Sylvester Stallone plays Breslin, a practitioner of prison escaping who makes big bucks getting jailed under false pretenses so he can test the security of a particular prison. He always ends up escaping.
Then he's double-crossed and put into one of the world's most secure of prisons -- permanently. With no escape clause and on his own, Breslin goes about the business of escaping. To get out, he teams up with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Rottmayer, who is the head of one of the prison's gangs. Their nemesis is an evil warden done with robotic proficiency by Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ).
Robotic is the key term to what's wrong with Escape Plan. The two stars are pieces of wood, and it doesn't help that director Mikael Hafstrom (1408) and writers Jason Keller (Mirror Mirror) and newcomer Miles Chapman don't give them or anyone in the cast much meat to work with.
All through the movie, I kept going back to an ad-lib debate Stallone and Schwarzenegger had as Golden Globe presenters last year about who is the worst actor. Here, the honor is equal. Stallone spends much of the movie intensely looking at parts of the prison and guards while Schwarzenegger grills him about the next movie in their escape quest.
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This is a movie desperately in need of a sense of humor. It's the only place these two actors can pass an acting muster test. The bottom line comes from Escape Plan's prophetic last line. Stallone's Breslin says, "Haven't I suffered enough?" That tells you all you need to know.
Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.