Plan to Escape from this tedious film
ESCAPE PLAN (NC16)
AS IT has been marketed, the obvious attraction of Escape Plan is the first-time pairing of two prominent veteran action heroes, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger.
However, despite its best efforts, the flick is no more than an ill-conceived one whose predictable action sequences serve only to entrench its many plot contrivances.
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom (The Rite) and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller, Escape Plan revolves around Ray Breslin (Stallone), a security expert who tests prison facilities by entering them undercover and breaking out of them.
His true test comes when he is conned into accepting a job that sees him imprisoned in a futuristic facility from which escape is seemingly impossible.
It is there that he meets fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), who becomes embroiled in Breslin's plan to escape while under the watch of the villainous prison warden, Hobbes (Jim Caviezel from television's Person Of Interest).
From the get-go, one expects this film to include some fantastic action sequences featuring Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
However, the film's attempts to develop its plot, which becomes increasingly strained as the movie progresses, result in insipid action scenes that amplify its flaws.
For a B-grade action film like Escape Plan, success in terms of entertainment factor - and presumably the box-office returns that follow - would depend mostly on its action sequences and the actors' performance.
Unfortunately, the movie fails on both counts.
The former consists of scenes which mostly fall flat, while the latter is also hit-and-miss.
Still, one can't deny the fact that ol' Schwarzenegger comes across looking like he had the best time filming this movie.
Stallone, on the other hand, seems to take himself too seriously, weighing down the funnier elements in the film.
Likewise, Caviezel gives an over-the-top performance that often veers towards caricature.
Other supporting players include Breslin's colleagues, Abigail (Amy Ryan) and Hush (rapper-actor 50 Cent), who, rather than being exploited to their full potential, are not given anything to do.
This leaves them, the poor things, just standing around while looking anguished.
Even within its B-grade-action trappings - the genre is known for its cheesy mediocrity - Escape Plan simply fails to entertain.
It spends way too much time explaining a plot that often feels forced, sacrificing potentially good action sequences in the process.
We wouldn't blame you for looking for an escape from the cinema.
Escape Plan is showing in cinemas.