Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Escape Plan


Escape Plan stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It isdirected by Mikael Hafstrom. The story of the film surrounds a structural - security authority who designs a prison and later gets framed for an unknown reason. It is this quest that is to be resolved.

Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is a former prosecutor who co-owns Breslin-Clark, a Los Angeles-based security firm that specializes in testing the reliability of maximum security prisons. He spends his life getting into prisons to study their designs and the guards' habitsto find and exploit their weaknesses, thus enabling him to escape without a hitch. One day, he and his business partner Lester Clark are offered a multimillion dollar deal by CIA agent Jessica Miller to test a top-secret prison and see if it is escape-proof. Breslin agrees to thedeal and gets himself captured in New Orleans, Louisiana, under the guise of a Spanish terrorist named "Portos", but the plan goes awry when his captors remove the tracking microchip from his shoulder and drug him on the way to the prison.

Breslin wakes up in a complex of glass cells with no outside windows to indicate the prison's location. He meets inmate Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and they both stage a fight for Breslin to study the solitary confinement cell, which uses high-powered halogen lights to disorient and dehydrate prisoners. Seeing that the cell floors are made of aluminum, but the rivets are iron, Breslin has Rottmayer procure a metal plate from Warden Willard Hobbs's (Jim Caviezel) office floor before the both of them and Muslim inmate Javed (Faran Tahir) are once again thrown into solitary. Using the metal plate, Breslin focuses the reflection from the lights to heat the rivets and pop open the floor panel to reveal a passageway below. He goes through the passageway and discovers that the prison is inside an oil tanker in the middle of the ocean, making a simple escape impossible. Breslin and Rottmayer continue to work on studying the complex by learning the guards' daily routines and Breslin giving Hobbs false information about Rottmayer's boss Mannheim. Meanwhile, Breslin's colleagues Abigail Ross (Amy Ryan) and Hush (50 Cent) grow suspicious of Clark when Breslin's paycheck for the job is frozen. They discover from hacked documents that the prison, codenamed "The Tomb", is owned by a for-profit organization linked to Blackwater, and Clark was offered a US$5 million annual salary from them in exchange for keeping Breslin behind bars.

Back in the prison, Hobbs reveals to Breslin that he is aware of his identity, and with chief security officer Drake watching him, he makes sure Breslin stays for the rest of his life. Rottmayer has Javed convince Hobbs to bring him on deck to do his night prayer when he actually uses a makeshift sextant to get the ship's coordinates. Using the coordinates, Breslin and Rottmayer realize that they are on the Atlantic Ocean near Morocco. Breslin visits the infirmary of Dr. Kyrie (Sam Neill) and convinces him to help him and Rottmayer escape by sending an email to Mannheim. Breslin then transmits a false Morse code message from his cell, giving Hobbs the impression that a riot will occur in cell block C. With majority of the security stationed at cell block C, Javed instigates a riot at cell block A, giving him, Breslin and Rottmayer time to run toward the deck while a lockdown is initiated. Breslin kills Drake (Vinnie Jones), but Javed is shot dead by Hobbs and his men during their escape. Breslin goes to the engine room to reboot the electrical systems, giving Rottmayer time to open the deck hatch while a helicopter sent by Mannheim engages in a gunfight with the ship's crew. Rottmayer boards the helicopter while Breslin is flushed to the bottom of the ship by the automated water system. The helicopter picks up Breslin, but when Hobbs starts shooting at them, Breslin kills the warden by shooting a group of oil barrels in front of him. They land on a beach in Morocco, where Rottmayer reveals he is actually Mannheim, Miller is his daughter, and it was his idea to team up with Breslin. Later, at a Moroccan airfield, Ross informs Breslin that Clark had fled, but Hush tracked him in Miami, Florida, and locked him in a container aboard a cargo ship.

Our Review: B-

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone  are heavyweights when it comes to action movies. Separately they have made Hollywood History. But something doesn't bode well with Escape Plan.It has all the right ingredients for a great action movie but it just fails miserably. While it is refreshing to see Jim Cavizel back in a big budget film post Passion of The Christ; Escape Plan is just not a good transition for him.  If you enjoy the nostalgic gun play of the 1980's action flicks with moderately intriguing plot twists ; Escape Plan is for you ! Released on DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital Download and Redbox; Escape Plan is available now.