Escape Plan is predictable. Stallone and Schwarzenegger on the screen together is the main reason for the going to see the film. Judging it on that basis, Escape Plan is an entertaining couple hours. The most immediate pitfall is the age factor—Stallone and Schwarzenegger are 67 and 66, respectively. And while they are both in good shape for their age, they are both eligible for membership in AARP. As such, they are about 20 years past the action hero bad-ass cut-off. Escape Plan succeeds because it found a way for Stallone and Schwarzenegger to be semi-plausible action heroes, a prison break thriller.
Escape Plan is no Cool Hand Luke, neither men have the elocution to pull off a film of that calibre, but it is a story which calls for the protagonist to be smarter than he is tough. The chemistry this creates between the characters is fun to watch. It definitely isn’t a bromance, or buddy flick. Being prisoners, Breslin and Rottmayer are more frenemies, and watching them spar with their wits instead of just their fists makes them oddly endearing. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not waxing philosophical. There’s plenty of one-liners and ass kicking.
At the same time, the intelligence quotient is the biggest test of one’s ability to suspend disbelief. Neither Stallone nor Schwarzenegger are known for the genius of their characters. Then you toss in 50 Cent, who plays Hush, the l33t haxor thug, and you’ve got a shit storm of disbelief. Honestly, you have to want to believe, or smoke a fat blunt before the show, to be good here. Whatever the case, if you can get into the right state of mind, i.e. remember that you’re watching a Stallone/Schwarzenegger film, you’re good.
Maybe I’m being an apologist for the film, but I didn’t expect much. Escape Plan is a Stallone/Schwarzenegger film released in October. If the distribution people decided that an action flick with the two biggest names in the genre didn’t warrant release in the summer, big action film season, that tells you all you need to know. Namely, this film is the equivalent of MSG in a cat food and macaroni and cheese “Cheesy Tuna Mac” dinner. And like said dinner, if you don’t think about it too much it’s not so bad.