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Escape Plan


Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D'Onofrio, Sam Neill, Amy Ryan, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Faran Tahir

Director: Mikael Hafström

Am old-fashioned action vehicle for two ageing icons. Actually, both a slablike Sly and an avuncular Arnie look well-preserved for their years, with Sly the central figure as Ray Breslin, whose extremely lucrative job it is to break out of prisons in order to expose flaws in their security.

This seems to involve getting beaten up a lot and thrown in the hole. But, hey, at two and a half million dollars a shot, it must be worth a few cuts and bruises.

The plot gets murky from here on, so probably best to enjoy the suspense and excitement, as Ray is handed a five million dollar assignment by his boss (a twitchy D'Onofrio), via the CIA, to infiltrate, then escape from a massive new security faciliuty for people whom society never wants to see again.

Only problem is, Ray has his 'tracker' ripped out of his arm when he's 'taken', and soon finds himself trapped in a cagelike cell from which someone does not intend him to escape, and at the mercy of sadistic warden Hobbs (Caviezel) who is soon under orders to break the new arrival.

An inwardly-raging Ray (it would have to be inwardly as Sly doesn't really register emotion any more) soon partners up with Rottmayer (Arnie), who is under pressure to reveal the whereabouts of his mysterious boss, whom these renegade prison authorities are anxious to interrogate.

The rest of the film consists of savage beatings, vividly-staged action (with Arnie staggering around with a machine-gun almost as big as he is) and the two men's tortuous plans to escape, involving, of course, the aforementioned beatings, as well as the prison doctor (Neill), in whom Ray senses a grain of humanity.

Good stuff this, for fans of the stars as we like to remember them, and with few dull patches. Watch out for the scenes where Ray has his shirt sleeve ripped to extract the 'tracker', then emerges in prison with the garment intact.

David Quinlan

USA/New Zealand 2013. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour by FotoKem.
116 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Oct 2013