthed its leading men. The film resonated with its promise of a cerebral actioner, integrating the thrill of strategic mind games with the visceral impact of classic brawling. It doesn`t have to break new ground—simply watching Stallone and Schwarzenegger defy the odds is its own breed of cinematic satisfaction.