Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Caitriona Balfe
Written by: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller
Directed by: Mikael Hfstrm
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language throughout
Running Time: 116
Date: 10/18/2013

Escape Plan (2013)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Prison Brawls

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Escape Plan marks the first full-fledged teaming of legendary action stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, after their brief moments together in The Expendables and The Expendables 2. Though this movie is no work of genius, director Mikael Hafstrom pitches things just right, and the two actors are used to best advantage: loose, charming and not too serious. They have a good banter and a believable camaraderie.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is an expert at prison breaking, posing as an inmate to break out of many high security prisons. To prove it, the movie begins with his latest escape. But then he gets a call to break out of a new kind of prison, and when he agrees, he finds he's been double-crossed. No one knows where he is and no one can help him. He meets a man called Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) and begins to cook up his latest plan. Unfortunately, this one will take several backup plans and several interactions with the prison's soft-spoken, sadistic warden (Jim Caviezel), as well as lots of fighting and shooting. But what does Rottmayer have up his sleeve?

The movie's two screenwriters -- Miles Chapman and Jason Keller -- cook up just enough puzzle pieces to keep brains busy, but the bulk of the movie concentrates on pure muscle, fighting, shooting, and explosions. (Ray isn't the most subtle escape artist on record.) A colorful gallery of supporting characters helps, ranging from Oscar nominee Amy Ryan to rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. Like the best action movies of this kind, Escape Plan is dumb fun.

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