Sylvester Stallone stars as Ray Breslin – an expert at escaping from jail. His firm is paid to have him go undercover as a prisoner, so he can find security vulnerabilities before any of the inmates can figure it out for themselves and escape.
Now, the CIA has come to him with an offer he can’t refuse. They are offering Ray $5 million to be placed in and escape from their new top secret, maximum security prison for the worst of the worst criminals. The CIA wants people to be put in this jail and just disappear (kind of like when you star in a movie with Lindsay Lohan).
Ray’s team is not all that hot on the idea, especially since they are breaking many of the safety protocols they have in place (yep, that’s a super subtle bit of foreshadowing there). Of course, it turns out Ray is in for more than he ever imagined (surprise!) because he has been double crossed, tossed into this jail to rot for eternity, and the only person who might be able to help is fellow inmate, Emile Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Who intentionally put Ray in this prison and paid to make sure he would never get out?
Where in the world are they?
Who wrote this script?
Escape Plan has one of the most cockamamie premises in the history of movies, and it doesn’t get much better from there. Writers Miles Chapman and Jason Keller provide ridiculous dialogue that isn’t bad in a funny way. It’s just bad because, for some reasons unknown to me, we’re supposed to take this seriously.
Chapman and Keller must of just graduated from the Cliché Class at Screenwriting University. They give a silly, melodramatic reason Ray does the job that fails in every way to make you feel one ounce of sympathy.
Then, a huge twist is completely obvious to almost anyone with a pulse. It’s so obvious that late in the movie one character even tells another, “I am surprised you didn’t see that coming,” and it delivers the biggest laughs of the film. I saw it instantaneously. You will see it instantaneously. 99% of the audience with me saw it instantaneously. The other 1% who didn’t were just late getting to the theater because the popcorn line was moving slow.
Worst of all, Jim Caviezel is horrible as the mockable, stereotypical B-movie, sadistic, weenie, tiny man villain. Sure, we don’t get good chemistry between Stallone and Arnold, and the former governor is camping it up even when he’s not intentionally trying to camp it up (Stallone is good, which makes it stand out more). However, Caviezel is stiff, emotionless and forgettable as the warden. Much of this is because he gets ridiculous, depth free dialogue at every turn, but he doesn’t bring any magic to it.
Escape Plan needs some welcome cheese and camp, not this slop.
Escape Plan is rated R for violence and language throughout